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How can I Stop Biting my Fingernails?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
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Nail biting is a common habit which has a variety of root causes. There are several techniques you can use to stop biting your fingernails, including the use of bitter tasting substances, hypnosis, and regular nail care. If you can successfully stop the biting, you will enjoy healthier nails and cuticles as well quitting a nasty habit.

Start by identifying the root cause for the nail biting. Biting the fingernails is usually a reflection of an oral fixation: perhaps you are stressed out or recently quit smoking. It is important to understand why you are doing it, because as you stop biting your fingernails, you will want to find ways to distract yourself, such as chewing gum, knitting, or finding another activity for your hands. If you know the root cause, you can distract yourself in situations where you might normally bite your nails.

An important first step is trimming your nails. Keep the nails short by filing them, and trim the cuticles as well. If your nails are short, there will be less available to bite. If you do find yourself biting a nail, stop immediately and file the nail not only to shorten it, but also to file any ragged parts away.

One typically successful way to stop biting your fingernails is the use of a substance with a bitter flavor. Many companies make products, such as bitter nail polish, to help you keep your fingers out of your mouth. Other items around the home such as habanero pepper, soap, or anything else you can find with a bitter or intense taste can be just as effective. Apply the product to your hands frequently throughout the day, but be careful not to rub your eyes or any other delicate areas.

A manicure may also help you stop biting your fingernails. Manicures will trim away dead skin on the cuticle, strengthen the nail, and shorten it if you request it. The polish used often tastes bitter, and will remind you to stop biting your nails if you unconsciously start again. For people who cannot afford manicures, consider nail polish, either clear or colored.

For severe cases, hypnosis can be used to end this habit. You can visit a hypnotherapist for multiple sessions or purchase tapes recorded for nail biters. It may take several sessions to see results with hypnosis, but it can result in long term behavioral modification that will prevent you from biting your fingernails ever again.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon953395 — On May 26, 2014

I constantly bite my nails, maybe since I was five or something. Now I'm twelve, and to be honest, I'm a strange person so basically what I do is bully myself, and to be honest, it works. Put it this way: people look at you strangely, people tend to think it's weird, so what I do is have some corner of my brain tell me that my nails are ugly, and the only way to make them pretty is to stop biting, and then, "Anna, stop biting your nails you idiot. Do you know how many germs gather on them? Would you rather die of an infection, and eat yucky stuff from your hands, or have beautiful, gorgeous nails that everyone will love?"

And sometimes, when I bite, "Oh no you didn't, Anna. You're going to be so ugly. Your oral health is going to kill you, and your nails won't ever be french-manicured. That nail polish you wear? Ugh, look at it. You bit it all away. Not right. I am tempted to dig myself out of your brain just because I don't want to look at them. My god, get your act together girl. Otherwise..."

And, "I heard that people who bite their nails die quicker, and more painfully. Isn't that a strange fact?"

Maybe I'm insane, but it works, it's been a day and I haven't bitten my nails once!

By anon950151 — On May 08, 2014

I'm 20 years old now and I've bitten my nails basically since I had teeth. There are plenty of pictures of me biting my nails before I even realized what I was doing. I'm a chronic nail biter and my nails are always down way past the quick. No longer than 2 or 3 millimeters at most. I work in a pharmacy and I genuinely find myself embarrassed of my nail handing people back their change. I'm currently studying pharmacy in college and I really want to break this habit, I don't want something like this to cost me a job in the future!

Last year, I successfully stopped biting for over six months! I achieved this by painting my nails a different color every night. Time consuming yes, but it was definitely worth it. The only thing was that the white of my nails started down where I used to bite my nails to and they even sort of stuck upwards. However I relapsed and haven't tried again since. Last week I got the motivation to try again. I painted my nails a clear color and I have gone five days now without biting them! Hopefully it'll work this time and good luck to all of you trying yourselves!

By anon349530 — On Sep 26, 2013

I tried to stop but I only lasted for a day. I decided to only bite one of my nails that is on the left hand and it didn't work. What am I to do? I can't wear nail polish to my school and a manicure is too expensive in Jamaica. What am I to do?

By anon339989 — On Jun 28, 2013

I'm 14, almost 15, and have been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. They were embarrassingly short, and I could only go a couple of weeks (at best, when I tried to quit) without biting.

I only just managed to kick my habit, and it came in a slightly odd way. I had to have shoulder surgery three weeks ago, and so I decided that with my arm in a sling I didn't want to bite one hand and not the other, thinking that that would look even more disgusting than two bitten hands. Three weeks is probably the longest that I've ever gone without biting and the improvement I've seen is incredible.

The only thing that ever came close to working for me before this surgery was chewing gum. If I was busy chewing gum I didn't feel the need to put my nails in my mouth, so I suggest giving that a shot!

By anon327823 — On Mar 31, 2013

I bite my nails and I am really upset. Luckily I am starting to leave my nails. I look at nail polish ideas to make me think that if I bite, I can't do those designs but if I leave them then I can.

