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Stop Biting Your Nails - Help for Nubby Nail Sufferers

Updated on February 28, 2017

For some people, nail biting is severe enough to cause nerve damage or permanent nail loss. If you have this nasty little habit, there are ways to nip it in the bud before it goes too far.

First, identify the reason you're biting—are you bored, hungry, or nervous? Did you just stop smoking? Are you mindlessly biting while you watch TV? Nail biting triggers take on many forms, and if you can identify your triggers you'll find it easier to eliminate them.

Most commonly people are bored, nervous, or mindless nail biters. All of which are problems that are impossible to avoid - there will always be boredom, nerve-racking situations, and downtime, so you have to stop the habit while facing the source.

If your nail biting is severe, first coat what's left of your nail in a nasty-tasting polish. You can find these at most pharmacies. Then wear lightweight, cotton gloves when you're at home. If you bite when your bored - try to keep busy but make sure you're wearing the gloves to do nearly everything. You'll be used to them after an hour or two and when you reach your hand to your mouth - you'll get a mouthful of cotton instead of nail. You can also try displacing your chewing for a while. Chew some sugar-free gum or even a child's teething ring for a few days. You don't want either of these to become another habit, but displacement for a few days can help. Keep the foul-tasting polish on your nails all the time - since you likely won't wear the gloves in public, you will want some backup protection.

If you're biting is not as severe, you can still use the polish, but you might try some other tips. For women, getting acrylic nails, or even those glue ons in the cosmetics department at Wal-Mart, makes a big difference. The "fake" nail will protect your little nub underneath and allow it grow. The fake nail will be much more durable and for many people (myself included) you're less likely to chew them to bits if you pay hard earned money to have them look nice.

For men, it's a little more tricky. Men can use the clear, nasty tasting polish - nobody will notice, they CAN get manicures - though most will not. Most men are more likely to beat the habit if they try the tips for severe biters.

You can try taking pictures of your nubby nails and posting them up where you will see them often. You wil be thinking about constantly it so you won't be "mindless." You can also try keeping a little stress ball nearby at all times. When you feel the urge to bite, grab the ball instead.

And, for some people, nothing seems to work - these people can try hypnotherapy. People use hypnotherapy for everything from smoking to overeating - nail biting is just as big a problem. This works great for some, but you have to have an open mind to try it.

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    • profile image

      Janiya 2 years ago

      My cousin bites her nails

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      Lola 3 years ago

      I am going to try and stop biting my nails.i did before and they were long but then they all broke so hopefully it will work this time.

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      Gir_luvr123 5 years ago

      I have the same prob. I do cool designs and stuff on my nails so no one will notice but then they ask me why my nails are so short. My mom will look at my hands and say they look completely disgusting and over and over I tell her I am trying to stop but she keeps saying how horrible they look. I am 11 years old and seeing people 20 and 40 yrs old STILL biting their nails has me scared. I want to quit SO bad. Yesterday I had the idea of mixing nail polish remover and hairspray in a bottle big enough for me to dip y fingers in. Once they dry, not only do they smell like hairspray, they taste disgusting. I would try and push y cuticles back but I have nail polish on and I don't want to risk biting them again. Hopefully during the summer I will not be bored with vacation and everything so I will stop. Last summer I stopped and LOVED my nails but once I got back in school CHOMP

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      Jacqueline Russell 5 years ago

      I bite my nails all the time when I'm bored or lonely. Every time I go to have a bite or chew of them I just keep this and remember this that everything what I Handle has germs on it and it makes me thinks twice about the bacteria I'm in taking by biting my nails. Is what I think off before I go to bite them.

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      Tommy 5 years ago

      I HAVE THE ANSWER!

