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Old 01-05-2004, 06:39 PM   #1
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super fluke HB User
Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

Aright, I've been biting my nails for 6 years.. How do I quit? *lol*

All my fingernails are now ridged, and one even looks "cratered" slightly if you can picture it.. but they're all ridged and uneven..

I chew the nails, rip off some skin alongside the nails, and even alotta the cuticles. I bite them to the point that pressure against the bottom of my finger pushing towards the nail will cause pain.

So anyways, my two questions:
1). How can I quit?
2). How long does it take fingernails to fully grow back in healthy?

Sheesh..

 
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:00 AM   #2
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by super fluke
Aright, I've been biting my nails for 6 years.. How do I quit? *lol*

All my fingernails are now ridged, and one even looks "cratered" slightly if you can picture it.. but they're all ridged and uneven..

I chew the nails, rip off some skin alongside the nails, and even alotta the cuticles. I bite them to the point that pressure against the bottom of my finger pushing towards the nail will cause pain.

So anyways, my two questions:
1). How can I quit?
2). How long does it take fingernails to fully grow back in healthy?

Sheesh..
Nail biters are on a quest for order. If there is one tiny bit of skin they can get their teeth on, they will canibalize themselves and ruin their nails in the process. Why not visit your local nail salon for a series of manicures? The nail tech will clean up the cuticles and the nails, giving you less at which to bite.

You might also want to consider just what your hands have been touching during the day. Just about every bacteria known to mankind that can be tranmitted through touch will end up in your mouth when you bite your nails. There are more places for these bacteria to hide on a ragged and bitten nail plate. These bacteria love the moist environment you are creating for them in, on and around the nail unit.

Keeping the nails and the cuticles in good condition through regular manicures will help you to break the habit, and allow the nails to grow back in normal. The more you bite at them, the more trauma is being caused to the matrix where the nail plate cells are born. Repeated trauma to the nail matrix can result in permanent damage and the nails may never recover.

 
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:38 AM   #3
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I was a horrible nail biter/cuticle picker for my entire life up until a few years ago. I would bite and pick until they would bleed and my hands looked awful. One day I decided to go to a salon and get fake nails and that cured me. Here's why:

Fake nails are no fun to bite cause they are hard! And expensive too!

Fake nails are much thicker and more blunt than real nails. Because of the thickness I am not able to pick at my cuticles anymore. This is probably the main reason that I stopped. Any time I've ever tried going back to having real nails, or any time a fake on has popped off, I instantly start biting and picking again.

So, having tips is what helped me. Now my hands looks great and my nails are long and sexy.

 
Old 01-09-2004, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

After 18 years of biting and picking at my nails and cuticles, i decided after year 12 exams to stop biting once and for all.

I found it to be a subconscious (for lack of a better word) activity. I had to make a conscious effort to realise when i was picking at my nails, then to stop doing it. That nail polish that tastes bad didn't do anything for me, because i picked at them more than biting. Every time i found myself starting to play with my nails, i picked up an orange stick and a nail file and started giving myself a mini-manicure. So far, it has worked. I'm 19 now and always getting compliments on how nice my nails look now. and because biting was such a compulsive habit for me, its now become habit for me to always manicure my nails - so they look great!

The problem with biting for so long is that my nails have taken a really long time to become healthy again. Years of ripping them off made them weak and brittle. it has improved over the past year to no end, but it took a lot of willpower for me to start trimming my nails (to get the healthy and strong ends), and using only a clear polish (i found the coloured ones encouraged me to pick more when i first stopped biting).

Its a very difficult habit to break, but not impossible. good luck!

 
Old 01-09-2004, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I don't have a solution, but thought i'd add something weird which happened to my husband. He had been a nail biter for many years and i couldn't understand what drove him to bite them. A slight nervous disorder does seem to run in his family and some of them are extreme perfectionists, so i put it down to that.

After we had been married about 3 yrs, he ends up with some mysterious internal bleeding. He kept putting off going to the doctor, but went at the last minute. The doctor wouldn't allow him to go home and sent him directly to hospital. He ended up getting a blood transfusion and was in hospital for 5 days. Ever since then he has not chewed or bitten his nails ever again. I joke that maybe the blood he received was from non nail bitters

 
Old 01-09-2004, 11:16 PM   #6
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I never got into biting my nails, but I was really into peeling them for several years in school. So the ends would look ragged, and occasionally the nail would rip the wrong way and I'd end up exposing skin that shouldn't have been exposed and it would hurt.

This may sound stupid, but I finally quit by simply making myself quit. I just stopped doing it, and I don't remember the last time I was even tempted to tear off my nail, even if there's a crack in it. If my nails look bad, I clip and file them. If you really want to stop biting your nails, just stop biting your nails. Just do it, and don't tell yourself you don't have the willpower. You are not chemically dependent on biting your nails, so you do have the ability to stop within yourself.

