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Essential Oils for Nail Biting: Do They Work?


Children tend to develop bad habits pretty fast. As they go to school together, play together, and eat together, they share much more than you expect. And that is natural – this is how they learn and grow.

However, as far as the bad habits go, parents cannot leave it to their children to correct them themselves. Sometimes you need to get hold of the situation and fix it. 

So, let’s talk about nail biting, a bad habit that children often develop.

Nail biting typically isn’t a serious concern, and you can (most often) easily correct it in children.

You should also know that nail biting is often temporary, and, in most cases, children do it when they are either nervous, thinking too deeply, or zoned out. While nail biting typically stops when someone is constantly made aware of it, parents must not ignore it.

In some cases, the nail-biting habit is not just the occasional nail biting, but a condition called Onychophagia. Let’s learn more about it!

Table of contents:

  • What is nail biting?
  • How to stop your toddlers and older children from biting their nails using essential oils?
  • How to use and dilute essential oils to stop nail biting in children?
  • How to properly dilute essential oils for nail biting remedy?

What is nail biting?

Nail biting is a non-destructive behavior that leads to cosmetic issues or concerns regarding potential damage to the fingernails. 

But, if ignored and not corrected in time, this bad habit might become a severe problem. 

Nail biting can also be one of the Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) called Onychophagia. Under this condition, people end up biting their nails uncontrollably when put in a stressful situation or feeling anxious.

In some cases, Onychophagia might also be accompanied by similar behaviors like skin picking or hair pulling. In these cases, you should seek professional help.

Generally, nail biting results in damage to the fingernails, cuticles, and soft tissues that surround the nails. The good news is that, according to experts, nail biting in children doesn’t need any professional treatment.

Now, let’s look into how nail-biting habits can be stopped in children. Is there a chemical-free way to stop it? For example, can you use essential oils for nail biting? Yes! And we will teach you how!

How to stop your toddlers and older children from biting their nails using essential oils?

Children tend to bite their nails. They start with placing hands a month so early in life, and sometimes, they get overly curious and start biting their nails or cuticles.

child biting nails, nail biting remedy, how to stop biting nails

Usually, children generally outgrow this bad habit. However, sometimes they need a bit of help. Parents usually know when they simply can’t keep it under control, and this is when parents start by stopping them every time, they bite their nails. But, this is impossible in the long run because parents, as we all know, are not always around. Especially because most of the kids bite their nails in bed or somewhere where parents can’t see them to avoid parents who try their best to be in control of this situation.

On a second note, if we listen to expert dermatologists, keeping fingernails neat and trim and keeping their hands well-groomed sometimes can stop their urge to bite nails. 

Another idea is bitter-tasting nail polishes available in the market to stop nail biting. But, this is not the healthiest solution, because those are chemical-based polishes.

The last thing parents try is putting a bitter-tasting or spicy element on their fingers and nails, so every time they try to bite their nails, the bad taste stops them. But, those spices can cause pain on open wounds that are generally there with nail biting.

Is there a way to have bitter nails and not to cause them pain? Yes. And the answer is in 100% pure essential oils that are diluted and turned into a remedy in minutes.

How to use and dilute essential oils to stop nail biting in children?

It might sound like an out-of-the-box idea, but essential oils do work to stop nail biting. 

However, 100% pure essential oils are the healthiest alternative, easy to use and even easier to properly dilute before application.

What oils can I use?

Some essential oils suitable for nail biting are:

  • Neem Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Bitter Orange Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Oregano Oil

How to properly dilute essential oils for nail biting remedy?

All these essential oils taste very bitter and will get your child scrunching their face as soon as they start with the nail biting. 

Just make sure you choose only 100% pure essential oils and use them sparingly and properly diluted!

how to dilute essential oils


Here is how to do it:

  • 1 TBS of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil…)
  • 1 drop of 100% pure essential oil

Mix it all together.

Wash your child's hands thoroughly.

Dab a cotton ball in the blend and apply it to the fingernails and cuticles of your child.

Every time they wash their hands, re-apply the essential oil remedy.

Given the medicinal benefits essential oils provide to skin and hair, essential oils used as a remedy for nail biting have garnered much appreciation from users worldwide. 

Natural oils offer many unique benefits, making it a staple in almost every home these days.

Nail biting in children can turn into a serious concern if you don’t stop it in time. 

Considered a nervous habit, nail biting is most often a sign of curiosity, anxiety, stress, and even boredom. So, if your child has this habit and you want to correct it, here is a DIY remedy.

Now you know what essential oils are safe to use to prevent nail biting, how to apply them and most importantly - how to properly dilute them.

Shefali Chautala

Shefali Chautala is a professional content creator, reviewer, and a lifelong learner who loves to write about stuff she finds interesting. Always curious to learn about new things, Shefali combines her curiosity and knowledge to create content that is valuable for the readers.

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