Gransnet forums


Nail biting

(25 Posts)
tinaf1 Thu 02-May-19 17:06:32

After reading the what are your bad habits thread, I see that a lot of gransnetters myself included bite their nails and the skin surrounding them. Has anyone successfully stopped doing this and now got nice nails.
I’ve tried nearly everything but have never succeeded in stopping this habit

gillybob Thu 02-May-19 17:11:35

I stopped for about a year . My nails grew (although they were very weak) . I was so proud of my new nails I began to wear a little light nail varnish and my late mums ring again . Sadly they started splitting and peeling which was all it took for me to give up and go back to my old filthy habit of nail biting and skin pulling . Now they are as ugly as ever .

Maggiemaybe Thu 02-May-19 17:26:21

I have decent nails when I'm being good, they're very strong and grow quickly. I have loads of nail varnish colours and keep them nice when they're a respectable length, which is most of the time these days. But if I ever catch one and it splits, even a tiny bit, I can't resist having a quick nibble. Then before I know it I have ten stubby, raggedy nails. I've had an episode recently, so they're short and ugly at the moment.

tinaf1 Thu 02-May-19 17:34:45

Both your posts resonate with me Maggiemaybe & Gillybob
although like yours Maggiemaybe mine are strong when they get longer. I do find though when they grow they are not always straight bit claw shaped 🧙‍♀️ also my cuticles split and bleed when I try to push them back.

sodapop Thu 02-May-19 17:36:58

Me too Gillybob my friend gave me a voucher for my birthday for a manicure etc so I am trying really hard to get my nails into shape before I go to the salon.

tanith Thu 02-May-19 17:40:49

I have bitten the skin for many many years my hands were awful I could stop now and then but it always came back. I bought some cotton gloves to try to stop it and it helped but inexplicably I no longer do it. I just don’t and I have no explanation as to why it’s very weird to see my hands actually looking ok not sore and bleeding.

mumofmadboys Thu 02-May-19 17:47:07

I am also a nail biter. My nails are much worse if I am stressed. Consequently I have never ever had a manicure and rarely wear rings except my wedding ring.

tinaf1 Thu 02-May-19 17:54:57

I wondered if the fact that I don’t wear rubber gloves when cleaning although try to use hand cream when I remember makes the cuticles and surrounding skin so weak

GrandmaJan Thu 02-May-19 17:58:58

I would bite my nails and pick the skin around them for years. I was so ashamed of them but found it hard to stop. When I did like others have said my nails were weak and constantly breaking and splitting so I decided to go for a manicure. I found an excellent salon that started to treat my nails with specialist varnish and I bought some Imedeen nail strengthening vitamins from Boots. After 3 months my nails were a lot stronger. I stopped taking the vitamins after about 6 months but I have monthly manicures. I now have gel on my nails and they look lovely. The gel makes it difficult to pick and bite your nails as well.

sodapop Thu 02-May-19 20:13:22

That sounds like a plan Grandmajan I will give it a try.

SalsaQueen Thu 02-May-19 22:28:56

I've bitten my nails all my life (I'm 60), but some years back I wore false nails for a while, and my own nails grew underneath. I was so proud and stopped wearing false ones. I was able to file and paint my own nails! I can't remember what made me start biting them again, but they really are terrible, and sometimes I bite them so low that I end up getting a whitlow (very painful), but I can't seem to stop.

Tangerine Thu 02-May-19 22:29:41

Try nail varnish. Perhaps try gel nails or shellac. Not sure if your nails have to grow a bit before you can have gel nails or shellac.

Menopaws Thu 02-May-19 22:35:21

I've always bitten mine, I have grown them but then I can't do anything because it really annoys me unless all the same. They are best slightly grown so I can pick things up but not so long they get in the way

gillybob Thu 02-May-19 22:49:40

Mine are so shameful I tend to hide them. Like others have said I won’t wear a ring (except my modest wedding ring) because who would want to draw attention? As I said on another thread my GP once said that my nails / fingers were a case of self harm (probably caused by stress and anxiety) which I found quite alarming. Sometimes (like now) they are so bad they hurt but yet I stil, pick them to death.