But the pinky finger next to it that nail is straight, not curved, so basically I am going to cut them all straight then get a buffer and make them all curved.

In my whole life even though I am nine, no one has seen my nails except for my parents.

By anon327476 — On Mar 28, 2013

Looking over all the other posts, certain words keep jumping out: "nervous," "anxious," "worried." This really is a "nervous habit," perhaps with a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (I mean, c'mon, the way we can't stop, or the lengths someone must have to go to to bite their toenails?)

If you can afford counseling, I think a behavior that is making you miserable, but one that you are unable to stop, is definitely worthy of counseling. Don't let feelings of shame keep you from getting help: the counselor has heard (and seen) a lot worse!

If you can't/won't get counseling, try to identify situations that are triggers and prepare for them by having something to occupy both your hands. Cat's cradle string games, fidget toys for kids,rolling a half dollar across your knuckles, or any other activity that occupies your hands or provides tactile stimulation will help. Find something unobtrusive to use at work/school. Also try prayer or meditation when stressed at home. Don't give up, or beat yourself up!

By anon327474 — On Mar 28, 2013

I'm also an on-again-off-again nail biter, and keeping your nail's jagged edges smooth is vital to not biting. Those rough edges are both attention-getters and a starting point to chew on. Keep an emory board with you at all times; one in every purse or pair of pants, and in your desk and car. Clear nail polish also helps smooth the rough feel. If you can manage to get your nails grown out to the point where they don't feel so rough,(not even to the end of your fingers), they don't feel so annoying. After that, it gets easier. Still, if a nail breaks, or I bite it off to shorten it instead of getting clippers, I can go right back into biting mode, so I really like the idea of having something for my hands. Anyone remember worry stones?

By anon255996 — On Mar 20, 2012

Look at it this way. For every day you bite your nails, will be a day it takes to quit. If you destroy the nail "bed," you will have a hard time getting it back.

By anon255858 — On Mar 19, 2012

I am 12 years old, and i have been biting my nails for about seven or eight years, and I can't stop! I have tried everything and nothing seems to work! When I'm older I want to have nice nails not be 'the girl with horrible nails.' Please, please help! Thanks,

By anon253596 — On Mar 10, 2012

I have been a chronic nail biter nearly all my life, since before I can remember. I used to be able to stop for short periods, usually by getting false acrylic tips, and this would give my nail a chance to grow out. But they were weak and broke easily, and then something would get me started biting again (stress usually).

And as for the person who commented on toenail biting, I also did that up till my late teens! When you run out of fingernails, you get creative. It keeps you flexible, I guess--and nobody would do that in public, so whose place is it to comment? Other people do much worse things in public and private.

Unlike smoking, nail biting only affects the person doing it, even if the habit is unpleasant.

Anyway, what helped me quit for good is gel nails. They last well, look great, and don't leave your nails soft and weak when they grow out. I have been getting regular gel nail manicures for the past year and my nails look great. It isn't the cheapest thing, but some people spend more on hair, makeup or clothes. I'd recommend trying a gel manicure for anyone serious about wanting to stop. Good luck!

By anon229684 — On Nov 15, 2011

Unfortunately the nailbitestopper went out of business. Too bad because it worked. You can always get your dentist to make you a mouthpiece. --Dondee

By anon228805 — On Nov 10, 2011

I'm Elysse and I'm 13 years old. My habit really was passed on from my dad, as he [and still does] bite his nails until it hurts. I have also found recently I bite when I'm in an awkward situation, bored, hungry or upset. My main reason is because I am a very shy person, I mean very shy. I don't stick my hand up in lessons as I am afraid of getting laughed at. I hardly talk to anyone as I am afraid they will be either mean or hate me as I was a really mean person when I was younger and no one liked me, and also because I am afraid to reveal my teeth because they are pointed outwards because I used to bite my nails, then converted to a dummy to keep me distracted, and finally the dummy shaped my teeth and I had to go back to my nails.

I have stopped for about a week and I think extensions help, spraying different perfumes on (change when you get used to the taste) and also either chew gum, drum your fingers on the table or bite your tongue.

My problems are I bite the inside of my cheek, lip, fingers and they get torn off. I hope this helps?

By anon223708 — On Oct 20, 2011

I have always been a nail biter up until where I decided I wasn't going to bite my nails any more. It took a little discipline to do but every time I would catch myself biting my nails I would slap myself, or use my recently chewed and sharp nails to claw myself if I were in public. (it's kind of weird to see someone slapping themselves in public. clawing/scratching isn't as noticeable) Eventually, it paid off and I haven't bitten my nails for a year now!

By anon223084 — On Oct 17, 2011

I'm 20 years old and I bite my nails every day. I started when I was very young. Before I started, I pulled my hair out. I've tried bad tasting stuff, will power and yesterday, I got fake nails on and I just bite them off to get to my real nails. I hate having bloody, infected fingers all the time!

