Psychology Quick Tips
Nail biting, hair-pulling, and skin-picking are three common body-focused repetitive behaviors in children and adolescents. A mild form of these behaviours are normal and harmless. However, it needs to be addressed if they result in frequent bleeding/scarring/skin infections or in bald patches on the head/eyebrows/ eyelashes. These behaviours may happen during times of high stress, but many children also engage in these behaviours when watching TV or similar activities.
If you find your child is enaging in frequent nail biting, hair pulling or skin-picking you may want to explore if they are experiencing low mood or worries. If it does not appear to be related to mood, you can try to prevent the behaviour, for example by putting on gloves while watching TV, putting cream or petroleum jelly on the skin and nails, and tying hair.