      I bit my nails so much that my mum said that they wouldn't grow anymor i love my nails so this was really upsetting for me. The next day i can home and found a pair of gloves sitting on my bed, mum said that u can't bite with gloves on, this helped me so much and i now have beautiful long nails

      Hope I helped :)

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      Humble Cheese Dragon 5 years ago

      i bite my nails and its soooooooooooooo hard to stop. i put nail varnish & bite-away stuff on EVERY MORNING...but after about 3 or 4 hours i start to pick or bite it all off.so i normaly change the varnish on my nails bout 4 or 5 times a day...WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! All my friends have GORGEOUS nails and they are all naturaly manacuired. i Prayed to God, that he would do his mgical work nd make me stop biting.im 12 and i have spent probably OVER £100 on nail stuff...i do cool designs on my nails to make up 4 their shortness. EVERYONE in my school thinks im so AMAZING at nail designs so that's sorta good...im even starting my own nail bar in July! Wish i could stop,

      all my hope to all u fellow nail bitters,

      The Humble Cheese Dragon

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      Nadia 5 years ago

      Im 11 years old and when i was like... 9 i sued to bite my nails. One day, in class i had a hang nail so i just decided to bite it off and not to mke it look stupid i just bit the nail down to be short. After that, i started biting my nails. EEverytime i would bite them i would cry becuz my nails have lys grown really fast nd there really long. One day, i Prayed to God, that he would do his mgical work nd make me stop biting. I cried after that. I haven't bit my nails since the 2nd grd. ( i only was biting my nails for probably like 2 weeks or so). i was never addicted or nything, i just was doing it for 2 weeks or so. GOD dosent always fix everything im sorry to say, but he sure did help me. Be confident. Hey, im only in 5th grade and 11 years old nd encouraging everyone who has to problem to just be confident.

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      Zezee 5 years ago

      I have been biting my nails ever since I've had teeth. My mom had told me to stop and I still continue..I don't know what to do. I need help and I don't know how to get any type of help.

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      k+a 5 years ago

      thank god i stopped, after seeing these im never going back again

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      sups 6 years ago

      after seeing this iam really scared i think iwill stop biting my nails:-)

    • profile image

      alessandro 6 years ago

      rispondimi subito. mandami per pc la foto delle tue unghie

      a presto

    • profile image

      alessandro 6 years ago

      ciao vieni a casa mia a vedere le tue unghie

    • profile image

      Selcouth 6 years ago

      I was biting my nails reading this.. The picture does look gross but not affecting my urge to bite by nails. For me, quiting a drug like heroin it's a lot easier i believe. Good luck to those who try not to. and Congratz to those who've stopped. Personally i'm doomed to this.

    • profile image

      guest123 6 years ago

      omg i have been biting my nails 4 the longest time i really want 2 stop i will try the thing Isabella recommended thanx!

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      mmm 6 years ago

      i have bitten my nails for 44 years. stress and reading books are triggers. i really want to stop doing it. its ridiculous to see a grown women and mother biting her nails. i have given my 7 year od son permission to yell at me to stop. he seems to have given up. yikes.

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      anonomus 6 years ago

      i bite my nail and use nail polish on them butiend up picking off the nailpolish and biting them anyway

    • profile image

      tammy 6 years ago

      eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    • profile image

      tammy 6 years ago

      that's ugly as helllll hah ahahahahahahahahahalol

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      6 years ago

      I used to bite my nails, but I've quit for quite a while now.Now I have long nails that are healthy and strong. It is a horrible habit to get into and takes a lot of hard work to stop! The tips above are great, I recommend following them if you bite your nails. Another good way to stop biting your nails is to have a friend or family member paint them and you will be less likely to bite them because of their hard work! Two more important thing you will also need is patience and confidence. Patience because nails that have been bitten for so long are unhealthy and weak, they need time to grow. Confidence because when you look at your hands you may think that its not worth "wasting" your time trying to stop biting them. But its not, just keep telling yourself that when they finally grow out they will look great, and they will! You could also tell a friend or family member that your trying to stop biting your nails and ask them if they could help motivate you. One last thing, don't forget to reward yourself! Keep a calender of how long you've not bitten your nails and for each week or so go out, or buy yourself something small. I hope all of this helps!

    • profile image

      alessandro 6 years ago

      ciao vieni a casa mia

    • profile image

      Areefa 6 years ago

      woooaah

      just a tad shocking ?

      i have short nails but not as bad as that !!

      faaar im stoping rite now ! :|

    • profile image

      Karen 6 years ago

      Wow, that is a shocking photo to look at! I bite my cuticles, not the nail itself. I have been doing it for over 20 years. I have started a conscious effort since april 1st to stop. I have had more success than ever before. But i have had relapses. The book, How to stop nail biting has been very, very helpful. It is so, so hard to quit.

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      Hellann 7 years ago

      I remember making the decision to start trying nail biting after watching my mother when I was about 6 or 7.

