Nail chewers, where are you?

From the age of 12 (roughly) until I turned 28 I “chewed” the flesh alongside my fingernails. Over the years I’ve met and observed many others (mostly males) who did the same but I can’t say I ever seen anybody actually chewing the nail itself. It makes me wonder if that specific behavior is all that common.

Or was my bad habit considered “nail biting.”
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I used to bite my nails as a kid. Stopped the practice in high school, but my brother is like you and chewed the skin around his fingernails. When we went swimming, the chewed up skin on his fingers was very obvious and gross looking.

Several.of my sibs chewed fingers and nails. Were you a thumb sucker? I think it might relate.

Sure, I used to bite (and eat) my nails all the time, from when I was a kid until, oh, about age 35 I guess. When I was little, my mom would apply a special foul-tasting (and invisible) polish on my nails; Stop-N-Grow, it was called. It didn’t always work.

I started on the nails themselves first, and then, when they were pretty much gone, started on the cuticles (the skin around them) just to supply something for the habit.

Habit started when I was 7 or 8.

Oh yeah, I was a “skin harvester”. I think I bit my actual nails for a while as a kid and then graduated to the skin. I remember my fingers actually hurting/bleeding sometimes when a piece of skin ripped too deep. I rarely do it now, but if I feel a loose piece of skin alongside my nail, all bets are off.

Lots of products for that now, also working on the cuticles.

A more permanent solution, when you use your teeth to nibble, is to ask your dentist to make your front teeth a little thicker. My front teeth’s edges were so thin they were translucent, and very sharp, excellent tools for the precision work of biting nails and cuticles. I asked my dentist to fill the teeth at the back with a little of that white filling material. Cost very little and I can’t use my teeth anymore.

Also a solution: gel nail polish. Salons apply this for you, it hardens under UV light. Gel polish ia a VERY strong kind of nail polish, much stronger then an applied acrylic nail. It can’t elongate your nails, but the translucent kind of gel can grow out without it being noticable, so you can go for two months without an redo. it is the best way I found to make nailbiting impossible.

I trim my nails by biting and never thought of it as a problem. I only do it when they are too long, I never overdo it. No desire to nibble on the skin either.

I used to bite my nails. Never chewed my skin.

I trim my nails by biting and never thought of it as a problem. I only do it when they are too long, which is defined as “I still have existing nails”. Eventually they will all be gone.