I have always been a nail biter. As far back as I can remember, I have always gnawed on my nails, a terribly annoying habit. The life of a nail biter isn’t always easy, and anyone else who has this chewing habit will understand. Its such a hard routine to break and it seems to be almost on the addictive level. One time, my Grandmom even bought me bad tasting nail polish made specifically to break the habit. That lasted for all of maybe two days until I got tired of polishing my nails every morning which was one of the weirdest things ever. At this point in my life, I have come to terms with it, knowing I could have far worse habits. That doesn’t mean nail biting isn’t harmful to your body because it definitely is. Chewing your nails indeed creates all different kinds of health problems as well (as people telling you to stop all the time or how bad your fingers look).
Nail Biting seems to arise early on in life, and stress and anxiety seem to be the problem. I consider myself an overly stressed person so this comes as zero shock to me or probably anyone else reading this who bites. According to WEB MD, nail biting is even labeled under forms of OCD and its shown correlations with ADHD in kids, however good trials have not been conducted to assume total causation. My reason for writing this particular blog is that I wanted to know more about the health effects if there were any. From biting so often, I really did not think that this small annoyance could actually cause more harm than it does. Also here are some interesting statistics on the population according to Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S.: 30 percent of young kids bite their nails, 45 percent of teens do, and it continues to DECREASE from there also hinting at large causality to stress.
The Gross Part
If you aren’t grossed out enough by this, this sure will make you cringe. These are all directly correlated with persistent nail biting. Getting sick is the most obvious, being that our hands are extremely dirty, and washing them does not always mean under the nails. Germs can also enter through the breakage of skin that it causes. Dental problems have been linked as well as finger warts (HPV), and the emotional issues that I mentioned earlier.
So it seems this might be a habit worth trying to break after all. After researching this, I became way more disgusted by this overlooked habit than I already was. There is pretty good reason to believe these correlations and to at least try to quit even though it will not be easy by any means.