I've finally quit biting my fingernails.

I’m 48 and for about the past 45 years, I’ve been a habitual nail biter. My mother tried to get me to stop. My wife of 25 years has tried to get me to stop. It’s just a powerful addiction/habit that is difficult to break. That is, it was difficult to break until a co-worker turned me onto “Hoof Hands - kick the habit”. I really hate to sound like an infomercial for the stuff but it has worked great.

It’s basically a clear fingernail polish that has the foulest taste you can imagine. Once you put it on, you won’t want to get your fingers anywhere near your mouth. You won’t floss. You won’t lick your fingers. You’ll be extremely careful when you eat finger foods. You’ll do anything to keep your fingers away from your mouth. It smells like fingernail polish remover when you put it on but once it dries, it has no smell whatsoever. It recommends that you use it for 3 months after your habit has ceased. I don’t know if that’s absolutely necessary or if it’s just trying to sell additional product, probably the latter. It was only about $4 for half ounce bottle. I bought 2 and still have plenty left.

So if you’ve struggled with nail biting and want to quit, you might give it a try. If you have any other success stories, I’d love to hear them in case I relapse.

Congrats! :slight_smile: I was a habitual nail biter, too. Started in childhood during one of our interstate moves. Honestly, I finally stopped when my nail biting habit outgrew my nail’s ability to grow back, and I moved on to chewing on my cuticles, a habit which slowly … took over, I guess, and allowed my nails to grow back some.

I quit the cuticle habit when I bought some kickass nighttime cuticle cream. (RIP :frowning: Revlon no longer makes it.) It allowed my cuticles to heal and smooth out, again, faster than I could rip them up again. Then I started taking biotin supplements, which really kick-starts and accelerates growth. Today my nails are reasonably long (I type all day, and garden, so really long nails are right out) and the only sign that I was such a bad nail-biter, I think, is the fact that my quicks don’t go out very far.

Concur that it’s a very, very difficult habit to break. I mean, if you want to quit drinking you can just not buy booze, etc. but your hands are always right there in front of you … tempting you … Plus it’s easy to do without ever noticing it, and then oops! damage already done, which makes going cold turkey a bit of a challenge.

A violin teacher told me he used to be really bad about nail-chewing, too. (You have to keep your nails super-short to play professionally, so there’s a built-in incentive.) He told me how he finally quit: he splurged on an expensive manicure at a nice salon. No polish, but a cleaning, trimming, buffing, etc. He said they looked so nice for the first time in his life that he didn’t want to ruin it (plus he’s a cheapskate, so I’m sure he kept reminding himself how much it cost.)
So there ya go: two more success stories, two more methods. Glad your stuff worked for you!

I quit cold turkey last spring and have only had one relapse. I thought I’d never be able to quit, but I finally got to the point where the embarrassment over the sight of my nails was stronger than the urge to bite them. I told myself that every day without biting was a step toward not feeling ashamed when I had to sign a credit card slip at a store or point to anything or otherwise bring attention to my nails.

Now if I could only put that revelation to use in stopping my dermatillomania. :frowning:

I quit cold-turkey 3-4 years ago after biting for ~15 years.

I didn’t stop at nails. I actually formed callouses on the highest knuckle of most of my fingers. You couldn’t see the grooves anymore.

One day in class, I up and said “I’m going to stop doing that. Now.” I had a few re-lapses, but I finally kicked the habit. It’s nice to see how normal my fingers look again. I didn’t think they ever would.

Why should I try to quit again?

Thanks Nars! I need to quit. My fingernails looks awful. Can you get Hoof Hands at a normal drug store?

Does it work on toenails too?

I’m not sure. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.

Well done! I quit about eighteen months ago, as part of my post-uni “Grow the fuck up” plan. I did it cold turkey, and I think by using cocktail sticks to keep my mouth busy. I still nibble occasionally, but it’s more to keep them looking good (I don’t have a nail cutter).

When I was younger, my mum used the nail polish stuff on me, but I’d start as soon as she forgot (which was fairly often, and I wouldn’t remind her).

I may have to pick this stuff up. I am a horrid, horrid nail biter. I can’t help it. When I decide to stop I start feeling my nails grow (it’s insane, I know). The longest I’ve ever gone without was a week, then I started right up again.

I know it’s horridly disgusting, but I can’t help it.

Good for you! Now tell me how to stop picking my arms.

It’s a family trait to bite one’s nails. I did it for years, and then one day I said ‘Screw this I’m not doing it anymore.’ and stopped. However, I can not stand my fingernails at all so I trim them all the time.

I do, from time to time bite one if it cracks, but I usually can cut it before then. However, I always bite my cuticles.

My 5 year old has now started biting her nails and I have no idea how to get her to stop. I know when I was that young my parents tried that nasty tasting stuff, but it never worked as I did it anyway.

Now if I could just stop with the cuticles I’d be good. Oh and lieu I used to bite my toenails too. I don’t think I can reach any more.