As your nails grow in and become long enough to file, file them so they are smooth and nice so you won't want to ruin them. Get some cuticle cream to soften the rough skin.

Now if only my lips would heal after biting them for years.

Last edited by Administrator; 02-07-2011 at 06:54 PM.

 
Old 01-10-2004, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I've been a biter for as long as I can remember-even since I was a lil kid. I still haven't stopped, but have tried many times. I just don't have the willpower to stop fully. But hopefully soon it'll get better.

I've tried that special nail polish that puts a gross taste in your mouth if you try to bite-but that didn't work because eventually it does come off, plus it gets all over the food you're eating which is really sick.

I not only bite the nails but the skin around them, so whenever I eat foods with acid in them (eg. citrus) it stings my fingers like mad. It's the worst!

I can't help you with stopping, but I know that your nails grow back after about a week or so-people who bite their nails they grow back much quicker than people who don't, so that's a hge advantage!~

 
Old 01-14-2004, 04:37 AM   #8
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I had been biting my nails for.....8 years! Until towards the end of last year, for me, I had personally hit rock bottom nail wise. I was disgusted with them..I saw all these people with beautiful french manicures and it just got me real down!
I wanted to quit bad enough, that whenever I put my fingers in my mouth, I'd take them out and maybe sit on them or just find something to nibble during those times.
So like someone said earlier, you have to realise when your doing it, so you can stop it, keep an eye on your fingers!

I dont think those fake nails and special nail polishes work, well they didnt for me. Cause the habit was for so long, it didnt matter what was on my nails, i wanted to bite! I wasnt biting them for the "yummy" taste lol, just the habit. Its like that with a smoker, its not that they think the smoke is yummo, its just a habit.
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:41 AM   #9
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I was a nail biter for 15 years. I always promised myself that I would stop and never could. One day a stranger came up to me and told me how disgusting it was and I asked them how to stop. She told me every time I go to bite my nails, think of all the germs and tiny bacteria that are crawling around on my finger nails.... well that didn't help me or stop me. So I finally decided to paint them... while they were painted I never bit them, so this brought my habit down but didn't stop it. My mother tried hot sauce on them, never helped either. I eventually would stop for a few weeks then when I got nervous nor mad I would bite them off again. Finally one day I decided that I wanted to make my hands pretty. I didn't want my fiance to look at my hands and think that I was disgusting... plus I work in an office and since I am a fast typer, most people normally watch me type... so I definately don't want ugly hands for that. SO YOU NEED A MOTIVE!!! Go out and buy your self a nail buffer and file. Buff your nails, make them look shiny (even though you bite them), paint them, STOP BITING THEM!!!!! By the way... it paid off.... now my hands are very pretty all because I stopped.
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Old 01-23-2004, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I agree----you just have to decide for yourself that they look terrible and you want to change that. My ex thought it was so gross, so he started pointing it out when I was biting them or picking at them all of time---made me realize how often I did it and was not even aware of it.
Then I realized people do look at your hands--esp in a work environment that involves sales, etc. So being put together is all part of the package.

I agree manicures are a great way to go---I tried fake nails for a bit---but they destroy your natural nails, so unless you have the money and intend to do it all of the time- don't . I still pick at them from time to time if they are uneven or the nail polish is coming off- so I keep a nail file and clippers in my purse---and I try to keep them as neat as possible, so I am less likely to pick.

Good luck---nothing like having people tell you how nice your nails look when they used to be horrible!

 
Old 02-25-2004, 11:41 PM   #11
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super fluke HB User
Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

well, as i'm a guy, i wont be painting my nails! ha!
and if i can ever get enough of the nail to grow back, i will go try a manicure.

i'm still biting tho! in all seriousness, i don't even realize i'm doing it 'til someone points it out to me.. it's almost like blinking.

i have been filing them tho, and keeping them looking pretty decent actually. not @ all as bad as they were.. i've gotten to be quite crafty with the file, but i still can't get rid of the ridge-effect.

i'm keeping @ it tho! baby steps! baby steps!

 
Old 03-14-2004, 10:53 PM   #12
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by super fluke
well, as i'm a guy, i wont be painting my nails! ha!
and if i can ever get enough of the nail to grow back, i will go try a manicure.

i'm still biting tho! in all seriousness, i don't even realize i'm doing it 'til someone points it out to me.. it's almost like blinking.

i have been filing them tho, and keeping them looking pretty decent actually. not @ all as bad as they were.. i've gotten to be quite crafty with the file, but i still can't get rid of the ridge-effect.

i'm keeping @ it tho! baby steps! baby steps!
I agree, baby steps! I'm a nail biter too, but in 'rehab' lol. I had fake nails for awhile when working because it make my hands look a lot nicer and people couldn't believe how fast I could type with nails that long, but it did a lot of damage to my natural nails and when they came off, there went the nails that had grown underneath. I also have ridges too and got a buffing block. I use a bit of oil on the nail, rub in very well, wash, then buff gently. You don't want to buff real hard because you could damage the nail bed. The ridges are still there, but they are looking better and now I have a bit of free edge on each nail (exept the one I accidently chopped off with a bucther knife-long story, but thankfully didn't damage the nail bed so it's slowly growing again now).

