6 ways to stop biting your nails
How do you stop biting your nails? There are some different things you can try at home. There are also some cases where you may want to check in with your doctor instead of going it on your own.
Before you try to stop biting your nails, you may want to spend some time thinking about why you bite them in the first place. Try keeping a log of when you find yourself biting. Are you tired? Stressed? Hungry? You may start to notice a pattern. Once you’ve discovered your unique trigger, you can work toward finding different ways to ease it.
1. Keep them short
An easy way to deter yourself from biting your nails is to keep them short. The idea behind this method is simple. If there’s little or nothing to chew, you won’t feel as compelled to bite your nails. Of course, you’ll need to stay on top of your trimming routine because your nails are continually growing.
2. Get a manicure
Try dropping a chunk of change on a gorgeous manicure to see if it can help you stop. Your nails will look and feel great.
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3. Flavor your nails
While it may sound strange at first, using a bitter-flavored varnish like ORLY may help you kick your habit. You can apply this type of deterrent over your bare nails or even over manicured nails. Simply brush it on, let it dry completely, and reapply when you need to.
4. Wear chewelery
You read that correctly: chewelery. A company called Ark makes a silicone Saber Tooth necklace that is meant for anyone (ages 5 and above) who needs to chew. You can choose your color and your toughness on a scale from soft to extra-extra tough. This type of gadget may work best if you are aware of your nail biting.
Instead of chewing your nails to help yourself focus or soothe, you can replace your nails with the necklace.
Note: You may want to discuss using chewlery with your dentist. Chewing on anything — nails or otherwise — may damage your teeth or harm your jaw.
5. Focus on each finger
Maybe the all or nothing approach doesn’t work well for you. Instead, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests cutting the habit by focusing on just one nail at a time. You can start with your thumbs. After you’ve successfully stopped biting your thumbnails for a week or so, move on to your index fingers. Go in whatever order makes the most sense to you and keep moving forward with your progress.
6. Keep at it
You cannot expect yourself to stop biting your nails overnight. In fact, you may have heard how it takes 21 days to break a habit. This figure was popularized by a 1960s book called “The New Psycho Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz. A 2009 study showed that the time it takes to break a habit isn’t actually so clear-cut or linear with its progression.
What’s the lesson here? Give yourself time before you declare your efforts a failure. If you keep at it, the hard work should pay off.
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