Banish bitten nails

It’s a stress-busting habit that’s difficult to break. But could nail biting be more than simply a bad habit?

The answer, according to the American Psychiatric Association, is a resounding yes.

In fact, the medical body is preparing to change the designation of nail biting from ‘not otherwise classified,’ to an ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’.

And let’s face it, classifications aside, nail nibbling is a habit most people would want to ditch.

So, what’s the best way to nail the urge to bite?

Bitter nail coatings can be bought over the counter that make nail biting unpleasant.

They’re usually odourless yet designed to repulse your taste buds.

Other things that can be used on the nails to discourage nail biting include hot sauce, soap or sunflower oil spread on the nails or over the entire fingertip.

Don’t fancy whipping out the Tabasco? Here are some tips and tricks that might help.

Anti-biting polishes:

The Jessica Nibble No More - Stop Nail Biting solution uses bitter cactus extract to deter biting, while stimulating healthy new nail growth. Another product to try is Stop ‘n’ Grow which hails itself as ‘willpower in a bottle’ – boasting a disgusting taste that is sure to put you off nibbling.

Stress relievers:

An effective way to stop nail biting is to consider a replacement for dealing with stress and anxiety. To use this technique, you need to become aware of how often you’re biting your nails, and make sure you lean towards a different physical action, such as making a fist or clenching an object such as a stress ball.


Experts are convinced that one of the best ways to tackle nail biting is to make sure your talons are as neatly manicured as possible, leaving no ragged edges that may tempt you to nibble. Invest in a good nail file and choose a pretty polish to encourage you to keep your fingertips looking neat.

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