Nail biting is a very frequent condition. It can be described as compulsive behavior that involves a person’s destruction of fingernails as well as cuticle and skin. It can be mild and represent just some sort of a bad habit. In other cases it can be really severe as people get their nails bleeding and fingers bruised. It can cause getting infections and damaged fingers. In all the cases a person does not do it consciously. He or she may not realize that, for instance, while reading a book, he/she bites nails. The medical term for this condition is onychophagia, or also dermatophagia. It is a disorder of impulse control type and in many cases requires psychiatrist help in order to reveal nail biting causes and eliminate them.
Nail biting causes can be characterized as both evoked by referring to biological and environmental. It is normal for animals to change skin and also scratch. However, out-of-control grooming mechanisms can cause compulsive behaviors in both men and animals. They get aggravated and intensified under the influence of stress.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder are frequently characterized by nail biting. It is one of the symptoms together with hair pulling (trichotillomania). It is believed that it is inherited and if someone in the family used to suffer from something like this, the chances are high.
Nail biting causes can be different. Here are some of the most frequent ones. In many cases they evoke repetitive reaction of nail biting that is pretty hard to control.
First of all it is stress and nail biting goes as self-soothing. It works as distraction and a lot of people feel relief whole they bite nails in the situation of stress. For nerves the process produces some sort of calming effect and alleviates the pressure of stress.
Next nail biting cause is some sort of stimulation. In case when a person is bored and is not engaged in any sort of activity it works as an impulse not to get bored more.
Perfectionism is one more nail biting cause. It is a feature of people who are obsessed with their looks and they can spend much time examining their nails and overall appearance. Any imperfections can make them irritated and displeased. However, biting nails does not help them look any better and only worse; which creates a vicious circle.
Nail biting causes can turn the behavior into repetitive one and evoke certain serous behavior changes. It is better not to get such a habit and there are ways how to get rid of it.
One of the most effective ways of persuasion is hypnosis. It can find out the underlying nail biting causes and deal with them successfully. With the help of this technique better improvements can be achieved than by conscious attempts.
In milder cases nail polishes can be of assistance. With a good and tidy manicure and bright color on the nails the temptation to bite nails reduces as one does not want to destroy the thing. Besides, nail lotions and polishes are very unpleasant to taste and one will give up on biting pretty soon.
Nail biting causes can be helped with Tabasco sauce or the lemon juice. Apply a little of one or the other and you will see the result quite soon. It is very unpleasant to chew something that has got such a hard taste. Besides, other home remedies such as gloves, or reminders all over the house can help as well.
The last but not the least recommendations is to reduce stress in life. As stress is regarded one of the most frequent nail biting causes, it is advised to deal with it and avoid it as much as possible.