By anon218595 — On Sep 29, 2011

how the hell does that dude bite his toenails? you must be really flexible. and oh yeah, that's beyond disgusting.

By anon208652 — On Aug 23, 2011

I bite my nails and I find it disgusting, but I can't stop, but now my dentist gave me a retainer (because of my teeth) and even if I try to bite my nails my retainer just doesn't let me! I am so happy now that I don't bite my nails so much!

By anon198819 — On Jul 21, 2011

I'm 14 and I've bitten my nails for all my life. I hate that I do it and I tried to stop- I lasted for about a week before I just couldn't take it anymore. I don't know- it feels like some type of disgusting addiction or something. I tried to distract myself, so I chewed on my tongue instead (tongue hurt), played guitar obsessively (fingers hurt), etc. I feel like I've tried everything I can but nothing works. Sigh.

I really regret not having quit this habit when I was younger! I feel really self-conscious whenever people say anything related to fingernails and hands and I'm always ashamed to reveal my nails. I hope I can quit!

By anon186868 — On Jun 16, 2011

I'm 18 years old and i recently stopped biting my nails, and it feels great!

One thing that really worked for me was one nail at a time. I stopped biting the pinky then when i realized how nice it looked, I stopped biting the ring finger and continued like that. Now I have really cute nails, and I keep them painted so i won't be tempted to bite. Hope this helps. --Cj.

By anon180927 — On May 27, 2011

I'm a 15 year old teenager and I bite my nails. I've started since about third grade or so maybe second. I've tried so many things to prevent me from biting them off but they won't work.

This is the part i don't exactly get: when I'm not biting the nails off I'm ripping them off with other torn up nails. It's disgusting and i need to stop. If you can help me or tell me some things i can do please let me know.

By anon174191 — On May 09, 2011

I'm an adult married guy who has been a chronic nail biter more than 35 years (fingernails and toenails)! On a conscious level I'm aware that this habit is infantile, filthy and uncouth. Nevertheless, I have never been able to control the compulsive urge or stop for more than a week or two. I bite my fingernails in public all the time. When I was a child and teen I was often caught biting my toenails but now only do it in strict privacy. I do go barefoot and wear flip flops in warm weather which highlights my low bitten toenails.

Some people remark about them sometimes but I'm no longer embarrassed about it. For better or worse, I'm resigned to being a lifetime nail-biter.

By anon169733 — On Apr 22, 2011

I bite my nails too. My boyfriend dislikes it, and he's slightly OCD, but he's still with me somehow, I guess everyone has some kind of problem in life. For christmas he bought be a nintendo ds, since it's a handheld gaming console, and when I'm playing it, I'm distracted and will not tear at or bite my nails.

Play a non stop action game where you have to frantically hit buttons. You'll be so distracted by that, you won't remember. I suppose whenever you're not playing it you'll have to resort to some other method. It's hard, but maybe this will help for you people with too much time on your hands.

By anon168697 — On Apr 18, 2011

I always used to bite my nails until the first of this year (2011). I quit for a little over a month before unconsciously restarting my bad habit. What i realized is that it is a nervous habit for me, and i most often find myself biting in math class when problems are challenging. However, what triggered me to start up again after the month that i had stopped was a car accident. I bit my fingernails to the edges the whole way home. The best way to have nice looking nails is honestly to not bite, keep them filed, and results will follow. It is tough at first, trust me on that, but by the time you start seeing a nice looking hand, it is a lot of motivation.

By Jodie123 — On Apr 16, 2011

well my story is that i am biting my fingernails from the age of three to 11 years old and i know how to stop biting your nails. like, if you put some music on, you can dance to it (that's what i do) or do something like knitting. I always bite my nails when i am bored but now this website has helped me so much.

By anon166343 — On Apr 08, 2011

I have been a habitual nail biter since I was a kid. I cannot stop it even at 20 years.

My parents always rebuke me to stop the nail biting whenever they see it, but, I don't stop. For the last month, I made a decision to stop biting my nails again and I wear hand gloves most of the time of a day and I am gradually stopping.

Now,there is a problem on my nails. My nails become very unattractive to look at after biting them so many years. I like to know if there is any medicine or nail cosmetic to help. do you guys know what can make my nails beautiful again.

By anon158358 — On Mar 06, 2011

I've been biting my nails ever since my teeth grew in! i don't remember a time when i don't bite. I've tried stopping many times, and succeeded for two months max, my nails grew in perfectly and looked amazing, then stress and back to the old habit and I'm trying to retry stopping but it's not working!

By anon157470 — On Mar 03, 2011

I am a clinical hypnotherapist and it only takes 2 sessions to permanently treat nail biting and trichotillomania. I still cannot believe that so many people have to live with this when the solution is so easy. Try to look for a good local hypnotherapist in your area because that's what we do every day.

By anon150692 — On Feb 08, 2011

I cannot stop biting my nails! i am not allowed to chew gum at school and wearing gloves would be awkward! i always seem to chew that nail polish off. it's gross!

