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Thread: Fingernail Biting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    Default Fingernail Biting

    How common is it for people with Tourette Syndrome to bite their fingernails? Can fingernail biting be characterized as a tic, a nervous habit, a compulsion or self injurious behaviour?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    St. John's NL
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    Default Fingernail Biting

    I totally believe it is a tic. I have like many other in my family, have bitten my nails for years. I have tried over the years to stop but could not. Prior to diagnosis I would catch myself bitting and stop and try to assess what I was thinking about and often wondered what triggered it... but could never find an answer. I used to think it was a compulsion but then would ask myself what possible reason would I feel the need to have to do this. I have no logical explanation for why I bite my nails so I have chucked it up to a Tic :shock:

    I wear acrylic nails and have no compulsion to bite... The minute I remove them, I instantly start biting any regrowth! :?

    Definitely interested in others experience or thoughts on this one.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  3. #3

    Default Fingernail Biting

    Janet, I have the exact same experience regarding acrylic nails.

    I always thought it was an OCD thing but then I spent some time on Prozac and other OCish stuff went away, but not the nail biting. I also notice that when I'm trying hard not to chew my nails, I tic more.

  4. #4

    Default Fingernail Biting

    i was just thinking the same thing recently about nail biting ,is it a tic ?
    i have bitten my nails for as long as i can remember,at least 5 years old.
    i have worn acrylics in the past for friends weddings and my own but i even bitten these,they are tough as old boots to chew through but i have a good go at it and win :D mind you it makes them all jaggedy and rough so i file them neat and then go chew some more,i even used to chew my toe nails as a kid,lol,gross :shock:
    my son also chews his finger and toe nails he is 5.
    my nan,my sister and my aunt also but they dont have TS so is it a family trait ??
    :?: :?
    jo

  5. #5

    Default Fingernail Biting

    OMG I have bloody fingers sometimes my picking at my fingers is insane...they go raw sometimes. This is one of the most annoying things I do that isnt vocal...I cant leave my hands alone. I would luv to have nice long nails but instead I have none...its like when a guy asks you to open something for him cuz he has not nails...and since your a gurl you must have them...ya its always been...nope..I have no nails....so trust me I know what its like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
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    5,906

    Default Fingernail Biting

    Sometimes a trigger to fingernail biting is a little catch or roughness in the fingernail or cuticle. These can be minimized by carrying around a piece of emery board.

    Another aid in reducing catches and roughness is liquid bandage. This is a relatively new product sold in the band aid aisle in pharmacies and is available in different brands.

    It's a clear liquid lacquer, which coats the injury and makes it less likely to be a target for biting.

    Anyone have any other nail biting deterrents that you found work for you? :?:

  7. #7

    Default Fingernail Biting

    The only thing that works for me is wearing those fake, acrylic nails. I'll still put them in my mouth, and tap them against my teeth, but I won't bite them.
    Otherwise, for me, the only trigger to biting my nails is HAVING nails! LOL :roll:

  8. #8

    Default Nail Biting

    I've alway put my nail biting down to anxiety as I don't have TS.

    Steve as for the emery board suggestion, I have a sensory aversion to the feel of those, and can't seem to find any good nail files any more, so I chew.

    Like others I've chewed since I was about 4, my earliest memory, but most of my behaviours are stess related and not TS, including tricotillomania.

    Glad I'm in such good company. Everyone who replied had elements I could relate too :lol:

    I'll have to try acrylics will let you know if they work for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
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    962

    Default Fingernail Biting

    Several of our family members have sensory issues to the sound of filing nails so I found a block that has four sides. The finest side even my son does not have a real problem hearing. I have also used it on him in the past.

    The best one I have found is at Bath & Body but no one with sensory issues could stand to walk in with all the smells...

    He rips his nails if I don't get to him fast enough. I've learned to clip them after a bath while soft. The clicking sound is dull this way and less upsetting to him.

    In my case I keep them short and this way they do not catch on anything. I tried acrylic nails but unlike gels they can do extensive damage to my nail surface. They did seem to help with biting though in my daughters case.

    Hope this helps someone.
    PJK

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Fingernail Biting

    Nail files made by the German knife manufactirers are usually quite good...Henckels and Solingen. I believe they are available in Canada at the electric shaver stores at malls in Canada.

    Another option I found that was less abrasive than emory boards is the foam type nail boards. I've bought these at Dollarama stores in Canada...and they are available in some really cool colors!

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