Experiments using peripheral nerve lesions (crush or transection) in rats to study repair processes are hampered by the tendency for the animals to attack the limb in which the peripheral nerves are damaged (autotomy). In this paper we describe a simple method which significantly reduces the incidence of autotomy after peripheral nerve lesions. The method consists of painting the hind paws of operated rats with a commercially available non-toxic lotion, which is used to discourage nail-biting and thumb-sucking in humans. Although the method is not absolute, it was extremely beneficial in our experiments, since the number of animals that had to be taken out of the experiment due to severe autotomy was greatly reduced. We believe that this method may prove to be as beneficial to other investigators who are using experimental peripheral nerve lesions to study the regenerative aspects of the nervous system.