By anon150408 — On Feb 07, 2011

unfortunately the nailbitestopper went out of business. Too bad because it worked. You can always get your dentist to make you a mouthpiece. --Dondee

By anon149778 — On Feb 05, 2011

I am a nail biter, and this reason is one I don't think anybody can figure out.

I've got this phobia of my nails being touched/getting anything under them/them being ripped off.

I'm pretty much scared of them being ripped off, so about every five seconds, I feel the urge to press them down, and then I started biting them down as I thought it felt better, then that's when I started biting my nails.

I hate having them long as well, because whenever I have long nails, things get stuck in them.

By anon148563 — On Feb 02, 2011

For me as a nail biter, I think that the dirt and skin that accumulates under the nail is grosser than keeping them short. At least that's one reason.

By anon144948 — On Jan 21, 2011

I'm a huge nail biter! i started biting my nails when i was a kid and now I'm 13 and i can't stop! believe me i have done and tried everything but it is just not working.

I tried to use those nail polishes that taste horrible but then i got used to it so it didn't bother me. i tried to wear gloves but wearing gloves at school is embarrassing, believe me! one day at school i had plasters with me so i put them on my fingers! everyone laughed at the idea and so did i. i mean, c'mon, wearing plasters! ha ha ha!

sometimes i put on a new and super cute nail polish on so that i don't bite my fingernails, but i forget myself and bite them. It's so disgusting!

Nobody thinks I'm disgusting because i bite my nails, but I do, and that's what's important! i see all my friends and their non-bitten fingers and sometimes I'm jealous. When i was 10, for one or two months i stopped nail biting. i don't know how. i worked really hard for it, but then i don't know how i restarted with this awful habit and now, no matter how hard i try i can't stop!

But I've now i decided that I'm going to stop nail- biting. This is my decision and you will see one week later i will rewrite a comment and i will tell, see? i stopped nail-biting. I'm no longer that awful nail-biter! So wish me good luck!

By anon142863 — On Jan 14, 2011

I've been biting my nails since I was about five or six years old and I'm nearly sixteen now and will soon be applying for sixth form. I know it is a disgusting habit and my nails are in an appalling state because of it, but no matter how much I try, I just can't seem to stop chewing them.

I've tried the 'Miracle Grow' nail varnishes that taste awful, but I just couldn't stop chewing - eventually I'd gotten used to the taste and so it no longer bothered me.

I've tried to stop using just willpower alone. I've even measured my nails with a ruler and set myself targets, such as growing my nails by a millimeter by the end of the week.

Recently, I've tried wearing gloves after the plasters came off whenever I washed my hands, but not being able to grip things or turn pages properly frustrated me nearly more than my sister and parents yelling at me to 'get my fingers out of my mouth' all of the time.

Even all the horror stories about nails being malformed from all the chewing and about all the germs that are on our fingers doesn't deter me from biting.

I honestly don't know what I can do to stop, and I really do want to stop - believe me, our end of year ball is coming up soon and I definitely won't get a date if my nails look like they do. I keep on telling my family that it's terribly difficult to stop and that the urge to bite something - anything - is too great to resist, but they think it's pathetic that I can't stop and that I'm probably just doing it to spite them. My family and friends don't know how torturous it actually is looking at the damage you've done to your nails everyday. It's as if I'm not even controlling it any more. I don't realize when I'm biting and when I do realize, I can't bring myself to stop.

I've even talked with my Mum about buying some sort of dog's chew toy to chew on if I ever get the urge to bite. Now if that's not desperate, I honestly don't know what is.

By anon141940 — On Jan 11, 2011

I'm a horrible example--an adult married guy who still bites his fingernails and toenails to the nub. Sad to admit that I never outgrew and could not stop the habit. On a whole, I am a conventional, reasonably intelligent and athletic guy who accepts nail-biting as part of who I am.

If you are curious, I only bite my toenails in private, but when I am barefoot or wear flip flops in warm weather my toenails are obviously extremely bitten. I also regularly bite my fingernails in public (to the chagrin of my wife) but it is a natural routine. I know it turns off a few people, but that no longer bothers me.

By anon141592 — On Jan 10, 2011

I been biting my nails since I was 5 and I'm 13 and my nails look horrible.

By anon140843 — On Jan 08, 2011

i have bitten my nails all my life and it runs in my family. i am trying hard not to and i haven't chewed for three days! Wish me luck!

By anon139105 — On Jan 03, 2011

i quit smoking a few years ago. i think that was when i started nail biting again (i was biting nails as a kid).

its harder to quit nail biting than it is to quit smoking.

It's a dirty, disgusting habit though. i am going to try really hard not to bite, perhaps keep a couple of cigarettes handy (just kidding.)

By anon138604 — On Jan 01, 2011

I've been biting my nails since i can remember! i am in seventh grade and i really want to stop, even as i read all the comments i was biting. i look at my nails and want to stop but always bite again, embarrassed by my nails i never show them. Help!

