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How to Stop Biting Nails?

In this article, we will discuss ways to stop biting nails. If you’re a nail biter (or hair twirler or finger tapper), there’s a good chance your habit started during childhood. One problem with nail biting is that it’s considered socially unacceptable; ragged, bitten nails aren’t attractive, and neither is the act of biting your nails. It’s interesting to know that about half of all adolescents bite their nails, but more than three-fourths of those will give up the habit by age 35. Some people bite their nails so badly that their fingers bleed, or the nails are so stunted that there is almost no nail left.

Not many people know that biting your nails is a strange way to react to anxiety and stress that you may have. When tensed, however, it is one of the most common ways that both children and adults seem to act. The problem here is that you transfer bacteria back and forth between your mouth and fingers when you bite your nails every time. And more so, infections can grow under the nail bed if you bite your hang nails. You can permanently damage your nails, your gums, and your teeth as well sometimes which is even worse. The best way to stop biting nails is to opt for some effective and natural methods that can help you kick this habit for good.

to stop biting nails

Nail Biting: Know More

Very common in children and adults, medically, nail biting is known as onychophagia. However, nail biting can become a more serious problem if ignored for a long time. Nail biting can also harm your teeth. This can add to your anxiety and stress as the appearance of bitten-down fingernails can be embarrassing. In addition to this, the act of biting your nails is socially unacceptable and gives a negative impression to others. Nail biting is an extremely hard habit to break, but not an impossible task.

Reasons for Nail Biting:

  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety and loneliness
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder

Best Ways to Stop Biting Nails:

The below methods work best to help you stop biting nails at the earliest. Believe in them and watch how quickly you are able to get rid of this habit:

Wearing Gloves

If you’re writing or doing something else that is particularly tough to do while wearing gloves you’ll be more motivated to quit biting. Gloves work as a good barrier method that can help you stop biting nails effectively. Of course, many people won’t be comfortable with this habit, but if you are open to trying it out, it will help you kick this habit permanently in just a few days time.

You don’t need to wear gloves all your life, just a few days is what you need in order to condition your mind and help you to stop biting nails totally. Keep telling yourself that there will be no need to wear the gloves if you stop biting nails. This works as a motivational tool. You can try and opt for some synthetic ones instead of the woolen ones if it’s summer time.

Adhesive Bandages

Applying self-adhesive bandages on your fingertips is another good barrier to prevent nail biting. However, you may have to keep a lot of bandages handy for this remedy. A lot of people adopt this method in order to stop biting nails really fast and it actually works in giving up this habit for good. This technique works as a motivator to stop nail biting and keep you away from being close to your nails.

Every time you shower, or every time they become wet or dirty, you can apply fresh bandages. Keep the bandages on your fingers during the day and take them off at night. You don’t need to keep them at night as then you won’t be biting your nails. Just make sure to keep them on your nails throughout the day every single day.

Nail Biting Polish

In order to help people quit the habit, there are many bitter nail polishes available in the market today. With a bitter taste, these polishes will discourage you from continually biting at your nails and cuticles. To coat your nails here uses a bitter-tasting nail biting polish. The bitter taste of the polish will prevent you from biting your nails and help you kick this habit for good. Even a regular dark-colored nail polish can be used for this purpose.

When the nails are covered in a dark color, they look bad when chipped from nail biting. And this may easily motivate you to break the habit in order to flaunt your nails. A bitter nail polish is one of the most effective ways to stop biting nails and to help you get rid of this habit. For youngsters this habit really works, as it not only helps to flaunt their nails, but also helps to stop them from biting their nails.


You’ll be less likely to bite at them and mess them up if your nails have a fresh coat of polish. The more beautiful your nails look, the more it will function as a deterrent and that’s why a manicure is a very effective way to stop biting nails faster. Acrylic nails can be applied over your natural nails, or nail décor like jewels, patterns and textures can be added effectively by a professional manicurist. Go for a professional manicure as often as you can to help you break the habit of nail biting most easily. To eliminate this habit gel manicures are also a great way. Since they last longer than just a week, your nails will have plenty of time to grow long and strong. This habit would help you to prevent you from biting your nails always.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd is one of the best vegetables to stop biting nails really quickly. As its name suggests, it is known for its bitter taste, but it is really a very effective remedy to help you get rid of this habit at the earliest. To benefit from bitter gourd, make a paste by crushing one bitter gourd. Put the paste on a sieve to extract the juice and apply the juice on your nails and fingers before allowing it to dry. It is the taste of this vegetable which will prevent you from biting your nails here.

Make sure you don’t wash off your nails here, let the juice to stay. With this remedy, you would be able to kick this habit and stop biting nails really fast. Many people across the globe follow this remedy in order to get rid of this habit.


This wonderful spice is a natural antiseptic; it will also strengthen your nails and help to prevent any kind of infection from setting in. To help you fight nail biting garlic is another natural ingredient you can opt for. Many people dislike the garlic’s strong taste and aroma, but it is really one of the best natural ingredients to help you stop biting nails effectively. You can use both raw garlic and garlic oil here; however, make sure it’s the purest form of garlic oil always.

