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What is Habit-tic and what causes it?

Habit-tic is a nail condition which occurs due to repetitive external trauma to the nail matrix. It can be seen as multiple deep horizontal ridges which run across the nail plate from the cuticle area to the nail edge. The condition can also be known as onychotillomania, habit-tic deformity, habit-tic dystrophy and median nail dystrophy. The condition usually appears on the thumb, although in severe cases it can be seen on other nails. Habit-tic links to mental wellness issues such as anxiety, depression or stress, and can even be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The condition occurs over time, similar to nail biting or onychophagia.

Who does it affect?

Anyone – particularly individuals who are under a lot of stress, or suffer from mental health conditions. The habit effects the nail plate, specifically the nail plate formation, every time external trauma occurs to the nail.

How can nail technicians help?

Treatment can take a prolong period of time and requires commitment from the client. Often, the basic nail treatment comes hand-in-hand with support from medical professionals.

Medical professionals will help diagnose and treat mental health conditions. It is your job is to stop the habit from impacting the nail – make the client love their nails again and break the habit! Acrylic or gel overlays and sculptures are a key treatment, as is elegant nail art, as these enhancements will protect the nail plate from damage. Enhancements should take place for at least six months or longer for long term results. During this time, the nail plate will recover and nail growth can continue.

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