Thursday, October 20, 2005

TIPS FOR PROPER NAIL CARE

Below I have listed some general tips for nail maintenance. These tips should be used by both men and women... so guys, don't think you are above this!

Filing:

1) Nails should be slightly square or oval and not pointed, this will prevent breaking
2) Nails can weaken if they are filed too low into the corners and sides
3) File gently
4) Use one long stroke, from the side to the center of the nail
5) The ideal length that suits most hands is just over the fingertip


Conditioning:

1) Every evening smooth your nails with a nourishing oil or conditioning cream, this will help to seal moisture into your nails and prevent them from flaking and splitting
2) A nice cheap alternative is a tiny drop of olive oil


Cuticle Care:

1) Carefully treat the tough or overgrown cuticles
2) Avoid cutting cuticles with scissors, it could lead to infection in the nail bed
3) Soak your nails in warm soapy water to soften the cuticles, then smooth them with a cuticle softening cream or gel before gently pushing them back with a manicure hoof stick or clean cotton swab
4) After pushing cuticles back, gently scrub away the flakes of dead skin that are still clinging to the nail bed


General Tips:

1) Do not use acetone nail polish removers as they can strip essential moisture from your nails
2) Do not apply hand cream every time you was your hands, the oils in the cream will seal moisture in your nails
3) Before doing messy jobs, drag your nails over a bar of soap so dirt won’t be able to get under the nails
4) Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean ink and stains from your finger tips
5) Do not file nails immediately after a bath because they are weak and are likely to split
6) Use a cotton swab to clean under your nails, it is gentler than using a nail brush

TESTAMONIALS

On the Control-It! Web site I found several product testimonials that were interesting which I have included below. Some of the testimonials have pictures included.


BEFORE & AFTER #1
I am enclosing photos of my new nails. I bit my nails for as long as I can remember which is at least 35 years. I would often rip out the cuticles and get infections, and many mornings my fingers would really hurt from biting the nails back so far.

I started applying the Omega 3 cream as soon as I got it. Despite some very stressful events, I stuck with it even when it would have been a lot more comfortable to slip back into old habits. I stuck with it, and after a week, I found that I had gotten past the unconscious habit of putting my fingers in my mouth. I haven’t used it since, but I also haven't bitten them either. The cuticles are almost entirely healed now, and in a few more weeks they will look perfect. I have even had to trim the nails a few times already.

I can't tell you how much better I feel about myself now. Not only do I feel better that I don't look like a nervous wreck chewing at my own digits, I can also do presentations up close with customers and not be embarrassed by my ugly fingers. But the biggest benefit of all is that I proved to myself I could change a long-standing, deep-seated habit. No more will I accept other people telling me they can't stop smoking, or lose weight, or whatever. If I can stop biting my nails after 35 years, what else is possible? Hmmm....Could I start my own business? Improve my relationship? Exercise regularly?

My horizons have opened up, so thank you so much for freeing me!
Best regards and many thanks,Wayne F



BEFORE & AFTER #2
Here are pictures of before and after I used your product. It worked better than I ever would have thought.
-Thanks, Amber W


BEFORE & AFTER #3
Purchased Gold Star package and the product is awesome!! Stopped on the first day
and haven't bitten since. Now the cream serves as a reminder any time I
subconsciously put my fingers in my mouth.
-Phil J


BEFORE & AFTER #4
Well, here we are just over 3 weeks and Sarah has not bit at all and when she did slip her thumb in her mouth by mistake at night the taste awoke her and stopped her (this only happened once as she also wore a glove over her hand).

Her nails are too long for a little girl who takes piano and ballet and will just be turning 11 this coming Saturday. We wanted to take a picture and send it right away before we need to trim them so they don't cause a problem in piano or slash someone in ballet class by mistake. I'm really hoping these pics are good enough for you to use so that she can get the $25 - she is saving for a doll and it would go a long way toward it (and American Girl).

Plus, she not only quit the biting, but also stopped a lifelong and hereditary habit of thumb-sucking. We will keep using this product to stay the course and make sure the habit is firmly in place or anytime an urge might recur.

It's the best we've ever used! I didn't think it would work really, but it has and my husband and I are amazed.
-Thanks Control-It!


