Quit nail biting! One problem with nail biting is that it’s considered socially unacceptable; ragged, bitten nails aren’t attractive, and neither is the act of biting your nails.
Some people bite their nails so badly that their fingers bleed, or the nails are so stunted that there is almost no nail left. But it’s not just about having pretty hands — in addition to having a negative impact on your appearance, nail biting can also affect your health.
When you bite your nails, you transfer bacteria back and forth between your mouth and fingers (which isn’t where you want germs!). If you bite your hangnails, infections can grow under the nail bed. Even worse, you can permanently damage your nails, your gums and your teeth.
If you’re a nail-biter and you’re having trouble kicking the habit, you might try to fake it for a while. That is, consider the fabulousness of fake nail products such as acrylics, wraps, gels and press-on nails.
Fake nails not only look great, they also do a great job of preventing you from nibbling away at your nails. And they’re safe for your real nails, assuming you have them done in a professional salon with a good reputation. If fake nails aren’t for you – or if they aren’t enough to keep you from munching on your manicure – try wearing bandages on your nails or gloves on your hands. These remedies can be a bit awkward, but they’re extremely effective.
Fortunately, there are many other ways of protecting your paws. One of the best is to distract yourself with another habit or task that will keep you occupied during urges to bite.
If you can’t find a suitable distraction or habit to help you stop biting your nails, you might try addressing the problem therapeutically. This can be tricky since nail biting is not generally considered a specific disorder and most remedies are of the do-it-yourself variety. Still, there are other options for the would-be quitter, including online support groups. You could also find a “quit buddy” to help you on your journey to a bite-free existence.