Who bites their nails today and why ?

An exclusive study by Skin Nail / Seprem Etudes

Onychophagy: a compulsive behaviour consisting of biting one's nails – sometimes down to the roots of phalanges – often triggered by stress or anxiety. Onychophagy is both a real physical and social illness. Physical, because it can cause repeated microlesions in the skin, that open the way to local infections; social, because nail biters have problems accepting their damaged hands, that in turn can lead to aggressiveness or withdrawal from the outside world, reinforced by the inability to stop.

Even though nail biting is a widespread behaviour no studies have been done up until now to find out the percentage and types of French people who bite their nails and the reasons behind the habit.

At the initiative of Skin Nail, an anti nail-biting treatment based on natural extracts of Quassia, EPREM ETUDES have carried out a survey (1) the results of which shed new light on a widespread social pathology.

Who bites their nails ?

Nearly one in three French people are or have been nail biters.

Nail biting differs considerably according to sex, ages and family situation.

Why do people bites their nails ?

Work is actually the main reason for nail biting (26.5%), followed by more less equal, purchasing power, children and the economic situation.

These are followed by lovers, parents, and finally, missing cigarettes.

Who wants to stop ?

10.3 % of French nail biters have tried to stop.

61.2 % are women, but the desire to stop varies considerably with and family situation.

Download the complete study

Download the complete study (in French) in PDF format (requires Adobe reader).
Download the press release (in French) in PDF format (requires Adobe reader).

(1) Methodology: The survey by Skin Nail/Seprem etudes was carried out by telephone in exclusivity for Aclaé Santé with a sample of 1001 participants representative of the French population aged 15 and above, selected by the quota method.