Nail Biting Or Onychophagia: Causes And Remedies

Nail biting or onychophagia usually starts in childhood and can become a lifelong habit. How a child gets this habit is not always known, but once it starts, it can be difficult to quit.

25 Mar, 2023

Longjam Dineshwori

Is nail biting genetic?

Scientists aren’t sure about it, but children whose parents bite their nails are more likely to develop this particular habit.

Source: Thehealthsite

When do you bite your nails?

Nail biting is almost automatic. Most of the time, people who have the habit of biting their nails are not aware that they are doing it.

Source: Thehealthsite

You’re emotionally or mentally stressed.

Some people tend to bite their nails when they are nervous, anxious or feeling down as a way to cope with emotional or mental stress.

Source: Thehealthsite

You’re bored or frustrated.

Once nail biting becomes a habit, you may start biting your nails automatically when you’re bored, hungry or frustrated, to keep yourself occupied.

Source: Thehealthsite

You’re concentrating on something.

Some people tend to bite their nails during moments of intense concentration or while trying to work out a problem, without even being aware that they’re doing it.

Source: Thehealthsite

You’re dealing with a mental disorder

Nail biting is also associated with certain mental health conditions like ADHD, depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety disorder, or Tourette syndrome.

Source: Thehealthsite

Health risks of nail biting

Nail biting rarely causes permanent damage, but it definitely has many side effects. If you swallow bitten-off nails, it can increase your chances of stomach and intestinal infections.

Source: Thehealthsite

How to stop nail biting

To kick the habit, cut your nails short, paint your nails with a bitter flavor nail polish, wear gloves, know your triggers and find other ways to cope.

Source: Thehealthsite

Thanks For Reading!

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