To benefit from garlic, cut a clove of garlic into halves and rub the piece over your nails liberally, leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. It is the taste of the garlic, which will do the trick here. Alternately, you can also rub some garlic oil on your nails with a cotton ball to stop biting nails easily. Do these remedies at least twice a day in order to bring maximum gains here.

Keep Your Hands or Mouth Busy

Psychologists also advise that you essentially make it not possible to bite your nails because your hands and mouth are too busy. Earlier we mentioned to pay attention to where you are and what you’re doing when you bite your nails. That’s because, if you find you bite them when alone on the couch, try to spend more time with friends and walk around rather than sit on the couch. Do a puzzle so your hands are busy when you’re stressed and alone. Chew gum. It is important to stay active so that you don’t concentrate on biting your nails.

Try to Reduce Stress

Nail biting may be the result of boredom, anxiety or habit. Children are most active in biting nails and its most to bite your nails when you still not a teenager. In order to help your child, try to understand why he does it. All children experience anxiety now and again, but are there extra stresses on your child, such as too many extracurricular activities, a new school, a recent move, a divorce or the death of a pet? When your child bites his nails, observe him/her carefully.

If fingernail biting persists along with anxiety and stress, then talk to your doctor or mental health professional. It could be a sign of a more serious psychological problem, including OCD, which can be treated with counseling, or medications. And this can help them to stop biting nails effectively.

If nail biting is due to stress and anxiety, taking vitamin B inositol may help lower stress levels. Vitamin B increases serotonin in the brain that helps reduce depression and seems to reduce the urge to pick or bite nails.

Artificial Nails

For girls who are constantly biting fake nails can work wonders. Once you see how fabulous long nails look, you’ll never want to go back. To keep your nails covered so that you cannot bite them, wearing artificial nails is a great way. It is a good method to stop biting nails easily. These nails thicker than real nails, making them difficult to bite and last longer, giving your nails ample time to grow.

There are different types of artificial nails available in the market like acrylics, wraps, gels and press-on nails. To reduce the risk of falling off, always opt for the right size of artificial nails. Also, artificial nails will hide the bitten nails in a stylish manner. Moreover, you will simply love to flaunt these nails and these artificial nails will help you carry off the desired look as well.

Cayenne Pepper

Well, you may be scared to use cayenne pepper, but let me tell you this remedy will really help you to stop biting nails permanently. Moreover, cayenne pepper won’t harm your skin as well as you may think. Taking a little of it and simply rubbing cayenne pepper on or around your nails, and nail beds is the best thing to do here. You can easily get some cayenne pepper from any general stores for this purpose. Drug stores also carry topical solutions to help you break the nail-biting habit. Some ointments contain cayenne pepper as the deterring flavor.

When using this remedy keeps it away from your eyes, as it can irritate open lesions or sensitive skin. When you bite your nails, the foul taste acts as a deterrent and helps you to stop biting nails at the earliest. You should still avoid using this remedy for kids as one can never be sure how the kids would handle this cayenne pepper powder.

Trimming Nails

Trimming nails is the best method to make you stop biting nails easily. When your nails are naturally short you won’t be inclined to bite your nails as then there is nothing much left to bite there. Besides that trimming your nails will also keep them looking neat and tidy. A good option to stop nail biting is to trim your nails on a regular basis. Choose the right clippers for the job and after trimming, polish the edges with a nail filer. This is essential for giving a neat finish to your nails and for giving up this bad habit in a few days time.

New Interests

Some hobbies that you can try are making clay models, knitting or crocheting, drawing, cooking, painting and music. In order to stop biting nails, participating in these activities will really help as these reduce the emotional distress that is contributing to the nail biting. If you bite your nails when you are stressed, depressed or bored, pick up a new habit that will keep you distracted. In order to prevent you from biting your nails opt for a hobby that will keep both your hands and mind busy. You can just go for anything that you are fond of and anything that you enjoy most for this purpose.

Nail-Biting: Permanent Damage

Hands reflect the health and security of a person: clean and cared for hands leave an excellent impression wherever you go. Biting your nails has social, emotional and health implications which are important to understand in order to stop biting nails and kick this habit for good.

Health and Aesthetics

  • Nails carry all sorts of germs which travel through the digestive tract when they get into contact with saliva and can provoke diseases.
  • The damage to the cuticle and the fingers’ skin can let in bacterial and viral infection through the hands.
  • Can provoke deformations of the fingers and the nail might be lost forever.
  • Chronic inflammation of the fingers.
  • More cavities from damage to the teeth.


  • Anxiety about the hands’ appearance
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of self-control


  • The person might feel rejected from society.
  • Personal relationships might be affected.
  • Job problems: turned down at interview.

Most, though, agree that whatever the cause, the learned habit needs to be targeted. So start with these approaches and see how it goes. If it’s not working, try making small tweaks, like using a different replacement habit, and then have another go.