Nail Biting and General Nail Health

There are a number of people who bite their nails for various reasons. For me, it was a way to deal with idleness and boredom. As much as I felt like stopping, I couldn`t get myself to. It really was an issue, as I had to deal with namecalling. It was quite embarrassing; but eventually, I got myself to stop. I can tell you a number of helpful ways to stop.

Ways to Stop Nail Biting

Commit to Stop

As easy as this sounds, it is quite a difficult thing to do. Every nail biter who has tried to stop knows this. Committing to stop is beyond making up your mind to do so. Go ahead to tell your partner, children, siblings, parents, colleagues, friends, and confidants around you that you are willing to stop. Write it down and stick it over your desk so you can see it every day. Put it on Twitter. Put it everywhere around you!

Identify Triggers

Some people bite out of boredom, others inattentiveness, and even nervousness for some others. Whatever it is for you, find out. You must have, already. It may even be because you`re stressed or unhappy. Just take your time to find events that lead to you putting your hand in your mouth.

Cultivate Mindfulness

Be present and aware of what you’re doing all the time, as much as possible. It isn`t so easy to do, true. It seems easy initially, but then, one begins to slip into forgetfulness. Choose to take charge of your actions at all times. This will prove quite helpful.

Disciplinary Actions

  • So what happens when your accountability partners aren`t anywhere close, your identified triggers come in disguised forms, and mindfulness fails? Now your fingers are in your mouth, or pretty close. Do something. Decide on an action to take to slightly punish your self. I had a friend who would hit his hand on his belt buckle and loudly caution himself. He always made a scene with it. He committed to it. So the fear of making a scene eventually helped him.

Replace the Habit

You`ve identified the triggers, yes. You have also taken other measures to stop. But what happens when you really need to do something when those triggers spark off? If you do not find a replacement for the nail-biting habit, you may just slip into it again. So you need to find what works for you. For some, it may be to fold paper into a boar or airplane, for others, it may be to beat their desks like drums. Find yours. I found clapping to a song in head helpful. It did well in distracting me and dealing with the triggers too. Just be careful not to form a new ugly habit in the process.

Facts that may Help you Stop

  • Fingernails breed all sorts of nasty bacteria. Yuck! The most common kinds of bacteria found under the fingernail are fungus, Staphylococcus Aureus, and yeast. Why would you want to take these into your body? Note that the more bacteria in your mouth, the more stinky your breath will be. Studies show how 75% of people who bite their nails tested positive for ingesting various bacteria.
  • Biting your nails, over time, causes dental damage.
  • Because nail biting is associated with nerves, there are chances that regular nail biters may grind their teeth at night. Teeth grinding causes severe dental damage and even tooth loss.
  • Brace-wearing biters are at a higher risk of causing some damage to their braces and teeth.
  • Nail biting often leads to biting the skin around the nail. But doing this can cause acute infective paronychia. Now, this is gross. You don`t want to have this. It’s caused by bacteria getting into open sores and results in pus forming around the nail.
  • Nail biting can contribute to the spread of STIs.
  • Ingesting nail varnishes in the process of biting nails is dangerous because nail varnishes contain a substance called formaldehyde – the stuff used to embalm dead bodies. And hey, it`s poisonous.
  • Nail biting disfigures gums.
  • Chewed nails can get stuck under the gums and cause painful gum swelling, eventually causing bad breath.
  • People who bite their nails are thought to be self-conscious and low in self-confidence: this may hinder smooth networking and relationships in general.

Foods for Nail Growth



Eggs are full of protein, and protein is essential to growing strong nails. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins, components of biotin precisely, which boost nail growth too.


For the body to use the protein taken in, an amino acid called cysteine, is needed. Broccoli has got this.


Vitamin D

This sumptuous pink fish has got lots of protein and zinc, enabling the body to absorb consumed protein. What`s more? It contains selenium and copper, nutrients that aid in the production of the collagen that boosts nail growth.

Coconut Oil

Consuming healthy fats like coconut oil heighten your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It contains vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which contribute to nail strength.



Chicken is bursting with strength-building vitamin B and protein. Its zinc level is super cool too. All these are great for nail growth.


Spinach is amazingly beneficial to nail health because it contains vitamins A, B, E, iron, and folate. All these are splendid for nail growth and strength.

Other Fingernail Facts

  • The habit of nail biting is medically referred to as onychophagia.
  • Nails grow faster in warmer climates than colder ones.
  • Nails grow faster during the day than at night.
  • The fastest growing nail is the one on the middle finger.
  • The slowest growing nail is the thumbnail
  • Men’s nails grow faster than women’s nails.
  • Nails of younger people grow faster than those of older people.
  • Fingernails grow three to four times faster than toenails.
  • Toenails are approximately twice as thick as fingernails.
  • Fingernails, on average, grow about one-tenth of an inch in a month.
  • Pregnancy causes an increase in nail growth.
  • Nails can to some extent, tell the state of one`s health.
  • Dry nails can be improved by an increased water intake.
  • Keratin, a protein, is responsible for both nail and hair growth.
  • Nails grow faster on the dominant hand.
  • Typing on a computer, a nail massage, or tapping nails on a table lightly stimulate nail growth.
  • Nails are designed to protect the fingertips and toe tips, and the surrounding soft tissues from external injuries.
  • Ten percent of dermatological conditions are related to nails.
  • Cuticles form a protective shield, preventing environmental germs from getting into the body and also helping to retain moisture; hence, the aesthetic act of removing cuticles is not healthy.
  • Nails never sweat because they do not have any sweat glands. Sweat seen around the nails come from surrounding skin.
  • The common belief that white spots on nails are indicative of calcium or zinc deficiency is not true. They don’t indicate any kind of vitamin deficiency.
  • It has been discovered that excessive stress can actually hinder the growth of nails in individuals.

Final Words…

You`ve got tips to make those nails look super attractive. So whether it is on putting a stop to biting, or just making them look good, start taking the necessary steps. Your nails matter.