Is biting your nails worth it?

An imperceptible habit that causes horrible harm to our body is present on the daily lives of every nail biter. Me and many more have this habit that proves to be very hard to stop. So the question is: Why do we do it? According to BBC (2014), biting our nails is uncontrollable and an obsessive habit. Since our body gets physically hurt, psychiatrists consider it to be as the effect of stress or anxiety. Its proven that 45% of teenagers bite their nails due to nervousness or pressure. Healthwise (2014), also specifies how individuals ranging from the ages of 10 to 30 are most likely to bite them. However, as a person ages, he or she will probably stop doing it.

nail bitingImage taken from here

We know the cause, but now what are some of its effects. According to Dr. Mercola, bacteria and viruses accumulate underneath your nails causing the person who bites them to become ill more often than usual. It is common for nail bitters to get awful colds several times in a year. Also, severe infections can be caused on the skin around the nail. This may lead to redness in the fingers and if nail biting persists sever nail deformities can be caused. Your nails may become uneven and very unpleasant to

Image taken from here

In 1988, a study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in which their purpose was to figure out what type of bacteria lies underneath a typical fingernail. Their results were shocking. Each fingernail of 26 volunteers had approximately hundreds of thousands of different types of bacteria. Scientists figured that this part of our hands has much more bacteria than the actual hand because it is a small place that gives the perfect humid conditions that bacteria needs to survive.

Other nail biting consequences are mouth problems. For instance, the probability that warts appear in your lips are very high since your fingers have many bacteria that will allow them to spread further into your mouth. These are very uncomfortable to have and can become increasingly painful if they are not treated. Also nail biting can lead to teeth misplacement. Constant pressure in your teeth can cause them to inadvertently move out of place.

Furthermore, nail biting is considered a condition that needs to be treated by stress management methods such as listening to music and maintaining yourself active not only physically but also mentally. These methods of relaxation can ultimately prevent anxiousness.

Nail biting has been considered a type of OCD, others just think of it as a bad habit that some people hold with them since babies. This is because we put lots of things in our mouth when we are two are three months old and it can be considered a natural thing to do. However, scientists and health practicians have reached to the conclusion that nail biting is an impulsive habit that has horrible consequences as it affects your health in several aspects.

So before biting your nails remember every object that you have touched during the day and reconsider what you are about to do. Personally it is very difficult for me to stop biting my nails but there here are some useful tips: paint your nails, put a soury product in them, cover them with bandaids but most importantly have a strong power of will and think about all the horrible consequences of doing it.


8 thoughts on “Is biting your nails worth it?

  1. Kameron Villavicencio

    I’m now wondering if I stop biting my nails if I will stop getting the Penn State plague. I like a person above has commented eat healthy, work out, shower, and what not, and just assumed that getting sick was impossible to avoid but I wonder if biting my nails is the solution to this problem. I think I’m going to stop biting my nails for a month and see what happens.

  2. cas6568

    I am one of the 45% of teenagers who bites their nails. I eat healthy, I work out, I use hand sanitizer, but no matter what, I still end up with some type of sickness. Just last year, I had the flu and tonsilitis. Now, I have pneumonia. After I left the doctor, I couldn’t help but think, how could I be sick again? Now, I think I could have a possible explanation. I don’t even realize that I’m biting my nails when I’m in action. After doing some research, I learned that my nail biting is a compulsive habit that is due to stress and anxiety. Here is a link that can explain HOW to stop biting your nails:
    I’m generally not a stressed person, but when I save things for the last minute, my anxiety comes out in full demand. To reduce my stress, I could try not saving things for the last minute, and start my homework and studying ahead of time, as Andrew recommends. Everyone else should do the same!

  3. Darby Helen Smith

    This blog post actually inspires me to stop my habits of biting my nails! I have been biting my nails and the skin around my nails for as long as I can remember. However, I was never aware that there are such negative effects besides the unpleasing appearance!! The cost of changing this happen does not outweigh the benefits of prevention in this situation.

  4. Yiwei Wang

    I used to bit my nails all the time when I was in middle school, and my mom even put tapes on my nails just to not let me keep biting them! But that did not help at all. I heard the reason why kids love biting their nails is because there is some kind of vitamin that we need which is in our nails, so we bit them…I do not know if this is true, but here is a link that I found interesting reading which also talks about nails, and I hope you enjoy reading it!

  5. Rachel Marie Aul

    I’m glad I came across this post, because I’m in the midst of trying to stop bitting my nails. I’ve been biting them since elementary school, and I have to agree with your post – I have kept at it definitely because of stress. I find myself biting my nails when taking tests or studying for tests. After reading your post, and seeing all of the disgusting bacteria that live under our nails, I’m determined to stop. Especially with flu season approaching, I do not want to increase any of my chances that I might get sick.

  6. Amily Zhuang

    I use to bite my nails because I saw my classmates doing it. Everyone in my family would constantly point it out and make me embarrassed but the only way for me to stop was to put nail polish on because nail polish tastes like FUNK. After reading this article, I have never been more proud of myself for being 10 years clean! (LOL)

    Here are some tips for those who do not paint their nails and would like to quit biting their nails.

  7. Ariana Caruso

    I found this blog to actually be somewhat ironic because out of all my childhood friends and people my own age, I am one of the few who never experienced the habit of biting my nails. I find this ironic because I am always prone to getting sick, especially with severe colds. Of course my cause of illness is probably unrelated to this theory entirely, it still does raise some questions for myself on the impacts of nail biting. I also always wondered why I never had the urge to bite my nails like many of my peers, but maybe i have picked up on other habits i have not noticed to cope with stress and nervousness instead. I would be interested to find more data on what causes nail biting and why it seems to stop as people grow older, because stress levels certainly remain on the rise.

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