19 September 2008

  • Keep your nails trimmed and filed. Taking care of your nails can help reduce your nail-biting habit and encourage you to keep your nails attractive.
  • Have a manicure regularly or use nail polish.
  • Wearing artificial nails may stop you from biting your nails and protect them as they grow out.
  • Paint a bitter-tasting polish, such as CONTROL-IT, Thum or Jessica 'Nibble No More,' a no-nail-biting polish with bitter cactus extract as its secret ingredient, on your nails. The awful taste will remind you to stop every time you start to bite your nails.
  • Try substituting another activity, such as drawing or writing or squeezing a stress ball or Silly Putty, when you find yourself biting your nails.
  • Wear gloves, adhesive bandages, or colored stickers whenever possible to remind you not to bite your nails.
  • Snap a rubber band on the inside of your wrist when you start to bite your nails so you have a negative physical response to nail-biting. Distract your mouth. Eat carrot sticks to keep you busy. Keep a stick of gum handy for those weak moments.
  • Push your cuticles back. Many nail-biters do not have moons on the base of their fingernails because their cuticles have not been pushed back. Gently push cuticles towards your finger to reveal more of your nail. This is easier to do after a shower when your hands and nails are wet. This makes the nail appear longer, and it gives a more attractive shape, which might also be a motivation to stop biting.
  • Behavioral therapy is beneficial when simpler measures are not effective. Habit Reversal Training (HRT), seeks to unlearn the habit of nail biting and possibly replace it with a more constructive habit and has shown its effectiveness versus placebo both in children and adults.
  • Children may bite their nails more often when they are having problems at school or with friends. Talk with your child or his or her teacher about any new stress at school. Children are more likely to stop biting their nails when they understand what may trigger it. It is also important for your child to help choose a treatment method so he or she can use the treatment successfully.Punishing or shaming a child for nail biting is not helpful.
  • Eat calcium- and magnesium- rich foods so that your nails will repair and grow well. A balanced diet, rich in beneficial minerals and vitamins: eggs, soy, whole grains and liver are helpful to nails. Sulfurous minerals found in apples, cucumbers, grapes, garlic, asparagus, and onions all help consistent growth. Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are found in salmon, nuts, seeds and tuna. They all help keep nails shiny and pliable. General vitamins and minerals are also important.


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