Chewbacca Thu 02-May-19 23:25:37

I used to bite my nails, and the surrounding skin, so badly that the frequently bled. It was impossible for me to bite them any lower and they looked so awful that I was ashamed of them. When I was 50, it was my DS's wedding and I knew I couldn't have any photos taken where my hands would be visible so, a couple of days beforehand, I had temporary false nails put on. They lasted about 2 weeks and when they came off, my own nails had started to grow quite well, so I had another set of false nails put on. When they were taken off, I had my nails professionally manicured and I've never bitten my nails since then. I wouldn't recommend having false nails for any great length of time but, for me, that 4 weeks gave me the start I needed when everything else had failed.

GabriellaG54 Fri 03-May-19 01:12:01

Well...indeed I had the habit for decades, not the skin but just the nails as I hated them tapping on a surface and anyway, I always got good marks in guides and brownies for having immaculately clean hands.
They would grow to the end then I would nibble them to just below that level.
Mum painted them with bitter aloes which didn't stop me.
When having my 4th child in hospital, a nurse remarked on my lovely nails which I hadn't noticed growing but I still did sometimes bite them short but never ugly short.
In the past 8 years I've manicured them myself with products from Superdrug, a 4 way shaper and buffer and a white nail pencil plus my favourite L'Occitane Pivoine hand cream.
I don't use a cuticle stick as pushing the skin back allows germs underneath to the nail bed and infection can occur. They are now to the end of my fingers and slightly squared off. Straight with slightly curved corners. No polish, it ruins the nail and you can't see hidden dirt underneath.
I'll post a photo in daylight.

GabriellaG54 Fri 03-May-19 01:25:32

Awkward photo as phone in case.

GabriellaG54 Fri 03-May-19 01:29:29

No white nail pencil on them yet, that's their normal colour, pink and white.

stella1949 Fri 03-May-19 02:31:57

I used to bite mine constantly. They looked so ugly . Then I had an injury to my hand, where it was cut very deeply and required surgery. As I lay on the emergency room bed, a young doctor came to look at my hand. He picked it up and looked at it - and inadvertently "winced" when he saw my nasty chewed nails and cuticles. I felt very embarrassed - a full grown woman with fingers like a little child's.

I started using Mavala Stop , and I also started knitting a very complicated jumper with a fancy pattern - once I'd started a row I couldn't stop to have a nail chew, since I'd lose my place. I took it wherever I went, so every time I sat down I'd have something to occupy my hands.

I haven't bitten them for 30 years now - I'm so glad I stopped, I love having pretty hands these days.

Beechnut Fri 03-May-19 06:09:39

That’s interesting gillybob about self harm etc. I could never do anything right in my mums eyes and stopped biting my nails when she died. I only now do it occasionally when I feel anxious.

BradfordLass72 Sat 04-May-19 06:08:05

Most people bite their nails from low-level anxiety (or maybe not so low?) Is there an alternative which would soothe you like nail biting does?

If I were a nail biter I'd think of sticking on false nails.

I wouldn't be able to get at my own nails then and biting plastic ones isn't much fun smile

annep1 Sat 04-May-19 07:19:34

What is shellac?

Ohmother Sat 04-May-19 07:24:35

I’m over 50 and have, ever since I can remember, bitten my nails. Last October, after many attempts with different methods, I began to do something serious about it.

Got a manicure and gel nails done professionally. ( It was expensive and I couldn’t afford to bite it off!)
Used particular nail oil daily ( took it everywhere and kept applying it when I remembered)
Kept renewing the gel nail treatment ( was amazed they were my nails underneath!)
Bought my own UV light gel kit.

I don’t always keep them covered in gel varnish now; I give them a rest every so often. I always use cutical/nail oil though and put a multi helper strengthener on if no gel.

It’s worked, after all these years!!

Ohmother Sat 04-May-19 07:26:37

Shellac is like gel I understand. Forgot to say I tried using false nails and they pinged off at the most embarrassing moments!

DanniRae Sat 04-May-19 07:36:20

I never had a chance to start biting my nails because if I put my hands anywhere near my mouth my mum whacked it away. Now my nails are ok but my hands look so old and wrinkled I don't wear any rings - except my wedding ring.