Almost everyone bites their nails at some point in their life. While it is just a bad habit for some, biting their nails can also turn into a real obsession, with its share of unfortunate consequences.
Infections, injuries, and bleeding can occur, not to mention the unsightly side of nails bitten to blood!
Here, we explain why you shouldn’t bite your nails and give you tips that work to get rid of this bad habit.
The habit of biting your nails is called onychophagia. It is one of the most common compulsive habits.
It is often during childhood that this habit develops. This habit usually goes away or subsides during adolescence, but it may never go away or develop altogether in adulthood.
What are the causes of onychophagia?
Since the mania to put the fingers to our mouth can go back to a very young age, the causes that lead us to bite our nails can be multiple.
Among the causes most often mentioned, we find:
- the anxiety;
- a moment of unease or transient stress;
- a habit during a moment of concentration or reflection;
- just a habit.
- Namely, young children can sometimes engage in this behavior simply by imitation.
Why should we never bite our nails and cuticles?
There is of course the unsightly side of having bitten nails and sore fingers. But above all, fingers and nails are vectors of germs.
We handle objects, doorknobs, stair handrails, shake hands with other people… These are all situations where our hands are possibly in contact with circulating viruses and bacteria.
Putting our fingers to our mouth, therefore, increases the chances of catching the flu, of contracting bacteria such as salmonella or E.coli, and can lead to problems ranging from diarrhea to nausea.
If you bite your nails, we can only recommend that you wash your hands frequently! This will not completely prevent the risk of contamination but the risk will decrease at least a little.
Risk of infections
But also, in the most severe cases of onychophagia, there is a risk that sores will appear around the nails and cuticles and become infected.
It can also lead to infections of the mouth and gums. In extreme cases, there are even problems of deformation of the teeth or loosening of the teeth.
How to stop biting your nails?
- Losing the mania for biting your nails can sometimes be difficult, but it is not impossible!
- There are several tips, the effectiveness of which varies from person to person. This is why it is essential to try it out until we find the one that works for us.
- Understand where this habit comes from
- First, it is important to understand where this habit comes from and what causes it. It will then be easier to target the tips that will be effective.
In what situation (s) do you bite your nails? What is your state of mind at this time?
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, you may want to consider techniques to reduce anxiety, such as meditation or breathing exercises. If it’s boredom, you might find mechanisms to occupy your hands.
Best Tips on How to Stop Biting Your Nails
- Keep your fingernails short, which can decrease the temptation to bite them.
- Get a manicure. Having beautiful nails and having paid for the manicure can help control the urge to bite your nails.
- Applying transparent varnish
- Have false nails applied or opt for gel polish, which is more resistant and thicker than conventional polish, which will make the nails more difficult to bite.
- Use bitter varnishes, available in pharmacies. Their foul taste is very dissuasive.
- Put bandages on your fingertips. This tip should be reserved for days spent at home if we do not want our hands to become a center of attention, but it allows you not to have direct access to our fingers.
- Keep your mouth busy by eating candy or gum.
- Keep your hands busy in times of boredom, for example by playing with a stress ball.
- Because we sometimes bite our nails without even paying attention, ask those around us to let us know when we do so.
- Reduce your stress at the origin of onychophagia and turn to meditation, breathing techniques, or physical exercise.
3 Best Nail Polish Products to Stop Nail Biting
Mavala Stop Deterrent Nail Polish
- top putting fingers in your mouth with our deterrent treatment nail polish.
- Keep your nails healthy, strong, and nice looking. Mavala stop treatment nail strengthener helps keep hands out of the mouth
Onyx Professional Polish
- Harmless bitter taste will quickly remind anyone not to put their fingers in their mouth
- Special formulation stimulates nail growth so nails can stay looking fresh & healthy.
ella+mila Nail Care, No More Biting
- No More Biting (Helps Stop Nail Biting and Stop Thumb Sucking)
- Products do not contain: Formaldehyde, Toluene, DiButyl Phthalate (DBP)
In more severe cases, or if you lose control over this habit, it is sometimes preferable to consult a professional such as a psychologist or a therapist to better identify the source of the problem and resolve it.