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Nail-Biting: Read This If You Can’t Stop Biting Your Nails

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Do you wonder why you can’t stop biting your nails? Do you find yourself biting on your nails like a chew toy 90% of the time? Do you want to stop that nail-biting habit of yours once and for all? Well, you’ve come to the right place for help. Nail-biting, also known as Onychophagy or Onychophagia, is an oral compulsive habit many people develop right from childhood and it can potentially ruin the appearance of your fingers, is unhygienic and can hurt pretty bad if you take it too far.

If you’re reading this, my guess is you didn’t stumble upon this article by accident. You probably can’t stop biting your nails or you know someone who is addicted to it. I know how it feels because I was once a nail-biting addict myself. I know that feeling you get when people ask “what happened to your nails? Why are your nails horrible?” And you just stand there speechless. Such a big turnoff when talking to your crush. I even went as far as biting the skin around the nails till it bled. Imagine how my fingers looked?

Studies show that 60% of children and 45% of teenagers bite their nails but the habit becomes less common after the age of 18. However, it may continue right into adulthood. The worst part of nail-biting which I’m sure you can relate to is that you’re often unaware you’re biting your nails until you’ve gone so deep, hurt yourself and start to bleed. It could be while sitting through that very boring lecture, watching a thrilling movie, surfing the internet, or just doing absolutely nothing. So why do people do it? Why can’t you stop biting your nails? 

Why You Can’t Stop Biting Your Nails

Can't Stop Biting Your Nails

If you’ve come here looking for a complex medical term to blame for your condition, then you’re in luck. Scientific studies have shown that nail-biting is a symptom of a psychological condition called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a potentially disabling illness that traps people in endless repetitive behavior and thoughts. You may be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if you find yourself doing repetitive actions such as repeatedly bathing, showering, washing your hands out of fear of being contaminated, repeatedly checking locks or cooking gas, eating foods in a specific order, arranging things in a particular order, etc. The list is endless and this is where nail-biting comes in.

Although the so-called routines may be temporary to get rid of the anxiety, the person uncontrollably performs the routine again and again when the obsessive thoughts return.

Read More: 10 Surprising Addictions & Strange Things You May Be Addicted To

Stress and the all-powerful boredom are also causes of nail-biting addiction for most people. I don’t know about you but boredom has pushed me to do some really crazy things in the past. You just sit there with nothing to do and nowhere to go, not feeling sleeping, then BAM! Your fingers slowly drift to your mouth to keep you company.

Consequences of Nail-biting Addiction

Bloody Nails

Apart from ruining the appearance of your nails, nail-biting addiction is an unhealthy habit and can cause serious problems for the mouth, the digestive system, and health in general. This is because some serious germs call your nails home. Your fingernails are very good hiding spots for germs like Klebsiella (bacteria responsible for pneumonia and urinary tract infections), Candida parapsilosis (a yeast that causes wound and bloodstream infections), and your hands could be carrying droplets containing the novel Coronavirus (covid-19).

Signs of Nail-biting Addiction

signs of nail biting addiction

Identifying someone who can’t stop biting their nails is easy. The fingernails are usually bitten equally to approximately the same level and it can lead to broken skin on the cuticle of the nails. When cuticles are improperly removed using your teeth, they are susceptible to microbial and viral infections such as paronychia. The contents of the saliva may then redden and infect the skin. In rare cases, fingernails may become severely deformed after years of nail-biting due to the destruction of the nail bed. Surely you don’t want your nails to get that bad.

Read More: Here’s Why You’re Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Night

Nail-biting is also be linked to mouth problems like gingival injury and malocclusion of the front teeth (incisors), which are the major tools used in the nail-biting act. It can also transfer pinworms or bacteria buried under the surface of the nail from the anus region to the mouth. If the bitten-off nails are swallowed, problems can develop in the gut. On a more personal level, nail-biting can be so embarrassing that it reduces the quality of your social life. Ask any man or woman on the planet what they want in a future partner and they’ll tell you they want someone with beautiful attractive nails. Really, who doesn’t?

Nail-biting Cure or Treatment

Good news for all my Nail biters out there, THERE IS A CURE!!! Well, I wouldn’t say a cure per se, but there are different ways you can stop yourself from going all cannibal on your nails. The cheapest of such preventive methods is the use of bitter-tasting nail polish. This special kind of nail polish is made from the most bitter chemical substance known to man, Denatonium benzoate. This compound produces an unbearable bitter taste no words can’t describe. Adding it as an ingredient in the nail polish has helped to stop the nail-biting habit in many people. Another treatment for chronic nail biters is using a dental deterrent device that disables the front teeth from making any damage to the nails and the surrounding cuticles. After about two months of using the dental deterrent, the nail-biting urge will start to die.

Most importantly, being aware of your actions and sheer determination is enough to fight-off nail-biting addiction. Simply make up your mind to stop the act. It’s not that difficult to do. In my case, what I did was tell all my friends about my problem. Let those closest to you know about the problem and your resolve to finally end it. They will be your watchmen, warning you when you’re about to unconscionably break your rule. Try to always remind yourself of your resolve, never to bite your fingernails again. After about 2 weeks, you can watch your fingers become attractive again. Just look at these beauties below. That should be yours, that can be yours and together we can achieve it.

beautiful nails

That’s all for today. Thank you for making it this far. Please share this article with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin who are addicted to biting their nails using the share buttons below. Show them you care about their health and you’ll also be saving someone’s self-esteem if you do so.

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