It's Just A Habit
Nail biting is one of those habits that can be a nuisance, an embarrassment, and in some cases a genuine health risk. Also known as onychophagy or onychophagia, nail biting is an oral compulsive habit that usually originates as a response to feeling stressed.
What Causes Nail Biting
There are various opinions on what causes nail biting but it seems quite clear that certain emotional states have an impact;
On numerous occassions I have worked with clients whose father and grandfather were nail biters and it does seem in older adults, to be more prevalent in men. According to Dr Mercola who wrote 'Fire Your Doctor' 30 percent of children, 45 percent of teenagers, 25 percent of young adults, and 5 percent of older adults bite their nails.
There are potential health implications if someones fingernails and cuticles are under constant barrage;
- Biting nails can lead to broken skin on the cuticle
- Torn or chewed cuticles are susceptible to microbial and viral infections like paronychia, a skin infection that occurs around the nails
- Fingernails can become deformed due to damage to the nail bed if the nailbiting is severe
- Damage to the digestive system if bitten off nails are swallowed
- Warts caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, are common among chronic nail biters and they spread to the mouth and lips as you bite your nails
For most clients, the Change or Success package will successfully resolve the habit of nailbiting. Given that the biting of nails and chewing on the cuticles that surround the nails is a response to stress, this is most often where we start, by reducing stress levels. Techniques to manage future worry, anxieties or stress, and the embedding of new behaviours are the steps that follow. To find out more or to book your private and confidential consultation call Transformational Therapy on 0409777116.