Whether it's an old pastime or a recent development, nail-biting is a notoriously hard habit to break.

If you're envious of naturally long and strong nails that are easy on the eye, then here are some top tips on how to tackle nail-biting.

Get a Gel Manicure

Gel manicures usually last around 2-3 weeks so are the perfect solution to problem biting. Gel manicures make nails longer and stronger and cause no damage to the nail in the process of application - unlike Acrylics which involve filing down the nail's surface. If you don't want to fork out for a monthly manicure, there are numerous DIY manicure kits to do in the comfort of your own home. The time and hard work you put into perfecting your own nails might work as a better incentive not to ruin them.

Bitter-tasting Nail Polish

There are many products on the market specifically designed to tackle nail-biting, including creams, oils and nail varnishes. All these products contain non-toxic deterrents designed to leave a lasting sour taste after putting fingernails to the mouth. There are also homemade alternatives to these commercial products, popular natural treatments include Neem Oil, Garlic and Bitter Gourd.

Cut Them Short

Cutting and filing your nails down on a regular basis will reduce the damage caused by biting, it will also provide less surface area to bite around.

Enlist Your Family and Friends For Support

Telling as many people as possible that you're trying to break your habit can only help you to progress. Asking friends and family to tell you when you're biting will reduce your habit. Your team of helpers shouldn't tell you off for biting but simply point out when you start, so you can stop before the damage is done.

Identify The Reason You're Biting

These could be physical triggers such as hangnails or uneven nails, or they could be emotional triggers such as boredom, anxiety or stress. Pay close attention to when you start to bite your nails and see if you can identify a common cause. Consciously knowing when you're more inclined to bite them, may actually help you to prevent biting.

If you're already familiar with these techniques but have had no luck kicking the habit - don't worry, it's not all bad news.

A recent study has suggested that nail-biters are less likely to develop allergies in later life, as the exposure to certain germs strengthens the body's immune system.

Another study conducted at the University of Montreal analysed 48 individuals who showcased repetitive behaviours such as nail-biting. Results showed that engaging in repetitive behaviours wasn't simply a ‘nervous habit' but instead correlated with definitions of perfectionism. Therefore if you are a nail-biter, you are more inclined to be a perfectionist.