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Nail Biting, Is It Good Or Bad

Updated on October 22, 2011

Crunch, crunch, crunch. What is 9,788 divided by 12, anyhow? Crunch, crunch again, as you bite your nails and stare even harder at the math test on your . You start to bite them one more time - Crun - when some one says , "Stop biting your nails! It's gross!"

Nail biting may be a common habit that a lot of kids and adults have, but it isn't a good one. Here is a complete guide on nails and nail biting.


What is a nail?

Nails are made up of a material called keratin , which is a hard protein. In addition to making up hair and nails, this material also makes up the outermost layer of your skin (the part you can see). Your hair and nails are both important parts of your body, and while they look quite different, they are actually made of the same material.

Importance of nails

Even though nails just seem to hang out on your fingers, they actually have a couple of big jobs to do. First, they protect your fingertips from lots of stuff that would hurt, like rocks or scissors. Second, they make it easier for you to pick up tiny things, like loose threads. They also come in handy when you have an itch that needs scratching.

Is nail biting bad?

When you feast on your fingernails, you take away your fingertips' protection force. That means you may leave your fingertips open to infections. Also, biting your nails usually means that the skin around them gets irritated and can easily become infected. Some kids even chew down their nails until their fingertips and cuticles bleed. It's not a pretty sight and it invites germs to move in, which can cause an infection.

And speaking of germs! That's the other disgusting thing about digging into your digits: when you bite your nails, you put lots of germs in your mouth. Think about all the stuff you touch all day long, like your baby sister's drool-dripping pacifier, your stinky gym socks, or slimy earthworms for your science project. When the germs from these things hang out around and under your nails and you bite them, the germs get a free ride into your body. Yuck! The other thing that makes biting a bummer is that you have to hold your hand in front of your face to do it. Most people think that covering up half your face doesn't look very nice - and they're right! It's also hard to smile or talk to pals when you're nibbling on your nails.

How to get rid of the habit?

If you belong to the nail-biting club and want to stop, there are a few things to try. You can do i.e by painting a special type of clear nail polish on your nails. This stuff tastes terrible and people who wear it usually don't want their nails anywhere near their mouths. You also can ask an someone to paint your nails with cool colours or you can give yourself a fancy manicure. Having nice nails can make a one think twice before biting them!


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    • profile image

      britt 5 years ago

      uggh. ive heard all of these "tips" to stop and they don't work for me! There was a summer where I did manage to stop but when school started, by habit started. Is it because I'm stressed? I need help!

      @GLADYS: That happens to me too! Its so gross!

    • profile image

      Kendall jones 5 years ago

      What if u can't stop what do u do now help!!! I can't stop myself

    • profile image

      sophs 6 years ago

      i don't even look like i have nails, they are so short that they just blend in with my skin also when i have a bath i get out and my skin has loads of missing skin and bite marks on the tips of my fingers. i sometimes don't know when im doing it, ive tried stoppping but i cant :(

    • profile image

      owl 6 years ago

      my dad made me write a paper on biteing my nails

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      gladys 6 years ago

      I've been biting my nails n the skin around it n I can't looks gross when wet my!

    • profile image

      Tamworth 6 years ago

      I can't stop biting my nails. Either you guy don't give enough evidence to support I

      Your. Idea

    • profile image

      lkkklm 6 years ago

      well it isn't a bad idea but like i think its dumb

    • profile image

      Jane 6 years ago

      i have been bitting my nails for a long as i can remember i have tried fake nails but i just bit those off! i put a light pink on them so they would have something on them and then a got shellac which is just hard polish and i just got my first french manicure today and i'm 17 and i hope i can stop bitting them.

