Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What should I do if I can't stop biting my fingernails?"
I've been biting my fingernails since I was a kid and I'm 21 now. I want to stop but can't. How can I stop this habit? What can someone do if they can't stop biting their fingernails?
Sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with fingernail biting! It can be a very difficult habit to break, but there is help that is available to you! For example, many people find that a few sessions with a psychologist can be helpful. In these session, they can help you focus on your motivations for quitting the habit and also help you identify the striggers (such as stress) that cause you to bite your fingernails. If you can identify the triggers that cause you to bite your fingernails, you can be more aware of them and that may help you suppress the habit. Another strategy that many people use to help with fingernail biting is to paint a clear varnish on the fingers that has a very bitter taste. There are a couple of brands of this varnish that are available on the market. You could talk to your primary care doctor about this approach, as they can recommend one of these products to you. Finally, some people find that getting a nail manicure or using nail polish regularly helps them to avoid biting their nails by making their nails look nicer than formerly. Again, please discuss with a psychologist for guidance. Good luck!
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.