Nail Biting And Onychotillomania

Frequent application of distasteful topical preparations on the nail and periungual skin can discourage patients from biting and chewing their finger nails. Possible alternatives include:

• quaternary ammonium derivatives

• 4% quinine sulphate in petrolatum.

Patients with severe onychophagia or median nail dystrophy can be helped by daily bandaging the injured fingers with permeable adhesive tape. Fluoxetine at high dosages (60 mg/day) can be helpful in interrupting this compulsive disorder in adults.

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