Nail biting- definitely something which all of us have gone through our lives at some point in time. This is definitely true in the case of youngsters. Did you know that about half of the kids and even teenagers out there are biting through their nails. It is something of a habit which they will not outgrow so easily. In fact in some cases, it becomes a long-term trait, even leading up to adulthood.

In some cases it is even a genetic issue. As it turns out, that the kids whose parents are in the habit of biting their nails will also have kids who are doing the same. It can actually even happen if the parents have long stopped doing this trait.

This habit sometimes can detect an emotional or even a mental stress. In other cases, it is something which happens when people are feeling very anxious and nervous about something. Nail biting is basically a way in which people try to cope up with their own feelings.

It can also happen at times when you are feeling bored and feeling insecure due to some reason. So there can be various reasons as to why y0u are having this nasty habit. But the good news is – you can actually control it if you want to.

In this article, I am going to be touching upon and talking in detail as to why you may be suffering from this habit and ways to combat it properly:

Why Do I Bite My Nails?

stress can cause nail biting

So the major question is why? Why does anyone even feel the need to bite their nails. It begins in your childhood and accelerates as you grow older. You just don’t have the time to stop it.

Also it isn’t really clear as to why will you be doing this anyhow? It is what researchers call the ultimate go to behavior when you are feeling bored or even frustrated. Many people do it so to keep themselves occupied with it.

It really becomes a part of their existence, so much so that what they were doing quietly on their own is now being done in the open for all. The habit continues to develop and even accelerates with time.

I am now going to highlight some of the major reasons why you may be nail biting.

Top Reasons You Are Nail Biting

Feeling impatient- one of the main reasons us that you are actually getting anxious because of something. It is your go to behavior whenever you feel out of sorts. It is a force of habit. And you do it because it keeps you busy. Also you feel like you are frustrated and you will out of nowhere start biting your nails. In certain cases, you do it simply because you are feeling bored. It is way to just keep you occupied in the habit.

In certain cases, you may be doing it because it comes with the ability to intensely concentrate on something. It is a minor setback to your ability to completely focus on something. You might not even know it that you are doing something like this. It just so happens.

Also this is one of those habits which takes form due to you being stressed out or engulfed in a ball of anxiety. When you are either, you are already a nervous wreck and when that happens you will just look for ways to find the temporary relief from being a victim of complete stress or anxiety. The habit just kicks in when you are feeling super overwhelmed and can’t have a strong control on your emotions.

Did you know that there can also be certain psychological reasons as well for this particular behavior of yours. We will be talking about those as well. So here’s a look into what those may be:

Psychological Problems to Look Into

You may be into this nail biting habit because you are suffering from one or few of the following disorders:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder

These are some of the most common kinds which lead to the development of your nail-biting habit. In some cases, it can even become worse for you. If you don’t get a treatment, it can mean even more disastrous and in certain cases, it can even lead to complications for you.

So now that we know what can cause it, let’s talk about its risks:

Risks Relating to Nail Biting

nail biting can cause fungal infection

So you may be wondering that if someone is indeed doing nail biting, how is it harming your health? Turns out it can actually affect you in a number of ways.

Because when you say nail biting, it also includes biting your cuticles as well as the tissue which is around the nail area. While some people do this temporarily, in other cases, it can be permanent can lead to some major harm if you don’t quit on time.

So aside from the soreness of the nails factor as well as having the surrounding skin getting impacted, there are also some other side effects which you will suffer from if you are biting your nails. This can include:

  • In major instances, when you are biting your nail often, it can lead to the deformation of your nails. This means you will be suffering from abnormal looking nails.
  • If the habit persists and becomes long-term, you will also be subjected to fungal infections. This is especially in the case of those who have dirty nails to begin with.
  • You can also be suffering from illnesses which may become intolerable. This is when bacteria and viruses from your fingers and nail beds come into your body when you bite on them.
  • Also you should consider how there can be harm to your teeth when you are chipping and there is misalignment that you readily suffer from.
  • In certain cases, you may also suffer from what we call temporomandibular joint disorder and pain.

When you have all of these things going on, it can lead to severe conditions and concerns in the body. This includes having severe stomach as well as intestinal infections. If this becomes the case, your body will be in a horrible condition.

Hence for your own health’s sake, it is best that you keep such habits to a bare minimum. So how can you do that?

In many cases, getting rid of the habit of nail-biting can be severely daunting. But it is still something which you can readily manage. Let me share as to how:

How to Stop the Nail Biting- Treatment

trim your nails to avoid biting

Before anything else, you should know how it is not always easy to get rid of a habit just like that. It is not easy to make those changes overnight. Definitely they will be taking time. But you can do it, if you commit yourself to it.

You will need to adapt time and patience to allow things to happen. In the very first attempt, it is not possible to get the results. But as you commit, the frequency of doing something will decrease.

So here are a few habits you can instill in your system. It may bring some impact:

Trim your nails

The first is definitely the habit of trimming your nails often. This makes them less tempting to nibble into. Also they will keep the stance of bacteria coming at bay.  You should set a particular time in the day in which you will be trimming your nails. It will then soon kick into a strong and healthy habit.

Coating with bitter polish

Yes there are many people trying to cope with this condition. So one sure shot way is to coat your nails with a polish which is just awful in taste. This makes it horrible to put in your mouth. And you will eventually stop doing so altogether.

Cover the nails

So how this actually works is you can start wearing gloves as often as you can. It may not be as practical but it does work. You can also put on tape, stickers and even bandages if you can so to act as a hindrance between you and this filthy habit.

What is Triggering it?

You should also know that it is happening because of a reason. Identify the reason. What is making you bite your nails. If you are able to figure out the reason, then you can very well control the condition also. So you should know why and how is it happening.

Replacing the Habit

So now it all comes down to how you will make it tolerable. And the best way is to try to replace this habit with something else. Like chewing gum. When you become an adamant chewer, you will definitely let go of this habit.

Also it all comes down to keeping your hands busy. So why not make use of a stress ball or a silly putty the moment you feel stressed or confused. It will get your attention diverted and make you busy over something which is not as harmful as nail biting.