How can I stop biting my nails?


Dear Daughters,

Nail biting is a common habit many people struggle with. It is a nervous habit for some, and often occurs without a person even realizing they are doing it.

About half of children between the ages of 10 and 18 bite their nails at some point. Some young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 bite their nails, and a small number of adults struggle with nail biting. Most adults with the habit stop by age 30.

Not only does nail biting cause nails to become damaged and fingers to become red and sore, it also transfers germs from the fingers to the mouth.

There are several actions you can take to stop a nail biting habit:

  • Wear gloves or bandages on your nails whenever possible to prevent yourself from biting them. Eventually, you should get used to not biting your nails even when the gloves or bandages are off.


  • Apply a nail biting treatment or polish to your nails. These formulas are intended to be very bitter in taste so it is unpleasant for you to bite your nails while wearing it. You can find this product at your local drugstore.


  • Consider getting regular manicures at the salon if you are willing to spend somewhere between 20 and 30 dollars per appointment. You can choose to only get your nails cleaned and trimmed, or you can also have a polish applied. Clear polish is an option for those who do not want a color. Having your nails look neat may discourage you from biting them and ruining the tidy appearance.


  • If you prefer not to spend money on salon manicures, consider doing a manicure at home yourself. You can find instructions and videos online to help you if you are unfamiliar with the process.


  • Consider wearing artificial nails to prevent yourself from biting your real nails. This will also give your real nails some time to regrow while having the appearance of neat and tidy nails.


  • If you have noticed that your nail biting is due to stress and nervousness, look into stress management techniques.


  • Some techniques include taking a warm bath, doing yoga, meditating or praying, breathing exercises, exercising, napping or drinking something warm. You can search online for more stress management techniques or ask your friends and family about their favorite ways to relax to get some ideas. These activities will help you cope with the stress in your life and may diminish your nail biting habit.

I hope this was helpful.

Love Mom

6 thoughts on “How can I stop biting my nails?

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