Is Biting Your Nails Bad For You?

Unfortunately I have made biting my nails a habit this past summer. Most of the time I would bite my nails when thinking about starting college or when something else stressed me out. For example, I’m currently biting my nails from stressing about my first blog period’s grade… I would like to find someway or something to help break this bad habit before my teeth take their toll on my fingers.

There are many negatives to biting one’s nails. For one it looks gross; whenever I see someone biting their nails in public it leaves me uneasy. This type of behavior may give off a wrong impression to people around you. Not to mention, it messes up the appearance of your hand which can be a turn off to people.


Secondly, constantly chomping away at your cuticles can put you at higher risk for illnesses. Unless you wash your hands before biting your nails, which for the most part probably doesn’t happen, you have no idea what bacteria or other unknown substances you can put in your mouth.  Rochelle Torgerson, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic, comments in a Huffington Post, “It can also raise the risk of paronychia, or infection of the skin surrounding the nail.” You come into contact with over 60,000 types of bacteria a day. With that fact in mind think twice before putting your fingers near, around, or in your mouth!

So, what is one to do to break this bad habit? There are multiple ways to do this. You can wear fake nails, glue pepper to your fingers, or develop a new habit. Click on this link to look at the Top 10 Ways to Prevent Nail Biting.

8 thoughts on “Is Biting Your Nails Bad For You?

  1. Celine Elizabeth Gosselin

    I’d be very interested in an experiment studying why some people make a habit of biting their nails at a young age and other people never feel that particular impulse.

    All the way through grade school and high school, I bit my nails. A lot of people think that it’s just a nervous tic of sorts, but there were definitely times when I’d do it out of boredom, too. I knew it wasn’t exactly a sanitary practice, but I needed to keep my nails short to play the viola anyways, so I kind of viewed my nail biting as a shortcut to actually having to sit down with the nail clippers each week. I never bit my nails too far and generally tried to frequently wash my hands throughout the day, but I DO think that many people find the habit generally unattractive and unprofessional.

    Strangely enough, I haven’t been biting my nails since I’ve gotten to Penn State. It certainly hasn’t been for lack of anxiety, so I’m kind of curious as to why the bad habit just stopped all of a sudden. I actually had to use a nail clipper on my fingernails for the first time in probably eight years this month.

    I guess I’d just be really curious as to what triggers the habit in the people that have to deal with it, and I wonder why it comes and goes the way it seems to. I didn’t stop biting my nails because I suddenly became aware of the bacteria I could be ingesting from it. I didn’t stop biting my nails because all my anxiety went away. So how DID I finally kick this ten year old habit?

  2. Maddie Panzeri

    I was a nail biter until the fourth grade. I was always told how disgusting it was-especailly while my family was traveling. But now if i don’t have my long nails i feel like the tips of my fingers have been cut off! Ive heard that getting your cuticles removed is horrible because of disease, thats why i never have them removed at salons while getting a manicure. But i still pick at them, whoops.

  3. Yu-ting Chien

    Nice blog! I found many of my friends biting their nails when they are stress. But I knew that there were lots of bacteria inside the nails and it might cause long-term damage. I used to have this kind of habit and I found that keep the nails short can actually help us prevent from biting our nails. Your blog really remind us something that we never notice before.

  4. czc5448

    I am one who bites my nails in stressful situations as well. I think it is very interesting how big of a habit it is among people and how difficult it is to break. I never really thought of the appeal factor if i were to bite my nails in public. I’ll have to be more careful next time I think about doing so! It’s very interesting to think that it is a common way to get sick from biting nails as well. I always wondered why I got sick at the most random times but this could definitely play a big role in that.

  5. Stephanie Michelle Friedman

    I think this is an interesting post considering I bite my nails under stressful situations only. I have read some tips like a nail polish with a bitter, horrible taste which is supposed to make the act seem unattractive. I would also find other ways to relieve stress that aren’t so harmful on your body!

  6. jpz5127

    Interesting Post. I always wonder what the repercussions of this habit and why its so hard to break. I also constantly do worry about the obviously heightened chance of getting sick, especially during the upcoming winter months where it seems everyone has a cold. After reading your post I wanted to read a little more into why it is so hard to kick the habit and found an interesting article that I have linked below that goes more in depth on why people do it and details how there are many that believe it forms part of an OCD subgroup, just more food for thought.

  7. Angelique L Santiago

    I can definitely relate to this! I bite my nails too, it is an awful habit and difficult to break. To prevent nail biting, I either cut my nails short, or wear nail polish all of the time. Nails biting might be bad, but chipped nails are even worse! You can read more about why we bite our nails and how to stop, here.

  8. Angelique L Santiago

    I can definitely relate to this! I bite my nails too, it is an awful habit and difficult to break. To prevent nail biting, I either cut my nails short, or wear nail polish all of the time. Nails biting might be bad, but chipped nails are even worse!

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