I also agree with the others about keeping nail clippers and a nail file with you at all times and when you see an area on your nail that is just bugging the daylights out of you, instead of using your teeth, grab your tools. Once you get a bit of free edge to your nail (since you're a guy, I imagine you don't want long talons, lol), you may want to file them so they are squared off a bit, depending on how it looks overall. You might have hands that look better with an oval or oval-squared look. Just experiment with it to see which looks best for you.

I gave up one of my favorite past hobbies (reading) to be able to stop biting my nails. Every time I read, in my mouth my fingers went and I didn't even realize it. After my daughter yelled at me, I realized why I was biting so much, so I limit my reading and when I realize my nail is in my mouth, it's time to stop reading for awhile. I'm taking those baby steps too so that I can have nice nails. Since I don't do much because of back problems, at least I can have nice hair and nails. :0)

Take care and let us know how you are doing.

 
Old 01-30-2005, 08:15 PM   #13
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I don't think I will be able to ever stop. I try to stop for awhile but my nails grow so slow!! I tried calcium pills and that nail grow stuff you put on them. Well nothing works. My nails are so brittle too that they break and crack if I do let them grow up. So I have to bite it off then because a cracked nail isn't going to repair itself untill it grows out.
and the whole "think about what is under your nails" doesn't work. 1st off my nails are so stupid that they don't even grow out to the end of my finger tip. When I bite them, I don't go to extremes like some people do and bite them till they bleed or hurt. I just bite off any part that grows. But even so, my nails end about 1/4 an inch from my finger tip. 2nd off, you don't care what is under your nail, your going to bite it lol! I had horse **** under my nail one day and I didn't think about it at the time that I started biting it but after awhile I was like ew! And kept on biting. My nails cant get anything under them really because there is noting to get under. But still, I think it is the hardest habbit to beat. Especially bcuz when you try to stop and your nails break, wouldnt u rather bite it off than have a broken nail?

 
Old 02-04-2005, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

i don't think i'll ever need to give it up either. nothing i have found works long term.

-i had fake nails for my friends wedding...bit them off on the 4 hour drive home...nail polish makes it worse cuz when it chips i want it all off and scrape the polish off then go for the nails.
-i also have this disgusting habit of wanting "under" my nails clean so if there is every any white then i'm cleaning under with my teeth.
-i bite the cuticles off along with any skin around my nails. i have 2 permanent spots on my thumbs of skin that keeps regrowing but not fully before i have to pick it off again
-if my nails are not smooth it drives me nuts and i have to try to smooth them out. i've tried with a file and such but it doesn't always work for me
-manicures (only clear polish) have been the most successful thing for me cuz it's like it's a reward, but when i fall out if it and end up biting again(cuz once i bite one might as well bite them all off) the work of growing them out enough to actually GET a manicure seems unrealistic
-the nerves around my nails are shot. i don't feel much now when i rip my nails off and it's halfway down my nail
-i used to bite my toenails off too. now i just have to trim them all the time. i can't stand them being long
-the only time it hurts when i bite is when i've grown them out (i think about 6 months is the max and i'm 26 and biting ever since i can remember) and the skin has reattached to the nail, but only have a long period of time.
-i remember biting the skin off the top of my thumbs right above the nail bed when i was little.
-i haven't tried the gross tasting stuff cuz i know it wouldn't work. i used to clean my ears out and put the wax on my finger nails and that didn't stop me.

i hate this habit. i don't understand why i bite them and pick at them to make them look "better" and smooth everything out but it's only making it worse. anybody else have the clean thing along with biting?? germs don't bother me cuz i heard once that wehn the body is exposed to more germs and stuff it can help build the immune system...and i barely ever get sick so in my mind i believe it if that makes any sense.

 
Old 05-17-2005, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: Questions from a long-term nailbiter:

I bit my nails for 30 years and was unable to stop (tried the bad-tasting polish and willpower). I was able to stop after hypnotherapy. I had two 2-hour sessions and a 30-minute self hypnosis tape that I listened to every day for 30 days. The idea is that if you can do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit.

I think it also helped that I had this belief that if I couldn't stop with hypnotherapy, I would never be able to stop. This was my last chance, and I didn't want to blow it. The hypnotherapist taught me some relaxation tips (breathing, have a cup of water to drink when I felt like biting my nails).

 
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