By anon138362 — On Dec 31, 2010

I'm a nail biter, but I've found that just by painting my nails a bright color I slow down enough to notice when I'm doing it. I think part of the reason is that when my nails look nice, I'm encouraged to let them grow.

Plus, I promised myself that if they grow to a certain length I will get a manicure. It helps to have some incentive. I always slip back again, but each time it's a bit easier to grow them. Little by little, I suppose, is the way to go about it.

By anon133750 — On Dec 12, 2010

i don't even realize when I'm doing it. and when i do realize I'm doing it, i get angry at myself, frustrated and upset. All of my friends have nice nails and i don't want to go to the manicurist to get one done if they are disgusting. i just know how they'd react. how they'd lecture me.

i really want to stop, I've even put band aids over my fingers to make it stop! now that's desperate!

By anon132448 — On Dec 06, 2010

Try getting acrylic or gel nails put on. keep them on for about a year or so and you're good to go! The thing is when you have fake nails, you get so used to the way nails feel you won't want to bite them. And you can't bite fake ones, they won't break.

I've done it and it worked for a while but I took them off too soon. I'm back to my old ways, but I'm sure with enough willpower it's possible! Good luck!

By anon132166 — On Dec 05, 2010

I accidentally found the answer to your nail-biting. I have been a life-long nail-biter. I'm 48 years old and cannot remember a time that I didn't bite my nails and I mean down to the quick.

Then, last year, I lost a sister to an illness and my other sister kept telling me to ask the doctor for cymbalta to "take the edge off". After about a week, I realized how much calmer I felt. And guess what? About three weeks later, I looked down at my hands and realized my nails had grown out. I no longer bite my nails.

It's not habit; it's anxiety! They won't give cymbalta to kids, but for you adults, I'm telling you, I stopped overnight. My nails are long and I never have put them back in my mouth. It's anxiety. I am absolutely shocked that I no longer bite my nails. I'd tried to stop a million times.

By anon131713 — On Dec 03, 2010

I'm nearly 13 and i still bite my nails. i hate doing it because it makes my nails look nasty. i am trying what my friend suggested- spray my fingers with perfume. Nobody, and i mean nobody, can like the taste of perfume.

By anon130987 — On Nov 30, 2010

I am also a nail biter. i think it's gross of me to do that sometimes so i tell myself that i am not going to bite my nails and then i set a goal for myself such as "i won't bite my nails till the end of this month," and if i achieve this goal then maybe i will forget to bite them and just be done.

And not only does that stop me, but i think of all the things i touch during the day like desks, dust, clothes, food, glasses, and more and maybe even the ground if i fall down, and then i think i am biting my fingernails and i touch all this stuff and i still don't stop. what kind of person am i? no one will like me. no one will talk to me. no one will be my friend after seeing my nails and will i ever be happy after that? Is that the person i want to be when i get older?

Think, you guys. If you ever want to achieve something in life then you have to persevere,give it your best shot, and most of all, try your best!

By anon123714 — On Nov 03, 2010

Dondee where did you get your mouth piece? I have been looking for one and I haven't had any luck.

By anon122800 — On Oct 29, 2010

It's ridiculous, it's sad and way more pathetic when you can't really control yourself over things like biting your nails. I have been living with it all my life.

I used to bite my toenails as a kid and i am so glad i can't do it anymore. I guess gum sounds like a good idea to me because if use something like a cream or polish etc., I'm going to end up washing it off. I know, I'm that bad! Ugh! Can't wait to get rid of this nasty habit.

By anon117844 — On Oct 11, 2010

I'm 23 and I've bitten my nails all my life. trying to stop is easy, until I forget. I always forget and find myself gnawing away. Maybe one day I'll be able to stop.

By anon116820 — On Oct 08, 2010

I have been biting my nails for over five years now and it's one of the hardest habits to break. I also read another good article that had some good tips for nail biters.

By anon116749 — On Oct 07, 2010

What all of you need is willpower. Just say to yourself "okay I'm done biting my nails" and whenever you get the urge just say no and think of the consequences. I used to bite my nails but I stopped when i was five. So it is an achievable goal for all of you.

By anon113725 — On Sep 25, 2010

I have been biting my nails almost my whole life but only to a little degree. I cut my fingernails almost always with my teeth. But it is not that severe.

By anon113011 — On Sep 22, 2010

I am 14, and i have been biting my nails since i can remember. But right now i am trying to grow them out. when i feel the urge to bite them, i just drum my fingers, and it seems to help

By anon112570 — On Sep 20, 2010

There should be like a Nail Biters Anonymous group or something. Haha. I've been biting my nails since I was 2. Now I'm almost 15. My fingertips are always swollen. They sometimes bleed. Every time I grow a nail, it breaks then I end up biting it off. My fingertips hurt constantly.

