Nail Biting Basics

Nail biting in all its various forms is problematic behavior beset by peculiarity and contradiction. Technically speaking, the correct word for nail biting is ANONYCHOPHAGIA.

Nail biting typically begins between the ages of five and 10 and is common among children as well as adults. As many as one in three Americans bite their nails.

One of the more noteworthy and generally surprising things about nail biting is its high instance. It crosses every social and economic barrier. Prevalence figures for children are much higher than for adults.

Results of nail biting can result in short, ragged nails. It may also lead to damaged cuticles as well as bleeding around the edges of the nails. Infections can also develop if nails are not properly attended to.

Most relevant studies have found that nail biting tends to peak out around puberty.

A study by Malon and Massmer studied the behavior in the Chicago school systems and reported that nail biting is prevalent in about 60 percent of children age eight to eleven.

Most people agree it is a learned habit, perhaps picked up by watching a parent or someone else biting their nails.


Nail biting is an extremely tough habit to break and treatment for it varies.

One possible solution is identifying the reason for nail biting. Avoidance or modification of these situations can be beneficial to the eventual elimination of the habit.

Improving self-esteem is also helpful when attempting to break the habit.

Products such as CONTROL-IT are available on the market and are designed to aid nail biters in breaking their habit. According to www.stopbitingnails.com , CONTROL-IT is a gentle and natural alternative to help prevent biting. A mild unpleasant taste helps to remind users to stop biting their nails.

A host of research efforts both in America and Europe sought to ascertain if in fact nail biting was linked to mental illness in one form or another. Most people would have anticipated they found a high prevalence of nail biting among the mentally disordered; however, they found that nail biting, in and of itself, is not systematic of any form of mental disorder or maladjustment.

Nail biting crosses all national borders, genders, and both social and economic lines and may also originate from a primal need for self-grooming. It affects both the nails and the cuticles; with greater potential harm caused via infection to the cuticle and nail biting tends to be a private affair, and is a relatively isolated form of self-indulgence.

Nail biting may be treated addressing symptom rather than cause; it is a habit, not a disease.

Owner: Christopher Joel Henry; born: December 18, 1958; birthplace: California

Married: Mrs. Trudy Henry

Mr. Henry has been an entrepreneur the majority of his adult life, generally in engineering pursuits. Most recently he has been a business applications software consultant to Fortune 500 companies, in the greater Boston area.

He is an honored member of the International Who's Who of Science and Engineering, as well as a member of the New England Systems Group.

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