Many people have nervous habits which they can be completely unconscious of doing, whether it is winding hair round a finger, picking at skin, or lip biting. These often begin as nervous habits caused by stress or anxiety and just develop into a way of life. Many who lip bite as a nervous habit find themselves unable to stop and it can turn into a problem, not least because the lips are on public display and the inevitable damage will show.
Those who continually bite their lips will have the tell tale signs of broken and peeling skin. Their lips will be dry and chaffed, and sometimes the action will cause sharp pain as they bite away at already bleeding skin. It can also make them more prone to oral infections, as well as being bad for the teeth. The good news is that when the habit is broken the lips will completely heal.
A lot of people don’t even realise they have the habit and they can stop it by simply having their attention drawn to it and feeling embarrassed. However others have a severe habit which they are aware of and struggle to break. They may feel it makes their face look ugly and are disgusted with their own behaviour but cannot break the habit as it has become second nature. One persistent lip biter describes her behaviour as ‘self-cannibalisation’ and desperately wants to stop.
Often it requires tremendous willpower to break the habit and people need to be determined to stop and not be put off by failure. Here are some tips to break the lip biting habit.
Apply a cut lemon to the broken skin on the lips: although it will hurt it will help to repair the skin and acts as a disinfectant.
Try chewing gum instead of the lips; it may distract you enough to break the habit: on the other hand it could lead to the habit of chewing gum endlessly.
Encourage yourself by buying a really good lipstick which you know will look quite hideous on lips with broken skin and determine to stop the habit so you can wear the lipstick and feel attractive.
Many lip biters advocate applying lip balm constantly through the day. Every time you feel yourself starting to bite, reach for the lip balm and apply it.
The most obvious way is to use something which tastes foul to you and coat your lips with it so every time you start to bite the noxious taste puts you off. Some have broken the habit by using external moisturisers which really don’t taste good if they end up in the mouth and are thus effective in bringing you up short if you start to bite unconsciously.
Try Suave Advanced Therapy lotion as an awful tasting lotion to put yourself off biting.
Dentists advise that if you really cannot break the habit and it has become chronic and painful, yet you still persist even with blood in your mouth, psychiatric help may be needed. There are often psychological reasons behind persistent chronic habits like this. If you cannot break the habit even with the methods above you may need help with to deal with it.
If you do manage to kick the habit through willpower and these methods, you will probably feel that your lips look so good for the first time in a long time that it will give you the confidence to break your lip biting habit.