      I have never been able to stop for more than about a month at a time.

      If I am reading a scary book, watching a movie or not paying attention I bite my nails. I have even bit them in my sleep. Woke up and I was biting them!

      If I stay alert to myself, I can stop, but any rough edges encourage picking and biting.

      If I keep strong results nail complex from avon at my side all the time, I will brush that on when the biting urge strikes and it helps.. but I go through a lot of it!

      Habit, emotional, OCD, I'm not sure, but I am going to stop! Especially after that pic.. urg.. showing my son too, who also bites his nails (probably from watching me :( ...)

    • profile image

      roelkerss 7 years ago

      creams and bitter liquids are the most typical cures, treatments vary depending on the triggering factors involved

      http://juststopbitingnails.com

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      ireland 7 years ago

      i'm 28 and i've been biting my nails for as long as i've had teeth. i don't have triggers, it's just a habit. my mum, and grandad both bit their nails and i think it was a habit i picked up from watching them. i'mm currently on my third attempt to stop. Last time was successful....ffor a while!!!! i even manged to get a french manicure once! I can stop biting for a while but i always fall off the wagon. i honestly found it easier to quit smoking than quit biting my nails.

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      Isabella 7 years ago

      I stopped biting my nails by putting vinigar over them woith spices and salt. they dried and everytime i put my finger in my mouth i would choke. so i stopped, maybe that's a good idea for anyone out there to.

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      stef-26 7 years ago

      i ve been biting my nails severely since childhood and it has been also in my family so its genelogical. my grandfather bit them, my aunt bit them , my uncle bites them, my brother bit them, my mum bit them... my brother and mother managed to stop but i can't.. cause its more severe than they used to...i tried nail polish once and it didn't work as i got used to the taste.. i will try again. i tried acrylic AND gel nails but that didn't work either as my nails are too small and the fake nails couldn't hold on to the real one for long time....im sick and tired of bitig them but i can't stop what should i do?

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      Anna 7 years ago

      I used to bite my nails a lot. they were always all bitten down.

      The polish didn't work for me. I just ignored the taste.

      Instead, I made a deal with myself to stop biting 1 nail at a time. I would bite all the others, but leave 1 finger alone. Then 2, then 3, until I was down to not biting my nails at all ;3 I never ever did it since.

      Worked for me. Maybe it'll work for you?

    • profile image

      b hxcd 7 years ago

      this is so gross f u

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      jaedyn 7 years ago

      sorry that this hapend

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      lopez 7 years ago

      i love biteing my nails....i don't think i well ever stop no matter what

    • profile image

      aj 7 years ago

      i can't stop

      ive been trying to stop biteing my nails , but i just can't stop. this week i will try to stop biting my nail for real

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      lopez 7 years ago

      trying to stop biteing my nails IS NOT EASY AND IT A HABIT AND I WISH I COULD STOP but I CAN'T....but thank FOR THAT PIC I GUESS.... I WELL STOP 4 GOOOD

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      LOPEZ 7 years ago

      trying to stop biteing my nails IS NOT EASY AND IT A HABIT AND I WISH I COULD STOP PUT I CAN'T....PUT THAT FOR THAT PIC I GUESS I WELL STOP 4 GOOOD

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      Amber 7 years ago

      I've been biting my nails for 20 years. I made a no nail biting bet with a co worker to encourage me from not biting. We bet that we wouldn't bite our nails for 1 month and if we did, we would pay the other person $50. The bet was over 1 month ago and we both won. Stopping biting my nails was a little bit hard but worth it. They look great and they are growing very strong. I haven't broke a nail yet.

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      quit smoking cold turkey  7 years ago

      I think nail biting is cause much harm to our hands.I had this bad habit in my childhood and now it is reduced by controlling.

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      beca[: 7 years ago

      ew...................

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      lando 8 years ago

      ive been trying to stop biteing my nails , but i just can't stop. this week i will try to stop biting my nail for real

    • profile image

      lando 8 years ago

      ive been trying to stop biteing my nails , but i just cant stop. this week i will try to stop biting my nail for real

    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      OMG! That is a shocking photo. I'm stoping right now. Thanks for a great hub.

    • shailini profile image

      shailini 9 years ago from Bangalore, India

      thanks for the nice advice.. thumbs up!