Nail Biting: A Habit or Medical Condition?

Nail biting is a bad habit. On average, about two million Dutch people chew their nails. The chewed nails not only look very ugly, but can also lead to consequences such as infections and even amputations of the phalanges.

Categories

Nail biters fall into three different categories. Occasional biters chew their nails out of stress and tension or out of boredom. We call people who have been doing this from an early age the notorious biters. For those for whom nail biting is an obsessive-compulsive disorder, we consider pathological biters. For this group, nail biting is such a great obsession that they want to harm themselves on purpose, as it were, and often see that these chewers suffer from infections or other deformities on their fingertips.

Causes

The cause of nail biting is still not entirely clear. It turns out that nail biting often runs in families. Some call it congenital, others a medical condition.

Remedies

Since nail biting is a kind of neurosis for many, it is difficult to stop it. There are several remedies that can prevent nail biting. The nail polish made from horse hair should deter biters from their nails. The bitter taste of the stuff would. The disadvantage of such nail polish is that you have to apply it again and again to maintain the effect. Often the nail biter is back to square one after a while.

Plastic plate

A new method has recently become available on the market, the so-called Predator. This is a colorless plastic plate around the teeth. This would make nail biting impossible. A disadvantage is that the tag must be worn day and night. An advantage is that you get rid of nail biting after four weeks.

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