It may seem trivial, but nail biting is a problem that affects not only the little ones as many might imagine.
It also affects adults who, due to various problems, can fall into this bad habit.
This bad habit does not only affect aesthetics, as one might think.
Nail biting : what it is
Onychophagy or nail biting is an obsessive disorder that leads to unleashing one’s anxieties in eating one’s nails.
It can also affect health , being the cause of infections and inflammations.
So for this reason it is extremely important to stop biting your nails.
There are some simple remedies that I can help you with.
Nail biting: try to understand the causes
It is certainly a fundamental step.
Understanding why you have this unstoppable urge to bite your nails is the basis for quitting. Whether it’s boredom, stress, anxiety or a physical problem such as the presence of cuticles. In fact, understanding what triggers this bad habit is the first step to leaving it behind.
Try to relieve stress
It can be one of the underlying causes.
For this reason, practicing a sport can release stress and tension, making you feel more relaxed and away from the desire to eat your nails.
Nail biting: when to see a doctor
If all your attempts have failed, you should seek help from a doctor who can help you.
Often underlying these behaviors there may be psychological or emotional discomforts , which can be resolved with the help of an experienced professional.
Nail biting: consequences
There are many problems that arise from the bad habit of nail biting.
First of all, pain , bleeding and redness of the nail bed may occur .
In addition, it can cause damage to the portion of skin located at the base and sides of the nail: the cuticles , which we commonly call cuticles. When these are removed improperly the area can become susceptible to bacterial or viral infections .
Moreover, those who tend to eat their nails can carry microorganisms deposited under them in their mouths. But, onychophagy can also cause gum injury , wear of the incisors, mouth infections and more.
Nail biting: the remedies
There can be many ways to eliminate this habit from your life. Following are some remedies that will help you quit.
1 – Cut your nails
It may seem trivial but it is perhaps the first thing to do to combat onychophagy. In fact, keeping your nails manicured and very short can avert the urge to bite them.
Trying to give them a rounded profile avoids creating angular shapes, which can trigger the desire to eat their nails.
2 – Take care of your nails
Keeping your nails clean and well-groomed can be a step not to be overlooked. Cleaning your hands is very important to avoid developing infections.
Also giving your hands and nails an appreciable appearance can motivate you and help you quit.
3 – Chewing gum
Many times it is enough to be distracted to avoid running into this vice. Chewing leverages another bodily stimulus that can distract from onychophagy.
This is why chewing gum, perhaps without sugar, can help you.
4 – Bitter enamel and more
In the pharmacy there are nail polish with an annoying taste which, if applied regularly on the nails, can discourage this bad habit.
Alternatively, you could apply lemon juice which will have the same effect or garlic , onion , grapefruit juice, vinegar .
In short, everything that can have an unpleasant taste.
5 – Apply patches or gloves
Maybe some drastic but certainly effective remedies. Wearing two gloves may seem trivial, but it can certainly be useful for not biting your nails.
Same goes for the patches. Applying them with the gauze part on the nail can be a good remedy for onychophagy.
6 – Onychophagy: try to change your habits
To avoid biting your nails, you can try to get involved in another activity.
Drawing , embroidering or doing anything else will keep your hands busy and will help you overcome the urge to eat your nails.
Media related to Onychophagia or Nail biting at Wikimedia Commons