Nail biting is a common habit and is also known as onychophagia. This habit is common to both children and adults. Nail biting may cause cuts and wounds which may be painful. Moreover, nail biting may also cause nails to look unattractive.
Common causes of nail biting
Stress, boredom, frustration, anxiety and loneliness are some of the common reasons behind nail biting. It can also be a symptom of psychological conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), separation anxiety disorder or bed-wetting.
Home Remedies For Nail Biting
Garlic is another natural ingredient that can help you in the battle to fight nail biting. Many people dislike garlic’s strong taste and aroma. As garlic is a natural antiseptic, it will also strengthen your nails and keep infections at bay. You can use both raw garlic and garlic oil.
Use Transparent Nail Polish
Application of transparent nail polish having a bitter taste on fingernails can also help an individual in dealing with the problem of nail biting. However, it is important to verify the components/chemicals used in the preparation of such of a nail polish as excessive use of chemicals on fingernails can result in weak and brittle nails.
Treat yourself to a professional manicure as often as you can to help you break the habit of nail biting. A professional manicurist can apply acrylic nails over your natural nails, or add nail décor like jewels, patterns and textures.
Another remedy to stop nail biting is to divert the focus from the current activity to another activity. For Instance, an individual watching television may feel bored after a certain period of time.
Since, boredom has been identified as a cause of nail biting, an individual can play an outdoor game (such as badminton, table tennis and so on) or a computer game to shift his/her focus from the current activity.
Using Vitamin B Inositol
Vitamin B Inositol can also be considered as another remedy to stop nail biting. However, this remedy is used only when the reason of nail biting is stress or anxiety.
Vitamin B Inositol helps in increasing serotonin levels of the brain which may reduce anxiety/stress levels. With a reduction in anxiety/stress levels, an individual may be able to overcome the tendency of biting nails.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with the problem of nail biting is to cover the hands. An individual can easily buy a pair of gloves from the market and use them for covering his/her hands. Use of gloves will prevent the individual from biting nails on a frequent basis. Another option is to cover the fingers with bandages.
Soak Nails in Oil
Nail biting can also be reduced or stopped by regularly soaking fingernails in oils having a foul smell. Some of the oils like castor oil can be used for this purpose. With such a foul smell, an individual may not like bringing his/her hand close to his/her mouth.
Though, it may not be possible to use this remedy in all the situations (as in the case of working professionals), it can be effectively used by students, housewives and so on.
However, if an individual is not able to control his/her tendency to bite nails, this remedy should be avoided. Further, it is important to note that regular application of oils like olive oil, mustard oil, baby oil and so on can also help in increasing the growth of fingernails.