How To Stop Biting Your Nails
Disclaimer: I am in no way a nail healthcare expert. These are tips that have worked for me and others I know. For some, nail biting could be a sign of a more serious emotional/psychological issue, in which a doctor should be contacted. Furthermore, in cases of extreme biting resulting in infection and shedding cuticles, you should consult a doctor/dermatologist.
1) Get inspired with nail art videos/pictures. These may even inspire you to grow out your own nails and experiment with nail art. After spending time painting them with creative designs, you will not want to ruin it by biting that effort away – p.s. this is the main factor that helped me stop biting mine.
2) Use safe biting solutions. Mavala Stop https://www.mavala.co.uk/Nail-Products/mavala-stop.html , is a non-toxic, nail biting deterrent that has a bitter but harmless taste which is applied over the nail. This can be found at a local pharmacy or online.
3) Try to find the reason behind your nail biting. Does it stem from boredom? Does it occur when you are nervous? Due to stress or anxiety? Identifying the triggers are a key step to finding a solution. E.g. in terms of boredom, find a way to keep your hands occupied such as a fidget spinner or fiddling with an elastic band. A stress ball might help ease periods of nervousness.
4) Know the health risks. Biting nails means transmitting bacteria from your hands into your mouth. It could also cause soreness and damage to the tissue that enables the nail to grow. Does that put you off?
5) Make it a fun challenge. The “swear jar” for instance, is a fun way off trying to stop swearing. Make a “biting jar” and place some money inside whenever you catch yourself biting. You could donate this to a charity of your choice.
6) Take it one step at a time. If you are really struggling, try focusing on one nail at a time, e.g., if the urge to bite gets too much, allow yourself to bite just one nail before taking the step to stop completely. This may slowly improve biting habits.
7) Reward yourself. Set yourself realistic goals, e.g. if you can go without biting your nails for a day, then reach that target treat yo self! Then slowly work your way up to a week and if achieved, treat yo self again. It’s a win-win really.
8) Remember that patience is a virtue: Nails take a while to grow, particularly if cuticles have been damaged from biting. Don’t feel discouraged if your nails take a while to grow back. It’s all a process. Keep up with nail care along this journey (check out my previous post on nail care tips).
Lots of love,