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Bad Effects of Nail Biting Habits

Some people have nail-biting habits. Sometimes, it's so fun to touch the nails, unwittingly the nails are very close to the skin to bleed. Not only does it damage the appearance of nails and fingers, but habits that are difficult to stop can also hurt health.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, nail biting can be a sign of emotional imbalance. Nail biting or also called onychophagia, according to experts, is a kind of sign that you are frightened or exhausted which can spur stressful behaviors associated with other mouths. For example, biting a pencil, biting (or removing) lips, and smoking.

Beware of these bad effects

Your nails store various types of germs, especially from the Enterobacteriaceae family which includes salmonella and E. Coli. Your nails are a very fertile place for these bacteria to multiply, especially if the cleanliness of the nails is not well maintained.

Doctor Adeline stressed, no wonder nail-biting habits can cause abdominal pain and a series of other health problems. As reported by Prevention, some of these health problems are:

1. Severe infection

When biting your nails is too large, you expose the delicate skin under the nails and allow it to be exposed to bacteria or pathogens in your mouth. "The human mouth is full of bacteria. That is, you can easily infect yourself," said Adam Friedman, MD, professor at George Washington University.

One of the most common forms of infection is called paronychia, which can cause swelling, redness, pain, and pus-filled lumps. The infection can last for weeks at a time.

Friedman added, biting your cuticle - a thin layer of skin under the nail - is the most common cause of paronychia.

2. Inflammation

The chemical composition in your saliva makes it possible to break down fats and other food molecules. "However, even if it helps your digestion, saliva can also damage the skin of your fingertips if you keep sticking it in your mouth," Friedman said.

For the same reason, licking your lips can cause your lips to crack. "Without you knowing, saliva can actually damage your skin."

3. Stomach ache

Inserting your finger into your mouth "gives access" to bad microorganisms into your body. Your hands come in contact with all types of germs and pathogens and tend to be 'stuck' under your nails.

So, don't be surprised if you are more susceptible to various diseases from mild to severe, such as colds, sore throats, and serious stomach viruses.

Ingrown nails Nails contain a generative layer called "matrix". This is the kind of bed where all your nail cells grow, Friedman explained. Well, nail biting can damage the matrix. "As a result, nails can grow inward or experience nail deformities," he said.

4. Facial Warts

Choose warts, and infectious ingredients can enter into or under your nails. Touch your face or mouth with contaminated nails, and you can end up with warts on your face or neck.

5. Herpes

If you suffer from oral herpes - which affects around 40 percent of adults - you can infect the fingers with the virus. This can cause fever. Usually, the first symptom is pain that burns and tingles at the tip of your infected finger. After one or two weeks, you can also experience fluid-filled wounds or blood that will last for two weeks.

6. Change in the tooth surface

Explained Dr. Adeline, nail-biting habits can also damage your dental health. This can cause changes in the tooth surface in the maxilla and lower jaw of the teeth.

7. Ingrown Nails

Not only does it damage the appearance of the nails, biting your nails too often can make the skin layer under your nails change, causing your nails to grow under the skin. This condition certainly causes extreme pain, it also has the potential to cause injury and infection. The only way to deal with this condition is by surgery.

Read Also : 5 Effective Ways to Ban Nail Fungus

Tips to stop nail biting

Although it seems simple, many people have difficulty stopping nail biting habits. If it's already very severe and has a bad effect, you can consult a professional health professional to discuss the best solution.

However, if you feel you can overcome it, several ways you can apply it. Here are tips for stopping nail biting:

  • Think about stopping nail biting. When you start or are biting your nails, stop it immediately.
  • Resist your desire to nip your nails at any time, no matter how frustrating or you are.
  • Use nail polish. When you start biting your nails, you will automatically stop the activity because the nails that use nail polish feel bitter and unpleasant. The content in nail polish is very dangerous if swallowed.
  • If you often bite your nails because of other diseases, such as obsessive-compulsive psychiatric disorders, then you need a doctor's help.

If you have a nail-biting habit, immediately stop remembering the bad effects that cannot be ignored. To stop this bad habit, you can apply the tips above. However, if nail-biting occurs due to certain psychiatric or anxiety disorders, you can consult a doctor or psychologist.

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