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Yikes, Do You Bite Your Nails? Here’s How Derms Say You Can Break The Habit

If you’ve experienced an infection in your skin or nails from biting, Libby suggests contacting your local dermatologist for an evaluation. Your dermatologist can help guide you in a direction to not only treat the infection, but can also help to give suggestions on how to eliminate biting altogether.

“If someone is maiming themselves, scarring themselves, having multiple bouts of infections, and still can’t stop picking, then that’s a problem. There’s a positive feedback loop in your brain that has to be broken,” says Wechsler. In these cases, a more significant intervention may be needed, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In broad terms, CBT involves working with a practitioner to identify the thoughts you’re having while picking or engaging in any unwanted behavior and replacing them with healthier thoughts. “But it only works if you’re motivated,” says Wechsler. To find a therapist, search the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors’ database.

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