By anon110996 — On Sep 14, 2010

I can't stop biting my nails, and to make things worse, my boyfriend hates me doing it! he tells me every day that i have such cute hands and fingers and biting my nails just kills it all!

my stupid school won't let the girls grow their nails to a "dangerous" length. i really want to learn how to stop biting them. I even find myself biting my nails while chewing bubblegum! Eew!. And sometimes (rarely) they would start growing and I'd feel so happy and proud of them, but once just one nail breaks, i bite them all again and then I'm at stage one again.

Someone help me!

By anon108229 — On Sep 02, 2010

I can only agree with all these comments, but quitting this hideous habit is not something everyone can do.

I'm 18 years old, and I have been biting my nails during my whole life, I'd say, and it wasn't until 16 that I noticed how dramatically short my nails were, to the point where I was eating the flesh that surround the nails.

Since then, I've been trying so very hard to stop biting my nails but my efforts have been futile. I still bite my nails and can't find the way to stop!

By anon108227 — On Sep 02, 2010

I can totally understand, ashMC. I am 17 years old too, and I have been biting my nails since I remember. This hideous habit is driving me crazy and is giving me a lack of confidence, not to mention that I'm always hiding my fingers when people are around.

I tried the nail chemical but I got used to the flavor and I even got to like it, so we can discard that option, and when it comes to "will," I have absolutely not even a tiny bit of it.

By ashMC — On Aug 31, 2010

I've been a nail biter for all of my 17 years of life. My nails are too short to paint and I just ripped off the fake nails then bit my real nails anyway.

The bitter nail stuff doesn't work on my nails because I actually like the taste and my nails look horrid! I can't stop biting my nails, my lips, the insides of my cheek, or the skin around my nails. It's getting to the point to where I just want to give up because nothing is working!

By anon107636 — On Aug 31, 2010

Just reading these comments is making me pick at my nails and want to bite them. I have been biting my nails since childhood and I'm now 24 years old with a four month old baby.

My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nail biters and I want to break the cycle so my daughter doesn't become a nail biter and blame me! It's going to be really hard because I bite them every day on my way to work and every night before I go to bed (not to mention in between the day when I'm not even aware that I'm doing it!) I think I am going to have to try hypnosis!

By anon106719 — On Aug 26, 2010

I'm 11 an have bitten my nails all my life. I've tried everything. Mouthpiece (got annoying), nail polish/bitter stuff (all got peeled off), distracting myself(just doesn't work), scolding myself and hitting myself lightly (already used to very much pain), motivating myself (nothing that I really want), gum (I'll chew both my nails and the gum), hand sanitizer and lotions (I like the taste of them.), and hypnotism (just never works.)

And now I'm really really starting to believe it's hopeless.

By anon105575 — On Aug 21, 2010

i also had this terrible habit of nail biting, along with biting my lips, and even inside cheeks.

In my case, it is all pure anxiety, which has been created by us with the kind of food I eat. Diet has a major role in balancing anxiety. We are always on the run, mixing hot foods with cold foods, eating chemical foods and even applying chemicals to the body by the way of creams and such stuff. They all get absorbed into the body.

i would rather suggest that you meet a homeopathic doctor who is efficient and not just the run of the mill kind. He will surely help you.

By anon104685 — On Aug 17, 2010

I've been biting my nails since third grade.

By anon101026 — On Aug 01, 2010

i have always bitten my nails. my dad has and also my brother and sister.

i bite them right down so they bleed and there's no top layer of nail left. i don't know I'm biting them until they hurt; it was only recently that someone said I'd never be able to stop biting them so i wanted to prove them wrong.

I'd tried all the horrible taste varnish and just got used to the taste and also tried chili powder but still carried on biting so i painted what nails i had and when i went to bite them i picked the nail varnish off. Ten weeks later my nails are so long i file them down and can't believe I've got nails.

Try painting your nails and picking it off instead of biting; it works!

By anon98662 — On Jul 23, 2010

I sort of listened to this article, by putting on hand sanitizer and washing my hands more often that is scented. It keeps me healthy because I'm washing away germs, and it tastes bad when I try to bite my nails too. Also try lotion. It makes your skin soft and tastes bad also when you try to bite your nails. This is my strategy that I just started to try and I will keep you posted on how it works.

By anon94946 — On Jul 10, 2010

I have noticed, that if i re-paint my nails once a day, then I don't bite them as much. Make sure to use nail polish remover, the normal stuff that tastes horrible, and that really helps too. If you don't want to repaint them maybe dipping your fingers in the nasty tasting remover would help. I also keep a rubber band on my wrist, and when I want to bite, I snap myself. I don't know, just a suggestion

By anon93030 — On Jul 01, 2010

The only way is willpower and distraction.

Now I only bite them when they break, but I'm going to stop doing that.

Also, when they've grown, you won't want to bite off all the hard work of waiting.

By anon91632 — On Jun 23, 2010

I'm 16 years old and I've been biting my nails for years now and I don't know how to stop. I've used the bitter stuff but that didn't work. I've even tried looking at other nice nails and telling myself to stop, but that failed too. I've stopped for a while and grew them and just bit them off. Help!

