The Mayo Clinic reports that nail biting does not typically cause long-term damage; however, it can cause unsightly and unprofessional-looking nails. Though some nail biting is caused by anxiety disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, most nail biters have simply developed a bad habit. There are several effective ways to treat nail biting so that you can go on to have beautifully manicured nails to show off at work or social gatherings.
For the nail biter who bites without thinking about her actions, wearing a pair of gloves can provide a cure. If you have gloves on and cannot get the fingernails into your mouth, you won’t be able to bite them. Wearing gloves for the majority of the day and evening may be necessary for the first few weeks to break the unconscious habit; however, once the daily habit is broken, the gloves can come off for good. This treatment will work well for you if you do not have to go to an office or full-time job site each day, where gloves may not fit with your overall uniform or professional appearance.
Bad Taste Treatment
Coating the tops of your fingernails with an unpleasant taste will help you break the habit, because every time you put your finger in your mouth, the taste will remind you to remove it. You can purchase products at the drugstore, specifically designed to taste bad and break the nail-biting habit, or you can coat the nails with household products including vinegar or mustard.
Pretty Is as Pretty Does
Getting a manicure or painting your nails at home can help you remember not to bite them. If you go through the trouble of getting your nails looking festive and colorful, you may decide to keep them out of your mouth so you do not ruin the look.
If other methods do not work and you suspect your nail-biting habit is actually caused by an anxiety disorder, seek help. Locating and visiting a behavioral therapist can help you resolve your stress and anxiety through counseling, medication or a combination of both. Once the issues are resolved, the nail biting will no longer be necessary.