How do I stop biting my nails?

34 Answers
Last Updated: 04/01/2019 at 4:12am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Canada
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Sara Radford, MA Clinical Counseling

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Within the context of a supportive, collaborative relationship I help clients to explore themselves in a effort to create healing and lasting positive change.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
November 20th, 2014 3:14am
It is hard! (I know from experience) but what has helped me the most it to wear fake nails (nails- not talons) and to decorate them so that you do not want to ruin them by biting them. (about $10 / 1-2 months for a kit).
ILoveAnimals
December 1st, 2015 10:25pm
start chewing on gum. it'll keep your mouth distracted from chewing/biting your nails.
Anonymous
November 15th, 2014 9:17am
Biting nails is usually a learned behavior in response to a reaction to some stressor in our lives. It can be associated with mental health concerns such as anxiety. There are many means to go about addressing biting our nails like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for example but it is best to consult with a Psychologist or someone trained and licensed is this area to determine the best treatment options.
Backroad
December 24th, 2014 6:30pm
Several treatment measures may help you stop biting your nails. Some focus on behavior changes and some focus on physical barriers to nail-biting. Keep your nails trimmed and filed. Taking care of your nails can help reduce your nail-biting habit and encourage you to keep your nails attractive. Have a manicure regularly or use nail polish. Men can use a clear polish. Wearing artificial nails may stop you from biting your nails and protect them as they grow out. Try stress-management techniques if you bite your nails because you are anxious or stressed. Paint a bitter-tasting polish, such as CONTROL-IT or Thum, on your nails. The awful taste will remind you to stop every time you start to bite your nails. Try substituting another activity, such as drawing or writing or squeezing a stress ball or Silly Putty, when you find yourself biting your nails. If you keep a record of nail-biting, you will become more aware of the times when you bite your nails and be able to stop the habit. Wear gloves, adhesive bandages, or colored stickers whenever possible to remind you not to bite your nails. Snap a rubber band on the inside of your wrist when you start to bite your nails so you have a negative physical response to nail-biting.
nyctophilic
May 14th, 2015 6:53pm
Painting your nails or getting them done professionally, even a clear or nude coat, can be great motivation to stop picking at or biting your nails! The drive to keep the polish intact is a great motivator!
Anonymous
August 31st, 2015 6:12am
Put cayenne pepper on the tips of your fingernails. Each time you feel the need to bite, you will remember not to do it.
Anonymous
February 16th, 2016 7:04pm
Biting nails is something you do when your nervous or are bored you could put nail varnish on them or even clear nail varnish so it will look like you haven't got any nail varnish on and it might stop you from biting them.
Anonymous
February 12th, 2018 4:21pm
You will need to root out the cause - what usually is going on when you start doing it? For example, is it stress? If so, then you will have to try to relieve it and really have the willpower to stop.
PrincessBorderline
November 14th, 2014 3:34am
I have learned that it's a mind over matter process. For me, it helped me by chewing on small straws, almost like the ones you would stir coffee or a drink with, or even gum. After a while, I lost interest in nail biting.
Anonymous
November 16th, 2014 5:22am
I bite my nails all the time and I have found that the best thing for me to do is wear nail polish because then I don't want to ruin my nails and won't bite them. I think different things work for everyone.
Anonymous
November 18th, 2014 2:39pm
I wish I knew. I'm still trying to figure that out myself. I've been biting for many years and the longest i stopped was 3 weeks.
Erynn
December 19th, 2014 5:15am
There are bad-tasting nail polishes that are made to help people stop biting their nails. However, if your nail biting stems from anxiety, it may help to work on increasing the positive ways you try to address and lessen anxiety. Instead of REMOVING your habit of nail biting it may help to REPLACE it with things like breathing techniques, mindfulness, grounding techniques, positive self talk, and self-soothing activities.
Anonymous
December 29th, 2014 3:49am
Reward yourself when you don't bite your nails. Distract yourself when you feel like doing it. Find other things to do when you get the urge.
Savana13
January 8th, 2015 1:55am
Distract yourself and keep your hands busy. That will help and will keep you from biting your nails.
