Attempting to have nice, clean nails is something that I have absolutely and wholeheartedly dedicated my life to. Since I play the guitar, my nails are pretty visible and it's always a great feeling knowing that they look pretty good going up and down the frets. However, it takes a lot of dedication to keep them in tip top shape, and I've had to always keep in mind the one thing you should never do to your nails: bite them. Believe me, I've had quite the struggle in not repeatedly doing this. As an ex-nail biter, I can tell you how hard it was to overcome this bad habit, but it's been quite rewarding changing my old ways.
Biting my nails was such a part of my life and I didn't know how to stop it. I really didn't know why I bit my nails as frequently as I did, but I knew that I had to learn to stop when the situation got out of hand. Literally. When you bite your nails, not only are you messing up your nail beds, you are also more prone to infection and at risk for spreading more viruses. There's literally not one good outcome that results from biting your nails.
Mayo Clinic Dermatologist, Rochelle Torgerson, M.D., Ph.D., told The Huffington Post that you can, "end up with redness and swelling and pain and discomfort — that's a sign of infection." She also added that, "you can do permanent damage to the area, so you forever make a funny nail." Forever, guys. For-ev-er.
Unfortunately, this permanent damage is something you can't fix. So rather than create forever funny-looking nails, you can try these options to help avoid your nail-biting habits:
Redirect Your Stress
In order to stop my bad habit, I had to realize that I bit my nails because of stress. I had a really intense schedule in college so biting my nails was an unhealthy way of releasing my emotions. To fix it, I enrolled in a meditation class and it helped relieve my stress immensely. I'd highly recommend picking up a new hobby or trying to find a way that you can handle stress and refrain from biting your nails.
Use A Preventative Formula
Mavala Stop - Discourages Nail Biting, Walgreens.com, $15.50
You can always try to coat your nails with a formula that discourages you from biting your nails. Although quite extreme, this might help train your brain to stop the gnawing. I personally haven't used anything like this, but I've heard that it definitely works.
Don't Let Your Nails Grow Too Long
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that keeping your nails trimmed and short is an effective way to prevent nail-biting. This way, you won't have anything to bite on. Problem solved.
Get Manicures Regularly
What better way to reward yourself for not biting your nails than getting your nails done? The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that if you spend money on your nails, you're less likely to bite on them. I mean, regular manicures and having healthy nails? It's basically a win-win.
If you try to find the underlying cause for biting your nails, it will put you on a better path to getting rid of the bad habit. Realizing the issue for your nail-biting is the first step!
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