Healthy Habits – Nail-Biting

Biting your nails can seem like an innocent way to relieve stress, but there are a number of bad issues that can go along with the ‘harmless habit’ that so many people have. One being that it can increase your chances of getting sick. If you chew your nails regularly, think about how many times you put your fingers in your mouth every day, now also think about how many things your hands are touching throughout the day – pretty crazy, right? Our Dallas doctors want you to be informed that the bacteria on your fingertips are being ingested every time you chew your nails, which tremendously increases your risk of getting sick compared to those who don’t chew their nails. Constant chewing can also lead to infection of your skin called paronychia. This is an infection specific to the skin that surrounds your nails. It can cause swelling and discomfort to your fingertips, and is highly attributed to nail-chewing. Another major issue that nail-chewing can create is the spreading of warts. Chewing an area with the HPV virus, then moving to another uninfected finger can cause the uninfected finger to become infected with warts.

In summary, try your best to avoid biting your nails and help those in your family to avoid the habit, as well. Be aware of the health issues presented as well as many others that are related to nail-biting.