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Nail biting, its causes and how to treat it.

Some studies show that 60% children and 45% teenagers have nail biting habits. This habit can continue after age of 18 to adulthood. Most of them often don’t notice this action because biting nail has become a habit.

There are many reasons for this action for example, frustration and loneliness. Some researchers think that genes may be one of the reasons for nail biting. It will not be noticed if this action is ongoing and more serious because biting nail can be a symptoms of psychological condition like obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In children, this action can be a sign of psychiatric disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder or bed wetting…. Nail biting may cause some problems related to nail and surrounding skin. In general, nail biting can be due to physical and emotional problems. It should be limited.

_Causes.

▪️ There may be a genetic link to onychophagia; some people appear to have an inherited tendency toward developing BFRBs, as well as higher-than-average rates of mood and anxiety disorders in immediate family members.

▪️ Nail biting is associated with anxiety, because the act of chewing on nails reportedly relieves stress, tension, or boredom. People who habitually bite their nails often report that they do so when they feel nervous, bored, lonely, or even hungry. Nail biting can also be a habit transferred from earlier thumb or finger sucking.

▪️ While nail biting can occur without symptoms of another psychiatric condition, it can be associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder, separation anxiety, enuresis, tic disorder, and other mental health issues.

_ Nail biting risks.

Some of the risks of biting your nails include:

1. soreness or infection in and on the skin around your nails.

2. damage to the tissue that makes your nails grow.

3. changes in how your nails look.

4. abnormal growth.

5. more frequent colds and other illnesses from placing dirty fingers in your mouth.

6. damage to your teeth from chewing hard nails.

_ Symptoms.

Onychophagia, which often results in visible damage to fingernails, may co-occur with other BFRBs, such as hair pulling or skin picking.

Symptoms are both psychological and physical.

People who chronically bite their nails may experience:

▪️ distressful feelings of unease or tension prior to biting.

▪️feelings of relief or even pleasure after biting.

▪️ feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt, often related to the appearance of physical damage to skin and nails caused by biting.

▪️ tissue damage to fingers, nails, and cuticles.

▪️ mouth injuries, dental problems, abscesses, and infections.

How To Stop Nail Biting Habits Naturally In Children And Adults.

Nail biting is really a bad habit. It is extremely difficult to stop. In order to give up this bad habit, motivation and patience play an important role.

Here are some natural ways for how to stop nail biting habit in children and adults that can be useful:

1. Neem Oil.

This is an useful trick for stopping nail biting because of bitter taste of neem oil. Neem oil has antiseptic property can help to protect the nails from infection.

🔸The usage of neem oil is also rather simple.

Firstly, use a cotton ball to apply neem oil on the nails and wait until it becomes dry. If you bit the nails unconsciously, the bitter taste of neem oil can help to prevent you from nail biting.

2. Garlic.

Garlic is considered as a natural antiseptic that can be helpful for enhancing the nail. Both raw garlic and garlic oil are able to use.

🔸 Here is its usage:

at first, use a half of a clove of garlic to rub on the nails and wait for some minutes before rinsing it off. The lingering garlic taste will prevent from nail biting.

Clove of garlic can be replaced by garlic oil.

3. Bitter Melon.

This is one of the effective remedies for how to stop nail biting habit in children and adult. Like neem oil and garlic, the bitter taste of bitter melon will help to stop nail biting.

🔸 Its usage is to crush one bitter melon to make a paste and after that extract the juice of bitter melon. Use this juice to apply on the nails and wait until it gets dry. These remedies that use natural ingredients like neem oil, bitter melon, or garlic can be applied for children without causing any negative impact.

4. Create A New Habit.

creating a new habit to replace nail biting habit is one of the good ways for how to stop nail biting habit in children and adults. Focusing your energy on other action will help you spend your time on other useful works, at the same time, quit nail biting habit. You can select a good habit related to your hobbies such as painting or drawing that may help you forget the bad nail biting habit.

5.Use Adhesive Bandage.

This solution does not look like eye-catching. But for most people, here is a motivator to stop biting nails. It is very useful for many nail-biters.  With this solution, cover the nail with the adhesive bandages. And keep it every day. However, it should be replaced daily. Take off the adhesive bandages after some weeks. If this habit comes back, repeat this solution.

6.Trim The Nails.

Keeping the nail short will limit nail biting. In addition, it looks very neat and tidy.

References :

How to stop nail biting habit in children and adults”, vkool

“How to Finally Stop Biting Your Nails”, www.healthline.com

Onychophagia (Nail Biting)”, www.psychologytoday.com

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