Did you know-Nail Biting

Nail Biting is a habit that can cause more damage to your nail then you think?

According to Dr. Dana Stern, Onychophagia (nail-biting) is a common disorder affecting 20%–30% of the general population. However, its prevalence is likely underestimated, as patients are often embarrassed to seek help from physicians. It is not difficult to spot a nail-biter. Clinically, the nail will appear abnormally short and uneven. Cuticles may be absent or ragged and nail folds may be in varying stages of healing. Splinter hemorrhages (longitudinal thin black lines that look like splinters) are often present within the nail plate.

Although the exact cause of onychophagia is currently unknown, there are studies that show a possible genetic relationship. There is also a possible association between nail-biting and certain psychiatric disorders — such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder — however these studies have shown conflicting results. Nail-biting has also been associated with boredom or a lull in activity. Beyond resulting in unattractive nails, nail-biting can also lead to a host of health-related concerns and complications.

THERE ARE TREATMENTS:Habit reversal is a method of habit cessation that encompasses awareness of the nail-biting activity, recognition of warning signs, and development of a distracting competing response such as a stress ball, fidget cube or spinner, or rubber band. While this may sound straightforward, many nail-biters are not fully aware of when they are most prone to biting. GET A MANICURE, USE COLORS: Additionally, when clients take the effort to make an appointment for a mani, and spend the time and money, they are often highly invested and motivated to achieve a successful result. The colors can be a great distraction!!

References: Pacan P, Grzesiak M, Reich A, et al. Onychophagia and onychotillomania: prevalence, clinical picture and comorbidities. Acta Derm-Venereol.2014;94:67– www.ada.org


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