Published on : 03 September 20203 min reading time
Need advice on how to stop biting your nails? Can’t get rid of this mania? Here are a few tips to help you overcome it. However, as onychophagy is a psychological illness, it is important to explain the causes of this disease to you first.
Causes of onychophagy
Various factors can cause onychophagy, but generally it is caused by a situation of stress or concentration. In children and adolescents, this mania can be adopted by observing those around them, either at home or at school. Most often, onychophagy is benign, however, it can cause micro skin lesions that can lead to local infections, especially when the nail is bitten down to the root of the phalanges. It also causes social trauma, as sufferers find it difficult to cope with their damaged hands. This can result in violence or a tendency to isolate oneself reinforced by the difficulty of stopping. The person who bites their nails is often very shy, anxious and introverted.
Tips for stopping nail biting
It takes time and patience to stop biting your nails. All the more so as temptation is present at all times. This is why here are some rules to follow to get rid of this mania:
Rule n°1: Never bite your nails. This under no circumstances, even to cut them to avoid a possible relapse.
Rule n°2: Get a nice manicure. Begin by filing them well to avoid the temptation to level with your teeth a nail that gets stuck. Wearing a nice varnish or more radical nail polish, false nails, can dissuade you for a while.
Rule n°3 : Moisturize your hands regularly. Indeed, it is not pleasant to have greasy hands in your mouth. So, in the long term, it can disgust you with your mania. You can also try to cover your nails with a bandage. This will prevent you from biting it further and risking an infection.
Rule 4: Chew gum. This will keep your mouth busy and repel the urge to chew your nails.
What to do if nothing works
It is important to know that getting rid of a mania once and for all is a complex process and requires a lot of perseverance. However, if you have already tried everything but nothing works, don’t hesitate to consult a specialist and participate in group therapy. This can teach you how to control your stress. Sports activities are also recommended to channel your aggression and anxieties. However, activities such as sophrology, hypnosis, meditation or yoga can help you to relax and take the stress off your nails.