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Nail Biting - Why It Is Lethal?

Reviewed by
Dr. Janaki Raman 89% (103 ratings)
Diploma In Diabetology, Diploma In Cardiology
General Physician, Kolkata  •  25 years experience
Nail Biting - Why It Is  Lethal?

People are often seen biting their nails in situations mostly when they are nervous or scared. But this habit of nail-biting is dangerous to health. Nail-biting in medical term known as onychophagy or onychophagia, is a sign of tumult and confusion, which leads to nervousness. This habit also disrupts the natural growth of nails. Biting your nails helps the germs and bacteria enter directly into your mouth. This is the reason, we were taught as kids to wash hands properly with soap before meals.

Reasons why you must stop nail-biting:

1. Presenting your nervousness in front of everyone in a way decreases the chance of getting selected for an interview. It shows a lack of confidence in you.
2. Causes germs and bacteria to enter directly into your mouth, which can later cause many infections.
3. Causes nail to grow unevenly or with bumpy chine.
4. The problem of an ingrown nail is raised through this habit, and in the worse situation, the problem is remedied only through surgery.
5. Biting nails not only spoils the shape of nails, but the nail polish you've applied is also toxic, if swallowed.
6. Biting nails also causes hangnails, and at times resulting in painful peeling of your finger skin.

Now that you are aware of the harmful effects of biting nails, here are few tips to help you in avoiding this habit:

1. Self-control: You need to have some restraint on yourself. By continually reminding yourself not to bite your nail, will eventually make you stop this habit.
2. Keep yourself busy: Often people start biting their nails, and they aren't even aware of this habit. Keeping yourself busy helps you to forget all about it, and helps to avoid such addiction.
3. Start using chewing gum, another useful trick for stopping yourself biting your nails.
4. Changing behavior patterns can help you to stay confident and get rid of nervousness, resulting in no nail-biting.

As per study, it has been found that almost 70% of people have the habit of biting nails in some of the other situations. But with the above discussions, the fact is that nail-biting is dangerous not only for your hands, but also for your oral health. Taking into consideration, the above-mentioned tips, and following them can help you to get rid of this habit. It will take some time for you to stop this bad habit of nail biting, depending on how deep you are into this habit. But the fact is that, it will inevitably save you from many diseases, which are caused by bacteria and germs. It will also give your nails an even growth and beautiful appearance.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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