How to Stop Nail Biting

How to Stop Nail Biting

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What is Nail Biting?

Nail biting is the habit which is considered orally compulsive and it is extremely common among both adults and children. In medical term, it is called onychophagia [1].

Many people have the habit of biting nails. Although most of us think of it as a harmless habit, nail biting can lead to many serious problems such as damaging the nails, bleeding or even getting infected, harming your teeth, etc [2].

What causes Nail Biting?

There are several common factors that trigger the habit of nail biting which are loneliness, anxiety, frustration, boredom and stress. However, it can also be the matter of psychological conditions, for example, OCD (obsessive-cmpulsive disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), bed-wetting and separation anxiety disorder [3].

The consequences of nail biting can be both emotional and physical. First of all, not only your nails but also the cuticles and skin surrounding the nails will be damaged severely, thus becoming sore, red and even bleeding then infected. At the same time, your teeth will also be impacted negatively [4].

Due to the embarrassing sight of bitten-down fingernails, it can make you become stressful and anxious. Moreover, the nail biting act is often unacceptable socially due to it negative impression for others.

Here are the top 10 most recommended tips for how to stop nail biting that you might consider applying in order to get rid of this habit as well as protect your nails and teeth.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful ingredient that is considered as a medicine for many kinds of diseases. In case you have the habit of nail biting, garlic can help you to stop it. It is due to its strong taste and aroma. Furthermore, the natural antiseptic property presenting in garlic helps your nails be stronger and protect you from infections. If garlic oil is not available, you can also use raw garlic.

Garlic oil - How to Stop Nail Biting

How to use:

  • Chop a clove of garlic into 2 parts and rub it on the nails.
  • Allow it to sit for several minutes so that it can dry by itself then wash your nails with water. You won’t bite your nails because of the taste of garlic left.

Alternatively, you can apply garlic oil on your nails.

Besides preventing nail biting, you can use garlic to treat many other diseases or beauty problems. You can find out more at: Home Remedies for Sneezing and Home Remedies for Molluscum Contagiosum.

2. Trim Nail

Another way for how to stop nail biting is trimming your nails often. It is simply because you have nothing to bite when your nails are short. Your hands will also look tidier and neater when they are kept short [5].

Trim nails - How to Stop Nail Biting

  • Simply use a clipper to cut your nails.
  • After that, polish the edges with a nail filer.

3. Artificial Nail

When you have artificial nails, they will cover your real nails, so it will be not possible for you to bite nails [6].

Artificial nails - How to Stop Nail Biting

There are many types of artificial nails on the market that you can choose such as wraps, gels, press-on nails and acrylics. Remember to choose the nails that are match your real nails to that they don’t fall off.

4. Adhesive Bandage

You can also applying this way for how to stop nail biting. Wrapping your nails with self-adhesive bandages around your fingertips will make it impossible for you to bite your nails.

Adhesive bandages - How to Stop Nail Biting

You can take the bandages off after let them on the fingers all day.

5. Bitter Gourd

If you have the habit of biting your nails, bitter gourd, with a bitter taste, will help you on how to stop nail biting [7] [8] [9].

Bitter Gourd - How to Stop Nail Biting

How to use:

  • Grate one bitter gourd to have its paste.
  • Use a sieve to draw out its juice.
  • Cover your fingers and nails with the juice and leave it on till dry.

Also bitter gourd is often used as a useful remedy for other beauty problems. For further information, read more at How to Get Rid of Freckles.

6. Neem Oil

This is one of the most effective methods for how to stop nail biting because it has a bitter taste. In addition, it contains antiseptic property that can protect your nails from getting infected.

Neem leaves - How to Stop Nail Biting

How to use:

  • Rub the nails with neem oil, using a soft cloth.
  • Leave it on so that it can dry by itself.

Learn more about other benefits of neem at Home Remedies for Vaginal Discharge.

7. Regular Manicure

Going to a manicurist is another method for how to stop nail biting. You can have a professional manicurist add nail décor like textures, patterns and jewels or apply acrylic nails over your natural nails.

Manicure - How to Stop Nail Biting

Once your nails are beautiful and you have to pay an amount of money to have good nails, you will not want to destroy it by biting nails as before.

8. Adopt a New Habit

Having a new habit will help you on how to stop nail biting because it keep you busy and forget to bite your nails as usual.

Knitting - How to Stop Nail Biting

You can try some habits such as knitting, cooking, crocheting, painting, making clay models, drawing and music.

9. Nail Biting Polish

If you want to both get rid of the habit of biting nails and have styled nails, you can choose the way of polishing them. There are many types of nail biting polishes that can help you.

Nail Biting Polish - How to Stop Nail Biting

How to use:

  • Cover your nails with a bitter-tasting nail biting polish. You will not bite your nails anymore, due to its bitter taste.
  • Alternatively, usea regular dark-colored nail polish to coat your nails. It can help you to get rid of the habit because you nails will look bad when it is bitten.

10. Cayenne Pepper

Using cayenne pepper is another way that helps you to break the habit of nail biting. Due to the foul taste, it acts as a deterrent to prevent you biting nails. You can also use ointments that have cayenne pepper as an ingredient [10] [11] [12] [13].

Cayenne Pepper Ointment - How to Stop Nail Biting

How to use:

  • Apply cayenne pepper on your nails.
  • Let it sit for some minutes before washing it off. The foul taste left will be a barrier for your habit.

Notes: Keep cayenne pepper away the sensitive skin areas, open lesions and your eyes.

*Disclaim: The effectiveness from applying these natural tips will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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