Bad habits are never easy to cease, and 99% of the time are brain nuances to conquer. Nail biting is considered no different from other habits that are hard to break, like smoking for instance. Nail Biting (Onychophagia) is a habit faced by children and adults and is not easy to quit. Nail biters may bite their nails in times of stress, excitement or in times of boredom and may bite their nails without even realizing they’re doing it. Nail biting may also be involved with an activity such as reading, watching TV or talking on the phone.
Nail biting may include biting the cuticle and soft tissue surrounding the nail, as well as the nail itself. The skin around the nails may become red and sore and can often lead to bleeding due to the biter biting the free edge all the way down to the nail bed. Not only can this increase the risk of an infection in and around the nail, there can also be an infection in the mouth.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The most amount of bacteria lives underneath the nail — think of all that you touch during the day. Examples: keyboard, door knobs, bus poles, hands when handshaking. Even if you wash your hands during the day, the nails are often missed in the cleansing process. Using hand sanitizer sparringly throughout the day may help rid of some of the bacteria and germs under the nail. It’s been medically indicated that we should never touch our faces (eyes, mouth, ears, nose) since they are the entrance to introducing germs into the blood stream.
Long term nail biting can interfere with normal nail growth and can cause deformed nails to grow. There are many ways a nail biter can break the habit of biting their nails in just six weeks!
- Nurture Them Replace the bad habit of biting your nails with a good habit. Block off a time each week to get a basic manicure. This will ensure the cuticles are pushed back, that hangnails are removed and the skin around the nails is nourished.
- Nail Polish Carry a bottle of nail polish with you at all times to touch up scratches or chips. If you do this, you’re less likely to start picking and biting at them.
- Nail Strengthener Apply a nail strengthener – the better shape your nails are in, the less tempted you will be to damage them.
- Moisturize Hydrating your hands and cuticles daily will help restore their health and overall appearance that you’ll be proud of.
- Share the Joy Tell your friends and family that you’re trying to kick your nail biting habit. It helps to have their support and watchful eyes if you slip up.
You’re just a few weeks away from happier hands!