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A medical term for nail biting is onychophagia, and it is acompulsive habit that both children and adults may have. Besides the fact that itis a really ugly and painful habit, it may have serious consequences, because peoplemay develop bacterial infections on their fingers, fingertips, nails, and theymay also suffer from dental and stomach problems. Bad looking and unsightlyfingernails will probably affect self-esteem of the person in question, whichmay have an effect on her social interaction with other people.

Why do people bite their nails?

Even though people are well aware of the fact that bitingnails is one of the worse habits that they may develop, a great number of themjust does not seem to be able to quit. There is a number of reasons whypeople start with this nasty and unhealthy habit, but the fact is that usuallyit happens in some stressful moments, or in times of boredom, inactivity oranxiety. Unfortunately, many people are not even aware of the fact that theybite nails. Statistical data provides us with some horrifying facts,because the numbers say that about 30% of children have this habit, as well asabout 45% of adolescents and almost 30% of adults.

How to quit biting nails?

Everyone who has faced this problem at least once knows how hard it is to quit this habit and to stop nail biting. However, it isnot impossible. Just like any other addiction, it requires firmness, will, decisivenessand self-control. Some methods of treatment are available for those who thinkthat they might need professional help, and behavioral therapy has proven to bevery effective when other measures failed in providing some positive results. Onthe other side, Habit reversal training has a goal to replace this habit withanother one that is more constructive, but it is necessary to unlearn the oldhabit first. For people who think that they can do this on their own, there arespecial clear nail polishes that can be bought, and they release some bitterflavor when in contact with the mouth. There are nail biting creams that aresuppose to help in quitting this habit, as well as mouthpieces and rubber bandsthat need to be worn around the wrist, but the fact is also that a number ofpeople solved this problem with nail biting hypnosis, at least they say so. A very good advice is to find a hobby in order to keep the hands busy, to distract the mouth by eating carrots, for example, to visit a manicure, or even put on gloves when feeling tempted.

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