Nail biting is a hard habit to break, but beyond making your nails unsightly, there are health reasons to curb the practice. That's why we talked to celebrity manicurist Robbie Schaeffer of the ROBB Salon in Studio City, Calif. to get the 411 how to stop biting your nails.
According to the Mayo Clinic, nail biting creates the potential to pass bacteria or viruses from your nails and fingers to your mouth. This leaves the door wide open for you to catch colds or other illnesses.
Sound gross? It kind of is. In our exclusive interview below, Robbie runs down reasons to kick the habit and offers ways to keep your hands healthy, whether at a nail salon or by doing it by yourself at home.
What are a few major reasons why teens shouldn't bite their nails?
Teens shouldn't bite their nails as it can cause damage to their nail beds, causing the nail to not grow healthy. Also, when you put your fingers in your mouth to bite them, you are putting any dirt trapped under the nail bed into your mouth.
What's the worst case you've seen?
I've seen some serious nail biters! It is important not to bite and pick the cuticle because this can lead to infection.
Some people are totally addicted to nail-biting. What are your suggestions on how to stop?
Keep the nails polished at all times. This will make the nails look nice and discourage biting and picking. Stick with this plan for six weeks in a row, because that's how long it takes to break a habit.
Not everyone has the money to get regular manicures at a professional salon. Do you have any home remedies you can offer?
If you're not able to get to the salon, make a weekly plan to polish your nails at home every week for six weeks and stick with this plan. Also be sure to use a hand lotion regularly, and a cuticle oil too. Lastly, be sure to use a nail strengthener to keep the nails strong.