MoonshineStrider
April 11th, 2015 8:30pm
I used to have this problem personally. :3 What I did to break the habit is I started painting my nails, so whenever I went to bite them, I remembered that I didn't want to mess up my nails, and if I forgot not to, it tasted really bad. :P And now, even to this day, I've stopped biting them, but I still paint my nails anyways.
mysteriousWillow50
April 12th, 2015 11:01pm
Part of stopping a bad habit is replacing it with a good one. Such as instead of biting your nails, can you chew gum? Or, do you happen to know what it is that makes you want to bite your nails? Because if you're aware of the behaviour or reason that triggers the nail biting, when you feel like biting...try doing something else. My brother used to be a nail biter, and we had him chew gum or carrot sticks.
Anonymous
May 23rd, 2015 7:54pm
Start by taking really good care of your nails. Take some hair, skin, and nail vitamins and put oil on your cuticles everyday. Putting this much time an effort into making your nails pretty will help you from bitting them. For me, keeping polish on them helped too.
Anonymous
June 13th, 2015 10:12am
Always bring a gumnalong with you. So You can replace a gum instead of nails. It might sound ridiculous but somehow it does works.
Oreo
July 20th, 2015 11:05am
Nail biting may be brought about my mannerism, or it may be indicative of some anxiety or compulsion. Either way it is shown to be bad for ones health in the long run, making the individual vulnerable to infection through the small wounds on the nails or ingestion of microbes present under the nails. It can even promote oral diseases. There are many ways found on the internet that can condition someone to stop biting their nails, such as putting on nail polish or pepper or wearing gloves. However, this may only be curing the symptom and not the underlying cause, which may be anxiety or compulsion that could be indicative of a deeper problem.
soothingMoon97
July 28th, 2015 1:18am
There is a clear nail polish at the store you can pick up - our nails will taste rather bitter when you begin to bite at them
Anonymous
August 4th, 2015 10:49pm
buy some nailpolish, nailpolish isn't really yummi. of course there ae some therapies. i had a friend and she bite her nails to, the naipolish worked a lot.
fluffybutternuts929
August 17th, 2015 3:31pm
find somthing else to chew on like gum or candy and just do that for a while and it wont be long before you dont have the urge to bite your nails
TheComedyTragedy
November 10th, 2015 7:48am
I would recommend putting something on them that you dislike such as vinegar or salt, or shampoo. These can be really useful deterrents, often looking at the underlying cause of the biting such as anxiousness or stress and reducing the cause can help.
Anonymous
December 8th, 2015 5:55am
Have someone call you out on biting your nails whenever they catch you biting them! By allowing somebody to point it out you will become more aware of it and it won't be so much of a habit
1evilqueen
January 4th, 2016 11:31pm
I used to bite my nails really bad out of anxiety. I found there were only few things that helped me. If I got my nails done or put fake ones on or if I looked at my friends long nails and got the right mindset to not bite them.
soothingPeace91
February 15th, 2016 3:46am
find something else to do when you want to bite them. I use to bite them when I was stressed out or anxious.
charmingDay85
February 22nd, 2016 10:29pm
One step is to be aware of the things that trigger you to bite your nails. Biting your nails has become something you do without noticing, so you have train yourself to be aware of those cues. Afterwards, focus on replacing those cues with ones that will help you not to bite your nails. Another way is to coat your nails with clear topcoat polish. When you bite your nails, you will taste that icky taste. Doing this may train you to punish your bad habit.
Alden94
June 7th, 2016 2:16pm
Put cream on your fingernails :D That way you will not want to do it. I used to do it and it helped me.
LydiaDavis
July 11th, 2016 4:45am
I used to bite my nails night and day. I didn't even realize I was doing it until it was too late! I usually did it when I was nervous. I tried to paint my nails as often as I could, and put good smelling lotion on. This way, when ever my hand ended up in my mouth, it would taste bad.
Anonymous
August 16th, 2016 5:30pm
Ohh I would defenitally try putting on nail polish, no one wants to bite chemicals! And if you do it when nervous try an alternative