IT can be unhygienic and unsightly – yet millions of us bite our nails every day.
Half the time we do it without even realising and before you know it, you've angrily gnawed down until your fingers bleed.
Most nail biters are ashamed of their habit and several try – and fail – to quit.
Sadly, there's no magic solution, but there are a few steps you can take to try and kick the habit.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient.info, told The Sun Online: "There’s no one effective way to stop nailbiting.
"In fact, there’s been very little research into whether one way is better than another.
"However, we do know that punishing yourself for nail biting doesn’t work, and studies looking at whether medication such as antidepressants could help have shown no benefit.
"But, there are several solutions that do seem to work for some people."
Here, Dr Jarvis her step-by-step tips to try and help you stop chewing on your nails…
1. Work out your triggers
First of, think about what it is that makes you start biting your nails in the first place.
Does it happen more when you're bored or stress? Maybe it happens when you're hungry or frustrated?
Dr Jarvis says: "The first thing to do is to try and work out what your triggers are. Some people bite their nails when they’re bored, others when they’re stressed.
"Knowing what makes you start gnawing can help you to address the underlying cause."
2. Find another habit
Once you've worked out your trigger, try and find a distraction.
Dr Jarvis says: "If stress is the cause, consider finding another habit – some people use an elastic band around their wrist, which they ping when they’re stressed.
"Or relaxation exercises or mindfulness may be for you.
If it’s boredom, find something to fiddle with – a stress ball or a Rubik cube – and try reaching for that.
"Chewing gum can also keep your mouth occupied."
3. Keep nails short
Your nails may be short from biting them already, but try clipping them to make sure there’s nothing to bite.
Using a nail clipper to keep them down, and even, will mean you’re less likely to bite them if there’s nothing there to sink your teeth into.
Dr Jarvis says: "Cutting your nails short may make chewing less satisfying, and liquids you can paint on, which make your fingers taste unpleasant, are also worth considering."
4. Focus on each finger
This may seem like a long-term solution, but weaning yourself off biting slowly could be the answer.
Stopping biting one nail at a time can help people who can’t go cold turkey.
Start by the thumbs, and move up a finger week by week, or month by month.
5. Wear plasters
This may seem like an extreme method, but physically stopping yourself could be the answer.
You may just want to wear them at home, but sticking a plaster around each finger will stop you biting them and could help wean you off the habit.
Similarly, if you don’t want the hassle of buying and putting on plasters all day, try gloves.
You can discreetly wear them and they’re quick and easy to remove.
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