Nail biting is an oral compulsive habit that is very common in children and adults. Medically, it is known as onychophagia. Many people are not even aware of the fact that they are biting their nails. From a mild habit, nail biting can become a more serious problem.
Stress, boredom, frustration, anxiety and loneliness are some of the common reasons behind nail biting. It can also be a symptom of psychological conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), separation anxiety disorder or bed-wetting.
Nail biting has both physical and emotional consequences. Excessive nail biting can cause severe damage to the nail, cuticles as well as the surrounding skin, which can become red and sore and may even bleed and get infected. Nail biting can also harm your teeth.
As the appearance of bitten-down fingernails can be embarrassing, this can add to your anxiety and stress. Plus, 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. You can do it with a little motivation and strong will power. There are also many natural aids that can help you stop biting your nails.
Here are the top 10 natural aids to stop nail biting.
1. Neem Oil
The bitter taste of neem oil can help you stop nail biting. Additionally, being an antiseptic, neem oil will keep your nails free from infection.
- Use a cotton ball to rub neem oil on your nails.
- Allow it to dry on its own.
- When you unconsciously bite your nails, the bitter taste will compel you to remove your fingers from your mouth.
Garlic is another natural ingredient that can help you in the battle to fight nail biting. Many people dislike garlic’s strong taste and aroma. As garlic is a natural antiseptic, it will also strengthen your nails and keep infections at bay. You can use both raw garlic and garlic oil.
- Cut a clove of garlic into halves. Run one piece over your nails liberally and leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. The lingering garlic taste will stop you from biting your nails.
- You can also rub some garlic oil on your nails with a cotton ball.
3. Bitter Gourd
Another very effective natural aid to stop nail biting is bitter gourd. As its name suggests, it is known for its bitter taste.
- Make a paste by crushing one bitter gourd.
- Put the paste on a sieve to extract the juice.
- Apply the juice on your nails and fingers and allow it to dry.
- The bitter taste will prevent you from biting your nails.
4. Nail Biting Polish
There are many nail biting polishes available in the market that are especially designed to help people quit the habit.
- Use a bitter-tasting nail biting polish to coat your nails. Its bitter taste will prevent you from biting your nails.
- You can even use a regular dark-colored nail polish. When the nails are covered in dark color, they look bad when chipped from nail biting. This can help motivate you to break the habit.
5. Trim the Nails
Another good option to stop nail biting is to trim your nails on a regular basis. When you keep your nails relatively short, there is less left to bite. Trimming your nails will also keep them looking neat and tidy.
Choose the right clippers for the job and after trimming, polish the edges with a nail filer.
6. Regular Manicure
Treat yourself to a professional manicure as often as you can to help you break the habit of nail biting. A professional manicurist can apply acrylic nails over your natural nails, or add nail décor like jewels, patterns and textures.
The more beautiful your nails look, the more it will function as a deterrent. The cost you paid for the manicure may also deter you from biting into those nails.