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Nail biting | Onychophagia

Nail biting | Onychophagia

Nail biting includes biting the cuticle and the soft tissue around the nail, as well as the nail itself. Nail biting or onychophagia is a typical “nervous habit”. Nail biting is related to skin picking and hair pulling. Nail biting is often considered to be a common reaction to stress.

Nail biting is often an acquired behaviour. Nail biting is most often associated with early adolescence and childhood, and is generally outgrown or simply stopped when the child reaches a certain age.

Nail biting is usually a life-long habit but the duration of the problem is irrelevant in terms of resolving it. Nail biting is straightforward and usually very easy to treat.

Nail biting is in most cases harmless and is best ignored. In extremely rare cases nail biting can get very determined and nail biters actually hurt themselves and damage the fingers.

Some extreme nail biting habits may cause haemorrhage under the nail and lead to nail loss. Frequent fingernail biting can cause the free edge to disappear and the nail gets incrusted into the nail bed. Hypnotherapy can eradicate the habit by helping you to form positive new alternatives to nail-biting, helping you cope with anxious situations and stress triggers in a much more constructive way.