How to Stop Biting Your Nails?

It has happened to everyone at one point or another in life that someone bites their fingernail, but some people do it constantly and out of control. Nail biting is one of the most common “nervous” habits of people. For many, biting began in childhood, but it is estimated that about half of teens become “addicted” to nail biting.

Nail biting is actually the entry of millions of germs. Among these microorganisms, most may not be pathogenic, but it is sufficient only once to get our hands dirty or improperly washed to introduce a harmful microorganism and cause an infection.

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You are probably aware that the hands, ie the palms (fingers) are the source of a huge number of microorganisms that I collect from the environment, but did you know that most of them usually accumulate under the nails? Why?

We usually touch different surfaces with our fingertips. The parts under the nails are a kind of recesses suitable for collecting different types of debris, and are usually wetter and warmer (better conditions for microbial growth). Additionally, these parts are often missed when washing your hands with soap.


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Increases the risk of skin infections. We are all aware that various wounds and cuts should be disinfected quickly, because otherwise we risk developing infections. Biting the nails and fingers can cause smaller openings or sores in the nail area. Such openings allow easier penetration of pathogenic microbes, which increases the risk of infections. Infections can look really uncomfortable, causing pain, redness, softened skin, swelling, and hardening and thickening of the nails. In the worst case, paronychia is possible, a condition that can lead to the need to remove the nail.

Due to the constant biting of the nails, their irregular growth is much more likely, which in addition to the aesthetic problem, also leads to skin damage, infections, but can also cause severe pain.

More likely infections in the oral cavity. Of course, potentially ingesting pathogenic microbes through nail biting can also cause problems in the oral cavity. Biting nails in the long run has a debilitating effect on tooth enamel (enamel), which leads to easier sinking and breaking of teeth. One study even found a negative effect on the jaw (displacement) due to obsessive nail biting.

Here are some tips to help you break the bad habit:

• Cut your nails regularly and shorter – you will leave less space for dust and bacteria to accumulate, and the pleasure of biting will be significantly reduced.

• Pay attention to “triggers” or what motivates you to nibble – for example, if you often nibble your nails when you are waiting for something and you are bored, play a game on the phone or read something online.

• Nail polish – you will feel an unpleasant taste when biting, so the need will be reduced.

• Find another “hobby” for your hands and mouth – chew gum, wear anti-stress rubber balls, rosaries, etc.

• Find a way to deal with chronic stress permanently

• When the weather is colder, wear gloves more often.