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Nail biting

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What is nail biting and what causes it?

Nail biting is also known as Onychophagia which derives from the Greek word ‘phagos,’ meaning ‘to eat’. It is the condition when someone bites his/her own nails, and occasionally their cuticles. The condition can be a precursor of a nail tic if not treated in time.

Stress is a common cause, but severe nail biting can also be a symptom for mental illnesses and compulsive disorders. Biting the free edge of the nail plate can lead to bacterial infections, skin avulsions and onycholysis.

Who does it affect?

Anyone – particularly individuals suffering from stress. Nail biting typically effects children/young adults. The condition may affect the free edge, hyponychium, nail beds, nail folds and sometimes cuticles.

How can nail technicians help?

Nail technicians play a crucial role in encouraging clients to take pride in the appearance of their nails; treatments such as nail sculpting, nail art and polishes can help with that whilst also providing a barrier for biting. Nail art is especially effective for children/young adults.

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