Did you know that nail biting is officially classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder? On top of being a recognizable medical condition, it is unsanitary, and also leaves you completely vulnerable while waiting for them to grow back. Here is a guide that will hopefully help with curing your impulse control disorder.
Tips on How to Stop Nail Biting:
1. Think about the drawbacks of nail biting. (Beware of nasty image below).
Typical nail infections, such as acute paronychia, can be a direct result of nail biting. Inappropriate removal of the nail plate, the lunula, or the cuticle leaves the skin underneath vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections. Other problems with having your nails too short include being unable to massage your scalp while washing your hair, being unable to scratch an itch, being unable to peel fruits, etc. Although this solution may not work for everyone, it is definitely effective enough for those with frail hearts and a good memory. Keep in mind the image you see below the next time you attempt to bite your nails. Again, beware of graphic image.
Acute paronychia. (DRosenbach/Wikimedia Commons)
2. Every time your finger is in your mouth, imagine trimming your worst enemy’s toenails (yes, with your teeth).
This may sound ridiculous, but if you are serious about stopping your bad habit, this will help dissuade you from using your nails as stress relief. If the chance of getting an infection is not enough to convince you out of nail biting, surely bowing down to your enemy and trimming his ugly and smelly feet with your teeth is a on a whole new level of difficulty.
(Ugly Feet via Shutterstock)
3. Apply nail polish.
For those who prefer to rely on tangible means to rid of a bad habit, the next best thing is to simply apply bitter-tasting nail polish. The more disgusting it tastes, the better. Bring a pack of gum to chew instead, and try to resist the temptation of peeling the nail polish off.
(Nail polish via Shutterstock)
4. If all else fails… to the doctor it is!
Since nail biting is actually a disorder, the best remedies should also be given through medical care. Consult a professional as soon as possible, since you can substantially damage the cuticle if you continue to untimely bite your nails, and that can lead to further infections and diseases. It is thus recommended to prevent this habit as early as possible. Behavioral Therapy and Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT) are two of the more common methods to alter certain unwanted habits and rid of the behavior on the long run.
(Doctor via Shutterstock)
Tips on How to Grow Nails Faster:
Now that you have the solution to stop nail biting, it is important to understand how to care for them. Of course, one of the things we are most concerned is how to grow them back, and fast! Although there is no scientifically proven ways to substantially increase the pace at which your nail grows, the following tips will, at the very least, help you keep them healthy and strong. After all, there is no point in troubling yourself with growing your nails faster if they break often.
1. Eat a healthy diet
Nails are made of keratin, which is a protein that serves to protect the fingertips. To promote stronger nails, it is thus recommended to add a healthy amount of proteins to your meals. You can find them in large quantities in fishes, eggs, beans, tofu, or even turkey breasts. Keep in mind that vitamin A is an essential part of cell division (and is found in carrots and sweet potatoes, to name a few). vitamin D (found in seafood) and calcium (found in dairy products) both help with the structuring of the cell’s membrane. A lack of vitamin C (found in peppers, broccoli, kiwi, etc) can cause hangnails to appear. It is thus important to keep a healthy diet to keep your nails in good shape. Although this might sound tedious, do not forget that it helps not only your nails, but your whole body too.
(Eat Healthy via Shutterstock)
2. Prevent dryness and direct contact with harsh products
Contrary to popular belief, nails are not completely impermeable. It is thus important to keep them away from harmful detergents such as bleach, cleansers, dish detergents, etc. A diet with a healthy amount of fatty acid helps keep them from drying and cracking. Treat your nails with care and if they break, do not tear them off. Don’t forget to trim them carefully. Some recommend nail-strengthening formulas to provide even more nutrients.
(Rubber gloves via Shutterstock)
3. Increase exercise (aka blood circulation)
Blood brings oxygen, nutrients, and other useful elements required for cell growth and reproduction. Increased exercise will help develop your cardio, which in turn will promote healthy nail growth. Again, keep in mind that this will benefit your entire body, not just your nails.
(Exercise via Shutterstock)
4. Keep your hands warm
Nails tend to grow slightly faster and stronger in warmer weather. Be sure to keep those hands heated!
(Winter gloves via Shutterstock)
5. Trim them, don’t tear them
It is recommended to trim nails often and keep them shapely. Do not simply tear or peel part of your nails off.
*Image of “nails” via Shutterstock