The Effects of Nail Biting and How to Stop

There is a high statistic of kids and teens who bite their nails. Once they start, it’s very hard to stop and many don’t ever grow out of it. If you notice that you are biting your nails as an adult, this probably started when you were young.

It is unclear whether nail biting is genetic or not. But what is clear is that if kids have one or both parents who bite their nails, then they will be more likely to follow in their footsteps and start biting. It has been shown that even if parents stop biting their nails before their kids are born, the children are still likely to bite their nails.

Nail biting can be an indicator of emotional or mental stress. It can also be seen as a nervous habit, when someone is feeling anxious, or when they are feeling down. When someone bites his/her nails, this is a way that they cope with these negative feelings.

Some other reasons people bite their nails are: boredom, when they are hungry, or when they are feeling insecure. Almost all nail biting is an unconscious habit- an automatic reaction, you can do it without thinking about it or even really knowing you are doing it. Beauty ‘N Fashion has created a list of reasons to stop biting your nails and how to prevent it. Keep reading to find out more!

Reasons to Stop

Usually, when people bite their nails, there won’t be permanent damage.
Here are some of the downsides to nail biting:

It can misshape your nails. If you bite too much, too often, and too hard, you can damage the tissue around your nails. This can result in growing your nails incorrectly and will give you an abnormal look to your nails/fingers.

– It can affect your smile. In some cases, you can chip, crack, or break your teeth from biting your nails. In some severe cases, nail biting can cause jaw problems.

– It can make you ill. Your hands touch everything. This means that they can be covered in germs. Nails especially are a prime location for little creatures to hide out under. So, when you are constantly putting your fingers in your mouth to bite your nails, you are increasing your chances of getting sick. Germs can also get into your body through the damaged skin around your nails from you biting them.


Changing your habits takes time. You won’t see a drastic change over night. With just a little time, determination, and effort, you can stop the habit of biting your nails.

Here are some tips to try:

– Use nail clippers to cut them short. If your nails are too short for your teeth to get, it is less satisfying and not gratifying.

– Use an unpleasant flavor on them. If you put a bad taste on them- something you find you don’t want in your mouth, like cayenne pepper or bitter nail polish, this will deter you from putting them in your mouth.

– Treat yourself to a manicure. If you spend money on your new, beautiful nails, you are less likely to ruin them.

– Cover them up by wearing gloves. This is easier to do in the winter time but if you are unable to get to your nails through gloves, you won’t be able to bite them. An alternative would be to put stickers overtop of your nails, if you don’t want to wear gloves all day. The result should be the same if you can leave the stickers on.

-Figure out what triggers you. Nail biting is usually the by-product of a negative emotion you are feeling. If you can notice when you tend to bite your nails more, what the cause is, how you’re feeling at the time, and what exactly you are doing, you should be able to try and find other methods to cope.

– Find other ways to be busy. If you can find something else to do with your hands, you won’t be able to put them in your mouth. Some things that you can use instead are:  a stress ball, fidget ring, a worry stone, or even a pen with a clicking end. A way to keep your mouth busy is to chew gum. There are plenty of ways to release this energy, you just need to find the alternative one that you like.

Some people like to try and quit cold turkey. But usually they have trouble sticking to it. The best way to approach this talk is to take it a little at a time. Set small, achievable, goals for yourself every day. There is no shame in taking baby seps. You can start by setting a goal to not bite your nails for an hour, then make it more, maybe not to bite your nails on your right hand, or to pick your favourite finger and not bite it. Once you see that you can keep it up for a while, add another element or goal until you have stopped biting all your nails.

If you have tried everything and nothing seems to be working, a good next step would be to talk to your doctor. They could suggest therapy as a way to get to the root of the problem of why you ever even started biting your nails in the first place.

How We Can Help

Taking care of yourself takes time and effort, but if you follow the tips from Beauty ‘N Fashion, you can have the beautiful look you deserve. For more information, check out our latest skincare and beauty blog posts!