Where can i get the mouthpiece besides online?

By anon91297 — On Jun 21, 2010

as well as nail biting, I have to face the prospect of hair loss. It's all to do with nervous behavior and being put in a tense position, even when enjoying it!

By anon89525 — On Jun 10, 2010

I'm an adult married male and a lifetime nail biter (fingers and toes). Naturally, I only bite my toenails in private.

While I'm aware that nail-biting is a totally disgusting habit, I can't stop. I sometimes make a conscious effort not to do it in public but usually bite my nails all the time everywhere.

It's ironic that when I try not to bite my nails I'm miserable but when I let myself go without inhibition I feel happier, healthier and more sociable. I'm just wired to bite my nails and have to live with the habit.

By anon87081 — On May 27, 2010

I bite my nails, not too much, but i bite the skin under the nails and it's really annoying and i want to stop.

By anon83199 — On May 09, 2010

I have been biting my nails since kindergarten and I'm in seventh now. i have tried to stop so many times but they sometimes break and then i just bite it off and then i just think "one more couldn't hurt" but ugh -- it's awful. and i play sports and it's just a nervous habit i have before/during games.

By anon83069 — On May 09, 2010

I've been biting my nails for ages, and all my front teeth have chipped because of this, so this is the reason why i want to stop, so that i can have good teeth, and good nails too.

By anon77476 — On Apr 14, 2010

I sometimes bite my nails when i am upset or nervous, and sometimes i do it when I'm bored, and i really want to stop doing it. my sister stopped and her nails looked beautiful so that's why i want to stop, and sometimes it is so bad that it gets painful.

By anon76809 — On Apr 12, 2010

It's not a big deal for me to stop but i think the only time i bite my nails is when i am in a vehicle for too long. it just aggravates me. so just a tip: if you quit biting your nails then start biting them again, it really hurts! take it from me.

By anon76499 — On Apr 10, 2010

My friend and I bite our nails. We both really want to stop. Once in a while we will stop and then once they are almost long then we bite the nails off and then we get really mad. And good luck to people who bite their nails and you are not the only one who bites your nails.

By anon75526 — On Apr 06, 2010

I have chewed my nails for quite a long time. I've stopped for a month and no longer than that. My mom has chewed her nails all her life and they are really messed up.

My nail shape has become messed up and they just don't look good. I've tried clear nail polish but I can't stop. I get pretty stressed and worried easily so that may be the problem but it also has to do with boredom.

I'd really like to stop before my nails end up permanently damaged.

By anon75180 — On Apr 05, 2010

it's just one of those life time habits.

By anon75177 — On Apr 05, 2010

My Grandma, Dad and I all have the same problem. I've tried everything but no matter what, once I start biting my nails, i can't stop. I don't know what it is but its been going on forever.

As a little girl my parents would put rubbing alcohol on my finger nails, chilli, and so much more. Sadly it never kept me from stopping. I think for some of us it's just a life time habit.

By anon72943 — On Mar 25, 2010

The solution to nail-biting is to look at pictures of perfectly manicured nails. It automatically makes you stop because you see an image of something you want. What I do is put pictures on my desktop of really pretty nails and print some off so that when I get the urge, I immediately stop. Try it, it works!

By anon71157 — On Mar 17, 2010

I, like all of you at one point, was a nail biter as well. what i found out is that you have to find what works best for you. like i found two different ideas and combined them into one.

i now carry some silly putty with me at all times so when my fingers start to go to my mouth, i can just take out the silly putty and start playing with it.

i also carry a stick of gum with me for when i really just need something to chew on.

By anon70426 — On Mar 14, 2010

i am in middle school and i bite my nails almost every minute. not just that but i bite my cuticles and they look really bad. my friend saw my nails and was like, "what the hell is wrong with your fingers?" i was like nothing. it is embarrassing and i need to stop! i have tried everything and it does not work. i need help to stop biting my nails and cuticles.

By anon70221 — On Mar 12, 2010

I've bit my fingernails for as long as i can remember, i am 30 now. I also would bite my cuticles. I used "No bite" from cvs. Apply and it will last a day or two. The stuff tastes horrible, and it will probably make whatever you pick up and taste horrible too.

I used it mainly for my cuticles, and after a week, i started thinking twice before biting. I didn't need the stuff any longer. It's been two weeks and i actually have nails on all fingers i have to trim.

By anon67743 — On Feb 26, 2010

I am 17 years old and I have had this problem for as long as i can remember. It's so bad that I've got to the point that i eat my skin on my fingers to the point that i bleed. Or i also bite the skin inside my lips, or even my upper lip. At some times it doesn't bother me and i accept it. but i know i have to. Any advice?

By anon67271 — On Feb 23, 2010

yes, there is help--see #1 and #18 below. Get yourself a nail bite stopper.