    • profile image

      Izzy 6 years ago

      Sometimes I bite my nails and then remember not to and take my hand down. But then I think I need to even it out because it doesn't look nice, before I know it I'm not able to bite anymore. :(

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      Ben 6 years ago

      Hi i bite my nails and the skin around my nails, and something weird has happened ive had this weird skin thing around my nail on my index finer sometimes the skin is very hard and when i put water on it it goes really soggy and looks horrible, also it doesn't hurt at all at any point it just looks horrible and i want rid of it any help ?

    • profile image

      carmeka 6 years ago


    • profile image

      merr 6 years ago

      I have the same problem, I've been biting my nails for years (im 13 now) and well they look GROSS! They are really short and disgusting :/

    • profile image

      ihateu 6 years ago

      I bit my nails at one time and the last time i bit my nails was when i had white stuff on my index finger. I thought it would go away in a few days. It started hurting so i put more and more bandages on it. S I told my dad crying because it hurt so bad. He said "Looks like it's been there for a long time." He poked it with a needle and it was squirting pus. I said "Ewwww..." That's why I quit biting my nails.

    • profile image

      bla bla bla 6 years ago

      same i paint them but coz ive bitten them so much they've gon so short esp my thumbs they're wide and short im ony 10 years old help me i wanna hav really nice nails like my mum but its too late i think i need more tips!!!

    • profile image

      cindy 7 years ago

      ive been biting my nails for a long time and im only 14 i have reeeeeealy bad nails its disgusting but i just cant stop and nailpolish looks like shit on mi nails cuz there so short.

    • profile image

      brandy meservier 7 years ago

      I was biting my nails while reading this. and i've tried all these things and not to be gross but you do get used to the taste of that nasty nail polish. Nial biting is a VERY hard habit to break and i think i need to contact a doctor for advice cause you people don't give good advice. no offense :)

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      radom gurl 7 years ago

      I have been a nail-biter for many years. And everone tells me the same thing. "Paint them!" but like T said, you get used to the tatse. So what I do, is carry around a little ball, or toy. Then I play with it, the second I feel an urge to chew. Trust me it works!!!:)

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      7 years ago

      Omg I bite my nails so much and they have ridges on them, it's so disgusting and yet I still cant't stop. Even though this is one of those things you normally do when you're nervous, I do it all the time, even when I'm not nervous! HELP!

    • profile image

      KittyKat 7 years ago

      i bite my nails all time and sometimes i don't even know it! help!

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      pardeep 7 years ago

      now i will quit my this habit

    • profile image

      shell 7 years ago

      these are terrible reasons for people not to bite their nails. when you touch earth worms, you wash your hands

      and "its hard to talk to your friends when your fingers are in your mouth" you don't talk while biting nails, you move your fingers usually having a conversation

      i mean biting nails is still gross cause everything you touch, like someone sick and school touched the desk and you touch it then bite your nails, or your nails don't look good or healthy. you could have better ways of telling people its not good

      i like your effort though :)

    • profile image

      MiffyMuffin 7 years ago from Hampshire

      I've been a nail biter for many years. I've tried the bad tasting nail varnish but I just chew it off. Nothing seems to work. I've even tried wearing gloves round the house to stop me biting ! :)

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      Gaby 7 years ago

      Ya painting them is good!! i DO that and it works for me!!! especially bright colors because the bright colors reminds u to not bight your nails

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      Smiley 7 years ago

      What i did to stop bitting my nails was paint them and instead of bitting

      my nails i bit of the paint then repainted them

    • profile image

      tony 8 years ago

      lol i was bitting my nails while reading this

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      Megan 8 years ago

      I have a very terrible habit of biting my nails... I really wish I could stop.. my boyfriend is constantly hitting me for it.. but I just can't!! help!!!

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      8 years ago

      Im sorry but the horrible tasting nail polish does not work because in the end you get used to the taste!(gross) And if your nails are low already then painting them wont make them look nicer... Do you have any better tips?

    • profile image

      brij samani 8 years ago

      yo bitches!! it works!!

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 9 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for the comment....

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Lots of good information

      regards Zsuzsy