How to Stop Biting Your Fingernails – What worked for me!

How to stop biting your nails

If you could only see my grandmothers poor fingernails. She, like millions of other people, bites her nails almost nonstop to the point there is nothing left to bite. I was once in that same boat. Whenever I was in deep thought, the default would be to bite my nails. This became such a bad habit and I didn’t realize the negative effects this had on my health.

I was aware of my problem and the cosmetic aspect alone should have been enough to encourage me to quit but it was much deeper than that. Scientist to this day don’t fully understand why people bite their nails. Some researchers believe nail-biting to be directly correlated with nervousness or anxiety.

Biting your nails is not only a bad habit, but it can cause other health and cosmetic issues. Your nails are not always soft and biting them over time can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth as well as cause your teeth to shift. This damage can be cosmetically ugly and costly to fix.

If you are like me then you may have tried several ways to quit biting your nails and failed many times. The idea of putting something gross or hot on your nails, didn’t work. Trying to wear gloves all the time was another one that just got in the way. Today I am going to share with you how to stop biting your fingernails, for good!

Regardless if you are biting your nails when you are hungry, frustrated, bored or anxious, you should become more conscious of the problem and nip it in the bud. Let’s make this happen !

Why Do People Bite Their Nails ?

Scientist have studied the human mind and our habits for hundreds of years but still have no real answer to why people bite their nails. I think this is party due to the fact that there isn’t a one size fits all answer to the common issue. Roughly 20-30% of the population are nail biters, so let’s explore why so many people struggle with this bad habit.

One thing that has been shown to play a part in the nail-biting dilemma is genetics. As I said before my grandmother was and still is a nail biter and she isn’t the only one in my gene pool with the habit. Just like with other genetic issues passed down this one can be beaten.

Aside from genetics, a 2012 study by the American Psychiatric Association decided to list nail-biting as an OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD is an anxiety disorder that leads people to obsessive thinking as well as compulsive actions.

The habit has gotten so bad that there is actually a medical name for it. Onychophagia is considered a pathological oral habit and grooming disorder characterized by chronic, unstoppable nail-biting that can damage fingernails and the surrounding tissue.

If you are a nail biter you are not alone. The studies that have been conducted seem to lean towards nervousness and anxiety as the underlying cause for nail-biting. It could be related to OCD, or even partly genetic but this habit effects a lot of people in different ways.

Side effects of Nail Biting

We know that a lot of people bite there nails and they usually want to quit. Quitting can be a tough task especially if anxiety is one of the reasons we do it. You may think that it isn’t a big deal and who cares what my nails look like, but there are other health related issues that come along with nail-biting.

Biting your nails is really disgusting. Germs can live for up to 3 hours on your hands and your fingertips have more than 2 million bacteria at any given time. The bacteria and other germs can cause infections in the gums as well as inflammation that can led to future gum loss and decay.

Another problem that comes from biting your nails too short is that it can expose the under part of the nail and cause infections. This is know as paronychia. Symptoms of paronychia include red swollen areas that hurt around the nail and cuticle area. The infections could led to pus-filled blisters around the nail and no one wants that.

As if germs and infections aren’t enough, often times biting your nails will led to teeth damage and shifting. Dental costs are already very high and adding another bill because of a bad habit doesn’t seem like a great idea. This was one of my personal experiences as a nail biter. I have had a lot of issues with my teeth and gums that were directly related to the enamel damage and bacteria from my compulsive nail-biting.

There are many negative side effects of nail-biting. The one that I want to point out is appearance. If you go to a job interview most likely you will shake the interviewers hand (maybe not anymore) . Having  clean fingernails will look better than short infected ones and give you more confidence.

Home Remedies

Last thing before we talk about how I quit biting my nails more than 4 years ago and haven’t looked back. I tried many home remedies. You should be able know we write a blog about natural healing so quite naturally that is the way I went. This was all before I started to understand the underlying issue to my habit.

If you are like me then you most likely tried many ways to quit. Many of you may have had some level of success with the remedies I will mention and that is great. In my trial and error days I realized that with each attempt I would always eventually fall right back in.

The first thing I tried was the coating my nails with something spicy. This led me to be less productive as I made a mess with everything I touched. I would was it off and soon enough back to biting. I then tried to wear gloves. This was another one that simply slowed me down in my day to day tasks.

