Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails Although many people think otherwise, biting your nails isnt just about stress, desire or not looking after yourself. This habit can have a psychological undercurrent and many times points to trauma during childhood. Nail-biting, also known as onychophagia, has very serious implications not just from an aesthetic perspective, but also from a health point of view. Nails carry virus and bacteria that can make you ill after coming into contact with your mouth. You can also permanently damage your nails, teeth and even your gums from biting your nails. But dont worry. With a little bit of hard work, skill and the 10 tips youll find in this article youll have pretty healthy nails once again. Why do I bite my nails?. Nails are mainly formed from dead cells keratinized and have all sorts of uses in humans. They can even be used to play string instruments since they make a very distinctive sound. Nail-biting or onychophagia can start just by putting your fingers in your mouth, something children do all the time. Although its not considered an illness per se, it is a psychology pathology that when not controlled, needs specialized help. There are two types of causes:. External: Anxiety or nervousness triggered by daily troubles like problems with your partner, tests, economic or job problems. The person can control themselves. Internal: Change in the nervous system or emotional imbalance caused by family traumas, abuse, jealousy, humiliation, self-esteem problems, or the need to punish oneself. The habit can go on for years and the person bites their nails so severely it can be considered self-harm. You might think a little nervousness never hurt anyone and that your nails will grow back but consider this. Onychophagia has consequences you cant begin to imagine. Nail-biting: Permanent damage. Hand reflect the health and security of a person: clean and cared for hands leave an excellent impression wherever you go. Biting your nails has social, emotional and health implications. Health and aesthetics. Nails carry all sorts of germs which travel through the digestive tract when they get into contact with saliva and can provoke diseases. The damage to the cuticle and the fingers skin can let in bacterial and viral infection through the hands. Can provoke deformations of the fingers and the nail might be lost forever. Chronic inflammation of the fingers. More cavities from damage to the teeth. Emotional. Anxiety about the hands appearance. Low self-esteem. Lack of self-control. Social. The person might feel rejected from society. Personal relationships might be affected. Job problems: turned down at interviews. Stopping biting your nails is beneficial on a social, emotional and psychological level. Here are 10 easy tips to stop biting your nails. Read them carefully and get started!. 10 tips to stop biting your nails. These arent complicated treatments or weird products for your nails that might end up affecting you. If you incorporate these simple tips into your daily life and you really put your mind to it, youll achieve your goals. Tip 1:Self-knowledge and liberation. First you should identify the situations that activate your need to bite your nails like caressing, touching, feeling, rubbing or scratching your nails which lead directly to you putting them in your mouth. The second step is to identify the times when your habit gets activated like tests, before you make certain decisions, etc. The third and final step is to choose the activities that avoid this stress cycle and keep your hands busy: they should be things that you like doing like sports, dancing, playing a musical instrument, etc. That way youll channel your anxiety and you wont hurt your nails. Tip 2: Substitute with plants. Start chewing on edible plants like liquorice root (slowly). That way you wont be biting your nails but youll keep your mouth busy. You need to carry the plants with you in stressful situations; theyll help you focus. Tip 3: Sugar free gum. Its a good idea to chew gum or mints whenever you feel an uncontrollable desire to bite your nails. This is a win-win-win: your mouth will be busy, your breath fresh and youll avoid getting wrinkles because of the jaw muscle movements. Tip 4: Aloe vera. The plant has many health properties but it tastes terrible. Peel an aloe vera leaf and cut it into chunks. Put them in the fridge and rub your nails with a piece every morning. I promise that after you taste them for the first time youll keep your nails far away from your mouth. Tip 5: Self-control exercise. This exercise will help you control your desire to bite your nails:. Put your finger two inches from your mouth. Pull it away. Do this several times, bringing your finger closer and closer to your mouth. Try putting your finger in your mouth for a few minutes without biting your nail. Repeat. Do this exercise a few minutes every day and I promise youll be surprised by the results. Tip 6: Fake nails. Put on acrylic nails. That will let your nails grow and make it impossible for you to bite them. If you spend money on your nails, youll go to great lengths to not ruin them by biting on them. Tip 7: Nail band-aids. Put band-aids on your nails and leave them on a few days (you can change them every time you take a shower). The idea is for you to take off the band-aid and see how beautiful your nails look healthy. Repeat as many times as necessary. Tip 8: Pick up a hobby. This activity will distract you, keep your from biting your nails and at the same time youll discover a new passion. It might be decorating your house, knitting, running or other outdoor activities even, who knows, give your friends manicures. I recommend one that includes getting your hands dirty like anything to do with dirt or plaster. Tip 9: Gloves. If you like gloves, use them. Theyre a great way to prevent onychophagia. Tip 10: Celebrate your success. Celebrate your nails. Talk about how good theyre looking. Encouragement from your friends and family will help you keep them healthy and beautiful. Its more about skill than strength. Now you have several ways to prevent onoychophagia and get it out of your life forever. Dont get depressed. Little by little youll achieve your goal, its just a matter of thinking it through and aiming for it. Choose your tips to stop your nail biting and keep your hands healthy and beautiful.