They say that bad habits die hard. If you are a nail biter, you probably know what we mean. Nail biting can be one of those bad habits that appears to be harmless, but can really cost you in the long run. And when we say cost you, we don’t just mean the price of a few extra manicures. There are some health dangers lurking in that nail biting habit that may surprise you.
If you’re not ready to quit yet, consider these reasons to break your unhealthy nail biting habit, stat!
You’re more likely to catch a cold or get sick. Sticking your unwashed hands in your mouth is just not clean. Hands are the body parts that pick up the most germs. When you introduce those microbes into your mouth, you are ingesting lots of potentially harmful substances that can lead to colds, stomach bugs and other illnesses.
You may mess up your teeth. Biting on your nails all day long is bad for your teeth. It can cause a change in your dental alignment or breaks in your teeth or enamel. Now, we’re pretty sure you would rather not wear adult braces, are we right? Also, nail biters are prone to teeth grinding causing nail biters to spend significantly more on dental bills over the course of their lifetime.
You can get a skin infection. Paronychia is an infection of the skin around the nail bed caused by bacteria or fungus. It creates red, inflamed skin surrounding your nail that is not only uncomfortable, but also distracting from your beautiful manicure.
You can temporarily or permanently disfigure your nails. Nails that are subject to repeated infection may become disfigured with bumps and ridges. Sometimes this disappears after awhile but other times it is permanent.
You can get warts. The human papilloma virus causes warts and it is a common virus for nail biters. Warts spread easily so you could end up with warts on various areas of your hands, mouth and lips. (And we should mention, anyone who touches these areas or kisses them may also get warts!)
It ruins your manicure. Yes, this is a rather vain reason but don’t we get manicures for vanity anyways? If you’re taking 45 minutes of your week to enjoy a manicure, why ruin the beauty of it by biting your nails. Plus, ingesting nail polish is not good for your internal organs.
It’s kind of gross. Have you ever watched someone else bite their nails? It is a rather unattractive habit that may really turn people off. Would you want to shake hands with someone who has just been gnawing on their nails? Probably not!
You are avoiding your stress issue. Nail biting is a nervous habit caused by stress. Addressing your stress or at least channeling it in other ways is much healthier. Meditate, exercise, talk to a friend or find a healthier way to handle stress.
Hopefully you now have some good reasons to break your unhealthy nail biting habit. Good luck!