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I've tried a lot of things to stop biting my nails but with no success. If there's something you have tried and worked, please share your advice and good practices.

13 Answers 13

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Dab hot sauce on your nails and let it dry out, this should cause you to stop very fast. This is a very easy method but can be painful. If you find out that you actually enjoy the pain, there are some nail polishes with denatonium benzoate (a very bitter substance).

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    I tried this when I was a child but was unsuccesfull. You get used to the bad taste... – Mario Garcia Sep 20 '18 at 13:45
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Get in the habit of carrying nail clippers in your pocket. Bring them with you everywhere you go. Rather than biting your nails, clip them instead.

enter image description here

There's a good chance you'll develop a new compulsion – clipping your fingernails – but that's a big improvement over biting them.

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    Some compulsive nail biters usually have almost nothing to clip. Have seen them bite on nails right down to the middle and keep going. There is nothing much that a clipper can get at that point. – planetregin Jan 25 '16 at 21:04
  • @planetregin - The idea is to switch the habit from biting to clipping. The person might have to let some growth happen first. Anyhow, I know this can work, because I know a few folks who successfully used this approach. – J.R. Jan 26 '16 at 0:38
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One needs to control himself on this.

Best way to control - keep your mind focused on "I don't bite my nails" Keep reminding yourself this statement.

You can even post it on your bedroom wall, desk, washroom mirror or any place where you have your visual focus more.

Hope this helps.

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  • This indeed helps me a lot to control myself, thanks for the advice, bro ;) – Tiago P.C Jan 25 '16 at 19:28
  • Yes. Glad it helped you solve your problem. – GC 13 Jan 26 '16 at 5:17
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I found a very good solution. I work in front of a PC, so I fixed in the screen a paper written "STOP BITING NAILS". So I look to it every time and I don't bite my nails accidentaly as I used to do.

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1

Wear a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you find your hand near your mouth, snap the rubber band(hard!) on your wrist.
Also, keep a file handy for whenever you feel that a nail is out of shape.

Good luck!

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I have just almost finished dealing with this for my 5 year old son. So here is a technique that worked.

"Mavala Stop" is a clear nail coat. Believe me when I say the taste is so yucky that there is no way but to stop putting your nails into the mouth. It took my son couple of weeks to get rid of a habit that was destroying his nails and also bothering us quite a bit. The coat wears off in about 3 days, so replenish it until the habit stops or resurfaces. The customer reviews describe more and no doubt it is the number one product on Amazon for 'Nail growth'. My son's nails are growing back healthily once again. Good luck.

http://www.amazon.com/Mavala-Stop-Biting-Sucking-0-3-Fluid/dp/B0000YUXI0

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1

Biting your nails is likely be just a symptom of something else that is eating at you.

My parents have always wanted me to stop it, gave me nail coat (which were not strong enough I guess), tried punishing me, etc. - none of those worked.

20 years later I am still doing it, but at least now I know the background reason (which is not going to be fixed easily, but that's for another site).

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Tried many of the suggestions here and the only thing that worked long term was taking supplemental vitamin D3. Your doctor can check your D levels. I take 2000 IU per day. Nails got stronger and the urge to pick at them went away. It was a totally unexpected benefit.

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When I was a kid, I had a friend whose mum used to spread the gel from the aloe vera plant (really bitter) on his fingers to stop him from biting. It's edible from what I've read. Try that maybe? Hopefully you don't get used to the taste.

enter image description here

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I bit my fingernails for about 30 years. I didn't enjoy it but seemed powerless to stop. I would do it without conscious thought.

Finally, two years ago after seeing my kids play with fidget spinners I realized that if my fingers were always busy then I couldn't bite my nails subconsciously. I bought a fidget cube and for two months it was either in my hands or in my pocket.

After getting the fidget cube I never bothered my nails again. After two months I no longer needed the fidget cube and gave it to my kids.

Good luck!

enter image description here

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  • This sounds great, I bought exactly this one but...now I have a broken cube, annoyed collegues at the office and still, biten nails – Mario Garcia Sep 20 '18 at 13:48
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just look at the contents of your fingernails under a microscope, the sight of it should stop you pretty fast.

link from womens' health listing things commonly found there

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Don't just clip them, but file them as well. The nicer your nails are, the more of a reason you will have not to bite them. Increase your care for them until you no longer bite them.

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I had this habit throughout pretty-much my entire childhood, into the adolescence. It went away naturally (I was not even aware of it happening) during a 1-week camping trip in the mountains. Because my hands were quite dirty most of the time because of the activities done, the biting just vanished.

While you might not have that luxury, here is some things you can try:

  • ask people around you to give a heads-up when they see you biting your nails. It worked with a colleague in the past, to get rid of saying some words very often, unnecessarily (something like "you know...", but every 20 words or so);
  • attach something to the fingers which you bite first or most often; can be a bit of adhesive paper, medical adhesive band... You can apply it directly on the nail. You will see it stop. It would actually prevent you from biting, even if you were determined (unless you willingly remove it).
  • as an alternative, apply brightly colored nail paint on the nail; while you can still bite the nail, you will still have the heads-up.

If people ask you about it, just tell the truth. There is no shame in it.


When I need to remember something, I write a short word on one of my fingers. When people ask me why I write things on myself, I just tell the truth. It is their problem if they do not agree.

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