I am 53 years old, do not drink, smoke, gamble or cuss. But I do, or did bite my nails. Have been since about 12 years old. Picked it up from an uncle who bit his. I decided enough is enough, I have a 10 year old grandson who I do not want to get into the nail biting habit. Your product is great, I am on day 3, just knowing it is on has helped me to stop. I have bitten my nails till they bleed sometimes and hurt like heck. I realize I have a way to go to get regular looking nails back, but I do believe omega will break me.
-Thank you again


I have not been able to control my nail biting for years until your product came along. It not only stops the nail biting, but also conditions and heals very nicely. I chewed my nails until they were bleeding and so sore, and I still could not stop! My nails and hands look so nice now. I will always use your product...it is the Best!
-Lori


Thank you for the AWESOME nail biting product you guys have sent. It has helped me out so much. I have been biting my nails since I was in the third grade, I am now in the Air Force after completing two years of college - the whole time ripping into my nails. Then I stumbled across your site, took a chance, and after one week there was a huge difference in the way my nails/fingers looked. All I can do is thank you guys Hugely and continue to praise your product.
-Satisfied customer, Richard M


I just wanted to thank you for making such a wonderful product...finally after 23 years of nail biting....I stopped the first day! It has been 21 days exactly since I received your product and have stopped biting my nails. I was actually able to stick to my New Years resolution thanks to your product.
-Thank you so much!!!!

INGREDIENTS

The ingredients used in Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, not tested on animals and are FDA registered.

Active ingredients include:
-Aloe Vera extract
-Sunflower oil
-Denatonium Saccharide (a sugar compound)
-Omega3 extract
-Vitamins A & E

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


CONTROL-IT! NAIL BITING TREATMENT

You can buy Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment on both 3 and 6 week plans. The 3 week plan comes with 3 travel size jars that are easy to transport and act as a friendly reminder against nail biting urges. The 6 week plan comes with 6 jars of Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment and provides better assurance that nail biting tendencies will never return.

For more advanced cases there is Extra Strength Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment made with 5 times the active ingredient of the regular strength formula. With Extra Strength Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment the bitter taste lasts longer between applications and the stronger formula ensures that you will overcome nail biting urges.

Following the Control-It! Web site there are links to the Gold Star Program which was developed to be used in conjunction with Control-It! Nail Biting Treatment. The Gold Star Program is a free professional three phase intensive treatment program that was developed with the cooperation of pediatricians, dentists and certified therapists. The program provides additional guidance throughout your treatment period and weekly interaction with professionals.

The Control-It! Web site also offers several guidance books that help in providing the motivation to step-up to, conquer and overcome nail biting problems. There are books for both children and adults. Adult books address topics such as how to change your life in one week, stress management, and parental guides for adults with children. For the children there are books including the Berenstain Bears that promote individuality and self esteem while addressing the topic of nail biting.


TOPICAL SOLUTIONS

Being that the topical solutions idea sounded the most logical I conducted a search on the different products that were on the market. Of those that I found I was most impressed with a product called Control-It Cream. Control-It nail cream is odorless, stainless and paints on invisible. It acts as a preventative by providing a bitter taste. The main thing that sets Control-It cream apart from the alternatives is that it is made with all natural ingredients. The other products included ingredients such as cayenne pepper, benzene and other harsh manufactured chemicals that can be toxic and unhealthy. The natural ingredients that are used in Control-It cream are 100% safe when consumed and also provide vitamins and nutrients to nails and cuticles to strengthen weakened nails and smooth rough edges. This rapid healing of damaged nails helps to prevent hangnails and other blemishes that are often a trigger to bite.

SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM

I conducted a search and found many solutions that discourage nail biting. Some seemed to make sense, others were downright comical. I have listed my favorites below.

• “The rubber band”
Nail biters wear an elastic band around their wrists at all times. Whenever they get an urge to bite or find themselves nibbling away unconsciously they snap the elastic band creating a sensation of pain. This sounds like a decent idea in theory, but I’m not sure about how effective it would be. Any number of things could happen from the elastic band breaking to the user getting tired of the pain.

• “The tennis ball”
Nail biters carry around a tennis ball or similar object. By keeping the hands busy the idea is that the mind will be sidetracked so that the nail will not be accessible to the mouth. This idea does not seem very practical for real world situations. Imagine carrying a ball everywhere from work and church to around the house.

• “Chew on something else”
The example given was to chew gum. This would make it difficult to bite nails at the same time and perhaps would keep the biter’s mind off of the act of nail biting while the chewing was taking place. The problem I see with this one is that you are merely replacing one habit with another habit, one that is not necessarily much better for you since chewing gum has negative effects on the teeth. This technique could get expensive.

