Q:

How do you stop biting your nails?

A:

Quick Answer

Individuals can stop biting their nails by managing stress carefully, limiting access to fingernails or applying commercial products designed to make fingernails taste bitter. Nail biting is typically triggered by stress or anxiety, so controlling anxiety is a key part of stopping the biting.

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Full Answer

Individuals who struggle with nail biting can practice deep breathing techniques or visit a therapist to attempt to control anxiety. They can also put adhesive bandages over the tips of their fingers or wear gloves to limit access to the fingernails. Nail biters can try applying colored or clear nail polish and keep the fingernails filed, so that the nails have a nicer appearance. Sometimes ragged edges or loose hangnails make nail biting seem more attractive. Regular manicures can provide an attractive appearance, making nail biting less appealing for the anxious individual.

Commercial products are also available to help stop nail biting. These products can be purchased online or in a drugstore and typically make the fingernails taste bitter or create an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Nail biting is sometimes a symptom of a more serious psychological issue, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. A physician or mental health provider can provide medications or counseling to address the issue.

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