Onychophagia

Onychophagia - it's yummie with Raylex!
Raylex – it’s yummie!

Onychophagia

When asked about what their first memory is, most people recall something from the age 4 or 5. I remember vacations with family, crashing into my brother while we both gunned our BMX bikes through an alley on opposite sides and… onychophagia. I don’t recall how it began, but I know for sure it is an oral compulsory habit / parafunctional activity. So, what to do? Well a good dose of  denatonium benzoate should fix that!.  If you didn’t guess: I’m talking about biting nails. In this case for 30+ years and certainly not proud of it. But how to get rid of it?

Denatonium benzate

While sounding like a component of a weapon of mass destruction, it is used in medical placebo’s and discouragement of alcohols like methanol. I read that it’s the most bitter substance known to man. So the product with the highest concentration must be able to prevent me from putting my nails or fingers in my mouth, even when I’m acting on impulse, surely?  I tried out stuff like Byte-X in the past and I still continued biting anyways, so this time around, I tried Raylex. It’s some kind of marker pen, which you use to apply the stuff, full of denatonium benzate.

Marked for growth

It’s not that special, but you can actually get a companion app to remind you and coach you a bit and it does carry some ingredients to accelerate nail growth a bit. All said and done, being the ever skeptic, I started using it a couple of weeks before our holiday and followed the instructions through and through. I did found a small downside: it rubs off on your food as well, making everything very bitter. So I really had to think about the order of things to prevent a bitterness like no tomorrow. Not funny when eating a Wasa. Even avidly chewing gum doesn’t help for at least 10 minutes, meaning it really works well.

Onychophagia
Pen against onychophagia

So how did ye fare, biter?

Admittedly, I did bite 2 or 3 times over the course of more than a month, but it did make me feel sad since the rest was growing quite good. Bitten ones just fell out of tone and it shamed me to have a little relapse. “Surely I can keep  myself from this??” I thought by myself. Apply again. Ah. Forget to eat first. Dammit.

I had to clip my nails today for the first time since I can remember, because they were getting too long. And use a nail file, courtesy of girlfriend. Now that’s something new!
For most people a small feat, for me an honest personal victory. No more hiding fingers, folding hands on photo’s and the even bigger downfalls of biting nails. I do realize this probably reads like an advertorial, but this stuff actually worked for me.  I think that says a lot, coming from 30+ years of nail biting to this point.
I currently don’t bite my nails at all and I sincerely hope it stays out of my system for a long, long time. If you are having the same issue, be sure to try this out!

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