• “Gloves”
Wearing gloves around was an idea given that would not give the biter access to the nails. Again, not very practical given that there are many situations in which you would not want to be wearing gloves.

• “Topical Solutions”
There are actually a few different brands of manufactured products that you paint on to the nail surface that act as a preventive agent due to a horrible taste. When the biter goes to bite the nail they are immediately repulsed by the discouraging taste. This to me sounded like the best idea in that it would be the most definite preventative. The other options attempt to break the habit by introducing a new habit. The success of such a technique would ultimately depend on the will-power of the individual to replace the old habit with the new. By using a topical solution on the nails the nail biter will physically only be able to bite the nails if they can stand the unbearable taste, most of which will not be able to.

STATISTICS

To realize how widespread the problem really is, one need not look further than the statistics of the amount of people who bite their nails.

- 50-60% of children between the ages of 10 and 18
- 20-29% of young adults ages 18-29
- 5-10% of older adults ages 30+

It is apparent that nail biting is something that is more prevalent among younger people, especially children and teenagers. During the tender years of adolescence and puberty young people are experiencing many changes as they come to terms with themselves and the world around them. It is inferred from this that during those crucial years there is also a high level of stress which could lead to the problem. The high rate of young adults that participate in nail biting (20-29%) is a staggering testament to the difficulty of breaking the negative cycle often picked up in younger years. To put this number in perspective I conducted a search to compare the percentage of nail biters among young adults to the percentages of alcoholics and smokers. Much to my surprise, the ratio of nail biters far exceeds both the number of smokers (24%) and the number of alcoholics (9%).

As I was performing online research for the statistics on the number of people who bite their nails I found myself at a website called 43 Things that contains lists of many subjects for things people would like to do. I was staggered to find that over 843 people had said that they wanted to quit biting their nails.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF NAIL BITING

Nail biting has many negative effects and can lead to poor health and hygiene. Fingernails are vital for protecting fingertips and aid in many uses like picking up small things and scratching when you have an itch. When you bite your nails you are often breaking the skin causing bleeding and exposing the openings to germs which can cause infection. You are also putting yourself at risk of swallowing many of the germs that exist under the nails in the act of biting. Dental problems and infections of the gums are sometimes made possible.

SYMPTOMS OF NAIL BITERS

After the age of 10 there are generally more males that bite their nails than females. Studies have shown that nail biters are usually individuals with a high rate of intelligence. One explanation for this is that people with higher intelligence have more responsibility, which could lead directly to higher levels of anxiety. Apparently there could be a relationship between nail biting and low self esteem, however nail biting was not shown to lower a biter’s self esteem. Children may pick up nail biting habits as a learned behavior from watching older influential people in their lives. The longer the habit has continued the harder it is for an individual to break the disruptive pattern.

DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM

Nobody is certain for sure how people begin a pattern of biting their nails and why it so often turns into a habitual problem. Many believe that it has some correlation with levels of stress and tension relief. In reality there are a number of factors that could lead to the formation of a nail biting problem including items such as environment, learned behavior, anxiety, boredom and stress; working in any different number of combinations.

Chronic nail biting is a real psychiatric medical condition that is known as Onychophagia. It is often categorized in association with other self inflicting stress relief techniques such as hair pulling, skin picking, and cheek biting; and is compared to various nervous habits such as thumb-sucking, nose-picking, tooth grinding, giggling, and twitching.

There are two degrees of Onychophagia. The first is Mild Onychophagia which consists of occasional biting. The second is Severe Onychophagia which causes bleeding, scarring, pain and possible infection. The severe form is identified with self-mutilating behavior.

There are two modes in which a person bites their nails. Some do it in an automatic way, as if they are in a trance and not really thinking about what they are doing. Usually, they are involved in some other activity at the same time such as reading, watching TV, etc. For others, the deliberate picking or biting is their main activity at the time.

INTRODUCTION

This blog is dedicated to providing information on the characteristics and traits of an overlooked addiction that is commonplace yet often misunderstood.….. Nail Biting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

HABIT OR ADDICTION?

What is the difference between a habit and an addiction? By definition the two words are almost interchangeable; a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior acquired through frequent repetition. Yet there is one factor that completely separates the two words: control. When an individual has a habit, they still have control over the behavior they are engaging in. They can use or engage in their activity in moderation. The opposite holds true for an addiction. The behavior controls the user so that they engage in the mannerisms habitually or compulsively to the point that they may become dependent on the habit itself.