I heard that the habit is a grooming habit and going to get a manicure could help. Going to get a manicure was actually a great experience but the problem was they had no nail to take care of and honestly I felt a little awkward in a nail Solon. The last thing I tried before giving up on all the easy home remedies was a stress ball.

The stress ball lasted a week or so before I was not only using the stress ball but still biting my nails each time I put the stress ball down.

How I Quit Biting?

CBD is what helped me quit biting my nails for good. I had to find my trigger and understand the root of the problem. Now that I understood that it was anxiety that came from certain situational moments at different times throughout the day, I could address it properly and still naturally.

Having OCD was the real reason,  not only for my nail-biting obsession, but for so many of my productivity issues in my life. Knowing this and understanding how CBD works changed everything.

CBD helps promote and maintain a stable mood and promotes a sense of well-being. The decision to take CBD wasn’t only or even primarily to stop biting my nails, but since nothing else had worked it was a factor.

Since taking CBD for the first time I noticed I am more calm, focused and overall relaxed throughout the day. The constant angst and procrastination that held me down from being happy and successful in life seemed to be lifted from my shoulders. My obsessive behaviors like always feeling for my wallet and keys as well as moving things in to a symmetrical order slowly began to fade away.

I believe to this day that before I started taking CBD I bit my nails because of my OCD which is an anxiety disorder. Living with anxiety is not fun for anyone, especially those you live with. Learning about CBD was a life changer for me and my family. I didn’t just conquer the battle with biting my nails I defeated OCD and anxiety.

The real reason other remedies don’t work for biting your nails is the same reason they don’t work for smoking cigarettes, they try to cover up the issue instead of uprooting it!

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We use the tinctures in the morning under the tongue and before bed for s a sound nights sleep. We give our 9 year old the gummies sometimes because, well, kids like gummies. I personally have major pain from a motorcycle accident that broke my leg years ago and Joys CBD Salve is great to massage in to joints and muscles to sooth them.

My wife and I also love the bath bombs that are great for a nice candlelit relaxation time away from the stress of everyday life.

Joy has many products and if you are looking to try a new way to stop biting your fingernails then I would definitely recommend using a tincture or soft gel tablet to ease your mind and help you to relax. Joy has so many amazing products and CBD can help with many things.

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6 thoughts on “How to Stop Biting Your Fingernails – What worked for me!

  1. Thanks for the interesting article. My sister used to bite her nails constantly when we were growing up. As far as I know she still does. I think this article and website will help her a lot. It will help me as well. I like the subject.


    1. Thanks for reading John. I hope that the information will help you and your sister quit biting your nails. It was a tough battle for me but once you win you will be so happy you did.

  2. Hello Dustin,
    I am so glad I came across your post. Someone in our family is a nail bitter. He suffers from PTSD and anxiety. So, I understand what you’re talking about. When the anxiety kicks in, he’ll bite his nails until they’re so short but he never get to the point where he hurts himself and damages the surrounding tissue. Thank God! But the problem remains. Just like you, he did get stress balls, got manicure, but those are a kind of a short fix for him. He stopped biting his nails when he went to see psychiatrist and joined support groups. He even got a small token that says 30 days sober. Then after he “graduated” from the support groups, the nail biting habit is back. So, I think we’re going with CBD. We’ll give it a try. Thank you for sharing your story and experience.

    1. Thank you so much for reading our blog. I write these with the hope of helping others with problems I have personally dealt with and beat. I truly believe in CBD and I know it will help your family member with PTSD and Anxiety. Please keep me posted on the results you see when he starts taking the CBD.

  3. Hi Dustin,
    This is great information. I wish I knew about this when I was younger and a nail biter. Though CBD wasn’t around that long ago, lol.
    I suffered most of my young life with nail-biting and finally kicked the habit in College. I think it was more embarrassment than anything else. Even being medicated for infections didn’t stop me!
    Now, reading your article, I realize it was most likely from my anxiety. I wasn’t diagnosed until much later in life, but I can connect the dots now. This is something I’ll be watching for in my grandkids.
    Thanks so much, I really appreciate your information!

    1. Hey Suzanne,

      Thanks for reading our article on nail biting. I am glad to hear you were able to kick the habit. It was embarrassing to me as well. I remember the first time my grandma noticed I quit biting my nails, she couldn’t believe it. Wish you the best.

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