How to Stop Biting Your Nails

Stop biting your nails
  • Why do people bite their nails?
  • Why is biting your nails bad for you?
  • 6 tips to help you stop biting your nails
  • How to stop biting your nails FAQs

Biting your nails is a tough habit to kick. If you’re somebody that wants perfect-looking fingers but can’t stop biting your nails, then you have come to the right place.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s how important good hand hygiene is. However, stopping your nail biting habit isn’t easy. Fortunately, we have put together this guide to help you break the habit, as we look at why it’s bad for you and share some top tips on how to stop biting your nails. So, let’s get started and embark on the path to smooth, immaculate nails together.

Why do people bite their nails?

For most people, nail biting is an automatic reaction and sometimes the reasons as to why someone may be biting their nails aren’t always clear. However, there are some reasons that appear more often than not when determining the cause. These include:

  • Anxiety and nerves: Nail biting is often a sign of anxiety and for many is a nervous habit. People often bite their nails when they have to cope with challenging emotions or find themselves in situations that trigger anxiety.
  • Stress: When people are stressed and going through a difficult time, nail biting can often be a sign that someone is struggling with their mental health. Again, people will bite their nails as a coping mechanism for dealing with the emotions they’re feeling.
  • Boredom: For many nail biters, the reason for doing this bad habit can be as simple as something like boredom. The key is to try to keep your hands busy.
  • Inheriting bad habits from your parents: Children whose parents bite their nails are more likely to inherit that particular behaviour.

Whatever the reason, biting your nails can actually cause some serious health issues if you’re not careful.

Why is biting your nails bad for you?

Long-term, it’s unlikely that biting your nails will cause a huge amount of damage. Despite this, there are plenty of risks associated with nail biting. These include:

  • Skin infections: Biting your nails can lead to soreness or infection on the skin around your nails. By damaging your skin, you’re exposing yourself to germs getting in and causing issues.
  • Harms your health: Your fingers are a hotbed for germs. By biting nails, you’re more likely to catch colds and other nasty infections as the germs spread from your nails to your mouth.
  • Damages your teeth: Why compromise that lovely smile you’ve got? Biting your nails can chip and crack your teeth. It can also cause jaw problems.
  • Abnormal growth: If you damage the tissue around your nails, then this can make your nails grow back misshapen.

To avoid frequent illnesses and skin infections, it’s a good idea to kick the habit to avoid any of the above complications.

6 tips to help you stop biting your nails

Finding out how to stop biting your nails is the easy part, but actually putting that knowledge into practice is tricky. That’s why the team at Cuccio has put together this helpful list of tips to help you stop biting your nails for good.

1. Identify your triggers

There are many reasons why someone might bite their nails, which is why finding out your personal triggers is an important part of the process. You’re not always conscious you’re doing it, but without acknowledging this step you may never overcome the habit.

Whether you do it when you’re feeling stressed or bored, try to make a note of when you’re biting them and link that with how you’re feeling at the time. This will help you to identify patterns, so you can prevent yourself from doing it the next time you feel that particular way.

2. Keep them short

An easy way to break the habit is to keep your nails short. If there is nothing to chew in the first place, then you’re going to struggle to bite something that’s not there. In order for this to succeed, you’ll need to trim and file your nails regularly so that they never grow to a point where you can bite them.

3. Get a manicur

If your nails look great, then you may be less inclined to bite them and ruin that nail perfection. Not to mention the fact that you won’t want to waste your money!

Whether you get your manicures at a salon or do them yourself at home, getting the right nail polish is an essential part of making your nails look so amazing you won’t want to damage them.

4. Make your nails taste bad

The chances are that if something tastes bad, you’re not going to want to put it in your mouth. There are plenty of formulas on the market that make your nails taste bad, but there are some natural remedies you can try as well, such as:

  • Dilute a few drops of vinegar into water and dip your fingernails into the mixture. Allow nails to dry.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to your nails.
  • Rub garlic on your nails.
  • Cover them in something bitter.

5. Keep your hands busy

By keeping your hands busy when you feel like biting your nails, you should prevent yourself from doing so. The next time you feel the urge, play with a stress ball or start drawing to keep you distracted and your mind focussed on something else.

6. Ask for support

People who bite their nails are often not aware they’re doing it until the damage is already done. Ask your friends and family to stop you if they catch you doing it. Having additional support acts as a great incentive to finally kick the habit.

Next steps

Now you’re equipped with some helpful tips to finally stop biting your nails, it’s time to start putting them into practice. Patience is key when it comes to ditching a nail biting habit, so don’t expect immediate results. Focus on one nail at a time if you have to, so you can make gradual improvements and use the noticeable benefits as motivation.

Also, by making your nails look incredible with manicure tools, you’ll never want to damage your nails and ruin all that hard work again!

How to stop biting your nails FAQs

Is nail biting a mental disorder?

In serious cases, chronic nail biting is regarded by doctors as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, as some people are unable to stop this habit on their own. The medical term for nail biting is onychophagia.

Do fingernails digest in your stomach?

Fingernails will not digest. If you swallow your nails, you’re running the risk of damaging your oesophagus and stomach as the nail travels through your body.

How long do bitten nails take to grow?

This obviously depends on the severity of your nail biting habit. If the entire surface of the nail has been damaged, then you’re likely to have a thinned-out plate for three to six months. The more you bite your nails, the longer it will take for them to grow back.

Will my nails recover from years of biting?

As we mentioned earlier, there aren’t many long-term issues caused by biting your nails. However, they will never grow back the same and the damage you inflicted will likely be permanent in terms of how your nails look.

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