Nail-biting is a common habit, especially amongst kids. But for adults, it can be embarrassing, frustrating and sometimes even leads to infections. So how can you stop it?
Well, you can actually take some pretty easy steps to minimise the urge . In this post we’ll cover how to knock this habit on the head and explore some common causes that can lead to damaged nails.
How To Stop Biting Your Nails: The Basics
Breaking any habit can take time, so it’s important to have patience and not expect to see any big changes overnight. Understanding why we bite our nails is essential, as the habit can often be a symptom of anxiety or stress.
Some remedies to help stop nail biting include keeping the nails short or using a deterring nail formula with a bitter taste. . If you want to have beautiful long nails, however, it’s vital to get to the root cause of nail-biting to help kick the habit for good.
The Cause of Biting Your Nails
It is thought that a key cause of biting nails is related to genetics. This means that if close family members also engage in nail-biting or similar behaviours, you are more likely to do so.
Your environment can also have an impact; many bite their nails when feeling under or overstimulated. This could be because of boredom, worry, stress or frustration. For other nail biters, there may not be a clear reason for the habit at all.
Nail-biting is often an unconscious habit, meaning you do it without even realising – this is part of what makes it a hard habit to break. Finding ‘better’ habits to replace nail biting can help, but this can often be more of a crutch than a cure to nail-biting.
Nail-biting often begins in childhood or adolescence. Knowing what triggers your nail-biting can be a great first step to ending the habit. Consider noting down what you were thinking, feeling or doing when you notice yourself biting your nails and see if a pattern emerges.
Nail Biting Health Risks
Whilst there’s usually no risk of serious health issues resulting from nail-biting, some complications can arise from the habit.
Infection is one of the key risks associated with nail-biting, as it can lead to open wounds on the skin which then come into contact with bacteria in the mouth.
5 Nail Biting Tips For Breaking The Habit
For most, nail-biting won’t go away overnight, but you can break the habit with some patience and a few tricks. It’s a good idea to try out different techniques until you find the ones that work for you.
1. Keep A Diary Of Your Triggers
Most people will have triggers that cause them to start biting their nails. Since nail-biting is an unconscious habit, identifying triggers can be challenging.
Keeping a diary of what you were doing, thinking and feeling whenever you notice that you’re biting your nails is useful. You could also get loved ones to help by reminding you not to bite when you’re doing it unconsciously.
2. Trim Your Nails Down
The shorter your nails, the less there will be for you to bite. This can make them less tempting and less rewarding when you do bite them.
3. Use Mylee The Bite Stuff
Grab a bottle of The Bite Stuff, which you can apply just like nail polish! This deterrent has a thin watery consistency and a bitter, but harmless taste..
It's a great solution to discourage nail-biting!
Did you know that The Bite Stuff is water resistant? However, only if you apply it several times a day, as it can wear off from hand washing.
4. Do A Mani
Do a mani at home using a combination of Builder Gel and MyGel Polish. This will create a long-lasting shield over your natural nails, making them harder to bite and strengthening them up in the process.
5. Use A Stress Toy
Keeping your hands occupied can help to break the habit. Consider replacing nail-biting with a stress toy that you can squeeze and play with.
This can help use up some of the restless energy that can lead to nail-biting. Some other good options include fidget spinners or playdough.
Why A Mani Can Help You Kick The Nail Habit
If biting your nails comes at the cost of your fresh at-home mani, then it can be significantly less tempting to do so.
What if you couldn’t actually bite your nails either?
Regular Nail Care
Making a ritual of caring for your nails can be an excellent way to kick the habit. This can be a positive behaviour to replace the more destructive nail-biting .
You should choose quality nail care products to help your nails recover.. Helping your nails grow healthy and strong can be a great way to reduce the chances of relapsing.
Regularly oiling your cuticles keeps them hydrated and nourished, promoting healthy looking nails.
You could also try Mylee Serum, which strengthens,moisturises and encourages healthy nail growth.
Keeping your hands and nails hydrated stops hangnails too!
What happens if you bite your nails too much?
Long-term nail-biting can result in scarring and damage to the skin around the nail. It can also cause damage to the teeth and jaw and, in more serious cases, infection in the nail or mouth.
Will my nails recover from years of biting?
Provided the nail bed is undamaged, your nails should recover even after years of biting. It may take a few months for nails to heal, depending on the level of damage done by biting. Nail care products help to hydrate and strengthen your nails, which leads to healthy new growth!
How quickly do nails grow in a week?
The rate at which nails grow in a week can vary from person to person. Factors that affect nail growth include age, the time of year (nails grow quicker in the summer) and overall health. Typically, nails will grow around 0.7mm per week.
Is nail-biting a mental health disorder?
Nail-biting can indicate some mental health disorders, with doctors ascribing the habit to conditions like OCD, anxiety or ADHD. If you are concerned about your mental health, you should talk to your doctor about getting help.