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What Is Nail Biting Nail Polish?

H. Bliss
Updated May 21, 2024
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Nail biting nail polish is a cosmetics product designed to help people stop the habit of biting their nails. It contains an unpleasant flavoring agent that makes biting nails a negative experience. Generally, the flavors are either bitter or sour and painfully spicy, like an extremely lemony, burning hot pepper. Nail biting nail polish comes in the form of a liquid that is applied to the nail like regular nail polish.

This product is similar to products made to help train a child to stop sucking his thumb, but it is generally applied only on the nail, while products designed to control thumb sucking are spread all over the thumb. Though this type of product can be effective in stopping nail biting, some nail biting nail polish products perform better than others. With some brands, the flavoring agent can come off on other things that touch the polish, making nail biting nail polish a problematic method for nail biters who cook or eat food with their hands. The polish tends to be ineffective for people who have persistent nail biting habits and are still apt to bite their nails if the unpleasant flavor is not strong enough. Some parents try to steer clear of pepper-based, painful nail biting nail polish preparations when using them for children.

Stopping the habit of nail biting is important because continued nail biting can cause long-term or serious health and dental issues. Problems that can occur as a result of nail biting include tooth breakage and increased propensity to mouth bacteria. It can also lead to indirect consequences, like more frequent illnesses, especially if the hands are not kept clean. An instant of contact with a school desk that was recently sneezed on can put pathogens on and under the nails. When the nails are bitten, these pathogens can go straight into the mouth.

Nail biting nail polish is one of many ways people stop habitual nail biting, and some of these methods can be used in combination with nail biding nail polish. Other methods include obstructing the nails or providing rewards for not biting nails. Obstructing nails can be done by wearing gloves or by wrapping the nails in cloth tape. A reward system to combat a nail biting habit for a child might include a payment, from a nickel to a dollar, when nail biting has not occurred for a predetermined period of time. Providing daily, weekly and monthly rewards can help give nail biters, especially kids, a good reason to break the habit.

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.
H. Bliss
By H. Bliss
Heather Bliss, a passionate writer with a background in communication, brings her love for connecting with others to her work. With a relevant degree, she crafts compelling content that informs and inspires, showcasing her unique perspective and her commitment to making a difference.
Discussion Comments
By myharley — On May 13, 2012

@LisaLou - I tried a lot of products and homemade solutions for nail biting treatment, and none of them worked for me.

It didn't matter how awful something tasted, I would still bite my nails. Finally it came down to a matter of just making my mind up that I wasn't going to do it anymore.

For someone who has never had trouble with this habit, it is hard for them to understand how hard this can be. It can be done, but it does take conscious effort and will power as you mentioned.

I find if I am under stress the first thing I want to do is bite my nails. For the last 5 years, I have had long, strong and healthy nails, and I want to make sure I keep them that way.

For me that has been the biggest motivation to stop biting my nails. The nail biting nail polish may work for some people, but it was something that never worked for me for the long term.

By LisaLou — On May 12, 2012

@andee - I have been trying to find something natural for my son, and I don't know if there are any tried and true nail biting cures. When I was doing some research on this, I read that many people would try putting lemon juice on their fingers.

This sounds like it would be pretty messy, and I don't know how long the bad taste would stay on your fingers. I think this was more for trying to get kids to stop sucking their thumb.

You want something that is going to stay on and won't wash off very easily. I also have a hard time understanding how wrapping your fingers in bandages would be very convenient for anybody.

One friend of mine recommended a mixture of baking soda and castor oil, but I have never tried it to see if it works.

There are all kinds of recommendations out there on how to stop biting your nails, but I think it comes down to will power and discipline more than anything else.

By andee — On May 12, 2012

I bought a stop nail biting polish to help my young daughter stop biting her nails. This is a transparent polish that really does taste as bad as you think it would.

After reading the ingredients I wasn't so sure about using it on her since she was so young. The list of ingredients and chemicals made me wonder how safe this product is for kids, and adults as well.

I put some on my own fingers first to see how it would taste and I can see how you would want to keep your fingers out of your mouth.

I would like to find another way of doing this without using something that has so many harsh ingredients in it though.

By John57 — On May 11, 2012

As long as I can remember I have had a bad habit of biting my nails. I would stop biting them for awhile, but always fell back into the habit again.

I got tired of my nails looking so terrible, and finally tried some nail polish to prevent nail biting.

I wasn't very confident that it would work, but figured I didn't have much to lose. The first brand of polish I bought tasted much worse than I thought it would.

I definitely didn't want to bite on my nails when this polish was on my fingers. It also helped me become more aware of how often I was biting my nails. I think this is one thing that helped as much as the bad taste.

I applied this polish fresh every couple of days. After a few weeks my nails were longer than they had ever been.

I still myself slipping back into this old habit now and again, so keep of bottle of this polish around so I can use it when I need to.

H. Bliss
H. Bliss
Heather Bliss, a passionate writer with a background in communication, brings her love for connecting with others to her...
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