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How to Stop Nail Biting

Nail Biting Treatment

Many children eventually grow out of nail biting. But for teens and adults who still struggle with the habit, some techniques have proven results.

  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail biting polish. The nasty taste will discourage you from biting. You can also use a regular clear or colored nail polish to prevent nail biting. The same technique can work with your child.
  • Keep nails trimmed short. You'll have less of a nail to bite.
  • Get regular manicures. If you spend the money to keep your nails looking attractive, you'll be less likely to bite them.
  • Use an alternate technique to manage your stress. Try yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or squeezing a stress ball to relax you.
  • Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to bite your nails.
  • If you've tried these techniques and nothing is working, wear gloves or put self-adhesive bandages on the tips of your fingers so your nails won't be accessible to bite.

Talk to your doctor or mental health professional if fingernail biting persists along with anxiety and stress. It could be a sign of a more serious psychological problem, including OCD, which can be treated with counseling, or medications.

WebMD Medical Reference

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