How To Stop Biting And Picking At Lips

woman biting her lip

We all have bad habits we want to shake off for our wellness. Body-focused repetitive behaviors are often some of the habits that people struggle to break off and can have significant repercussions on you's mental health. Breaking bad habits is a gradual process and requires patience. You must celebrate little wins and aim to achieve more critical milestones in handling the addictive habit. The first step to beating BFRBs, such as lip biting, is identifying and dealing with your triggers. Here are some reasons to stop biting your lips and how to stop it.

Why Should Stop Biting Your Lips

Aside from the pain caused by lip biting, complications may arise from this habit. Chronic lip biting heightens your risk of getting infections from open wounds. Bacteria from your mouth or surrounding environment can enter the wound, potentially causing infections. Biting in the same place continuously can also cause fibroma, which often develops due to injuries or trauma around a particular area. Lip biting also raises cosmetic concerns since it might cause scarring and discoloration, affecting your lips' appearance. While it can result from various mental conditions such as stress, lip biting can also aggravate these conditions since you may be embarrassed about your appearance if your lips are cracked and chirped, which causes even more stress and self-esteem issues.

How Can You Stop Biting Your Lips

There are several reasons why people bite your lips. For others, it might be accidental, while for some, it is habitual. Habitual lip biters find themselves biting your lips consistently, and most times, it happens subconsciously. On the other hand, accidental lip bites are not intended for and may be caused by other dental problems such as malocclusion. While breaking bad habits can be challenging, here are some ways to make the healing process much more manageable.

Be More Aware

The first step towards breaking off lip biting is paying more attention to the habit. Once you are aware, it will be much easier to identify the triggers and the times when you bite your lips more. After placing the situation that results in you picking your lips, you can develop measures to counter this urge. The urge to bite you's lips is always strong and usually irresistible. The best way to fight this urge is by dealing with situations that often put you in this state. While you may find yourself doing it subconsciously, it will be best to make it a point of being more aware. To create more awareness, you can place a gentle reminder, such as a note or a wristband that will remind you to stop biting your lip immediately after you start engaging in it. Having such reminders helps you become more conscious about the habit, and you can also make it easy to monitor your triggers and if there is a specific time they are more intense.

Moisturize Your Lips

Chirped or dry lips may be itchy, which might make it tempting to bite them. Therefore, you need to keep moisturizing your lips throughout the day. Aside from drinking water, you can carry a lip gloss or balm when you feel your lips are dry. Dry lips often cause discomfort and can lead to them cracking even more. The flaking and inflamed lips make eating well or even wearing your favorite lip products nearly impossible. Our lips are thinner than other parts and lack oil glands, making retaining moisture hard. Therefore, you must find a suitable lip balm or gloss for your lips, particularly those with a moisturizing effect, that will help soothe them and keep them comfortable. A wide range of lip products in the market promise to keep your lips comfortable; thus, you need to be more vigilant about finding the right product that will not aggravate the irritation. Some ingredients you can look for in a product include nut and seed butter since they are natural oils that will keep your lips moisturized without irritation.

Stress and Anxiety Management

Stress and anxiety are some of the primary lip-picking triggers; therefore, you need to find a solution to such conditions first for a more effective healing process. Stress and anxiety can make you come up with coping mechanisms such as lip-picking. Body-focused repetitive behaviors such as lip biting can also aggravate you’s stress levels due to the feeling of being helpless. Therefore, you must find diverse coping mechanisms to handle the stress, such as using fidget toys or stress balls to help distract you from biting your lips. Furthermore, you can enroll in yoga classes to help you with meditation or indulge in exercises, such as deep breathing, to help reduce stress. Dealing with such triggers makes the healing process much easier since you will also be more aware when going through a stressful situation and how to divert your brain from getting relief from lip biting. Finding healthy ways to deal with triggers is a long-standing solution you can apply during your healing process.

Take Regular Breaks

Sometimes, exposing ourselves to high-pressure can result in stress and coping mechanisms such as lip biting. For example, you might bite your lip during long hours of concentration. So if you will be under pressure for long hours, take breaks between your tasks to relax and avoid stress build-up. You can stand up and stretch or stroll to relieve the stress. Creating downtime during an intensive task helps you clear your mind, making it easy to manage tension.

Positive Reinforcement

Acknowledging your efforts towards breaking off bad habits is a primary step you will need to take during your healing process. The healing process from lip biting and other body-focused repetitive behaviors is gradual. Thus, you will need to celebrate every milestone and acknowledge the efforts you put toward becoming better. The reward can be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite meal when you resist biting your lips. Furthermore, you can give yourself a pat on the back when you finally come up with strategies to counter stress and anxiety, which are often the triggers of lip-picking.

Seek Professional Help

The feeling of dealing with body-focused repetitive behaviors can be overwhelming, especially if you feel like you lack the mental strength to deal with the situation. Seeking professional help will help you understand whether a dental condition causes lip picking or if you do it to relieve stress. In the case that it falls under a body-focused repetitive behavior, you can seek help from a therapist who can apply various treatment options to help you recover. Some of the methods used include:

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Habit reversal training
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture


Most people bite their lips as a coping mechanism to handle pressure; however, it often transcends into a habit that is hard to break. It becomes addictive due to the pleasure and brief relief you get when caught up in stressful situations. Frequent lip biting often causes sores and wounds that can be painful and result in cosmetic damage to you's lips. The causes of lip biting can be physical or psychological; thus, there is a need to understand the underlying cause of your condition for a better treatment approach. Implementing various lip-biting preventive methods, such as being more aware of your triggers, will help in the long-term management of the condition.

Self Help Strategies
Lip Biting