By anon66747 — On Feb 21, 2010

I am a young girl and i have bitten my nails all my life and i find it really hard to stop i have tried the bitter nail stuff that you but the top part of your finger and it got all over my food. i hated it by the end but at the start i liked the taste so that didn't help. any ideas for a young girl like me?

By anon65520 — On Feb 14, 2010

I've bitten my nails all my life. I have stopped for a short time and then back to biting. I'm in my fifties and feel hopeless. I loved to hear the comments. I wonder about the mouthpiece and also to spray perfume on them. Nothing has tasted bad enough for me to stop. I realize it is a deeper anxiety problem. I really hope I can quit soon!

By anon63130 — On Jan 30, 2010

Just think to yourself, "stop it!" my ex used to lightly hit my shoulder or arm every time he saw me biting my nails. I'd be so embarrassed i would stop, and if i started it up again 30 seconds later or 30 minutes later, he'd slug my arm again. sounds crazy, but to this day, anytime i catch myself biting my nails, i just remember the hit to the arm and the harsh sound in his voice, "Stop It!"

By anon62681 — On Jan 28, 2010

@ anon60838: I am 15 and also bite my nails. A little trick I've been doing is using lotion or hand sanitizer. If I get the urge to bight my nails I put hand sanitizer or lotion on my fingertips so if I try it tastes bad.

I've tried the solutions that stores sell, but it usually got on my food from my fingers and made my food gross so that is why I recommend something that will soak into your skin so that doesn't happen.

Just thought I'd give you my secret.

By anon60842 — On Jan 16, 2010

as I mentioned below (#1), get yourself a thin, clear mouthpiece so that you can't bite your nails.

By anon60838 — On Jan 16, 2010

I have been a nail biter for years. I am 16 years old and I *still* bite my nails. My friends always want to see them but I will never because I hate them. I have tried painting my nails but I peel them off. Is there anything i can do?

By anon60213 — On Jan 12, 2010

i bite my nails and it is so hard to stop i have tried everything i did achieve it then i bite them all off. i'm going to try again. i will never try to give up. i will try nail varnish or fake nails, but it is mainly just willpower.

By anon57366 — On Dec 22, 2009

I bit my nails until just recently. i found this stuff at my friends house called nail bitter. it worked a treat because it tasted so horrible! I bought some yesterday from boots for £3.99 called stop'n'grow will power in a bottle. i just put it over my black nail polish. Amazing outcome. you will get your manicure :P xD

By anon57029 — On Dec 19, 2009

i am a nail bitter to and i just can't stop because it is such a hard habit to quit. but my mom said if i could stop biting my nails for three weeks she would take me for a manicure and since then i have never bitten my nails.

By anon56559 — On Dec 15, 2009

What if i bite my nails and i scrape the nail polish off? none of those methods work for me so i don't know what to do.

By anon52487 — On Nov 14, 2009

I too was a nail biter. My hands looked like something out of a horror film. I also used to bite the skin around the nail till it bled. But two years ago i decided to stop and i have never bitten them since. I treat myself to a manicure every two weeks. My nails look beautiful. People even comment on them they think they're false but when i tell them i used to bite them they can't believe it. Once you see your nails looking beautiful that should stop you from ever biting them again.

By anon52345 — On Nov 13, 2009

I am a nail biter too. I was thinking of maybe getting the mouth piece. Is there any place I can get it without having to order it online?

By anon44658 — On Sep 09, 2009

I still bite my nails but i've got this nu-nails nail polish thing and i try to remember to put it on every morning and every time i go to bite my nails i get this yucky taste in my mouth and that helps me to stop biting my nails :).

By anon42292 — On Aug 20, 2009

where did you guys get the mouthpieces? thanks.

By anon38056 — On Jul 23, 2009

I got my mouthpiece online. I prevented the bite, so I stopped my long time habit. It works!!!!

By anon38037 — On Jul 23, 2009

I still bite my nails, but im getting to where i get distracted from my nails. And my nails are starting to get longer

By anon33420 — On Jun 05, 2009

I just got a really cute nail job done and it's so cute. My mom said she will take me to get another manicure if I stop biting my fingernails. Which I think is impossible. But so far so good. I'm just worried that it could get out of hand like my friends father. He bit his nails all the way until it was just half a fingernail. I'm worried I might end up like that and I really don't want to. Please Help!!

By anon30526 — On Apr 20, 2009

My nails are so short I am embarrassed of how short they are and was always picked on when people saw them but I took the advice of this article and decided to put something nasty on my nails so I would quit biting them. I just simply sprayed my aeropostale or victoria secret purfume on them and I have stopped for good, so thank you!

By dondee2 — On Nov 09, 2008

Well, I too was a nail biter, and I used most of the stuff mentioned in the article. None of it worked in the long run, but I did find something that keeps on working. I bought a thin, clear, soft mouthpiece that fits over my bottom set of teeth, and when I get the urge to bite my nails, I simply insert the mouthpiece, and I can't bite. If you can't bite, you can't bite.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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