Believe it or not, but when it comes to the most common stress-relieving habits, nail-biting is probably the most popular one around the world. Kids also inherit this habit from their parents. Some of the other favorite habits are picking at skin, tooth-grinding, hair-twisting, nose-picking, and thumb sucking. An individual can start nail-biting due to lack of work and boredom.
The person may not be even aware that he is doing the same while thinking, while watching television, while talking on the phone, or even while reading. People often bite nail, tissue surrounding the nail, and the cuticle as well.
Unfortunately, kids fail to get rid of this habit even in spite of facing criticism from parents. Not just children, but even adults do it while at the office, in front of coworkers. Now, the most crucial question, is this habit dangerous?
It can trigger various infections
Weill Cornell Medical College’s expert Richard Scher recently interacted with journalists and shared his opinion regarding nail-biting. He suggests that the habit is dangerous due to several reasons.
According to the expert, nails and the area beneath the same can prove to be the perfect home for E. coli and salmonella bacteria. These bacteria enter the mouth whenever people eat nails. Within hours, they can reach the person’s gut and cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, as well as gastrointestinal infections.
Habitual nail nibblers often suffer from paronychia infection. Plus, they end up tearing the parts of skin below nails. Yeast as well as strains of bacteria start accumulating and cause redness, swelling as well as pus in the skin that’s near fingertips. Surgery is the only best way to remove this pus, and such patients also need to consume antibiotics. No need to mention that the finger experiences pain continually.
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Another specialist, NYU Langone Medical Center’s Chris Adigun believes the same. During his interaction with reporters, he said nail biters suffer from infections like wart virus HPV. The disease usually affects fingers and nail biters end up transferring it to the mouth and lips.
Nail biting also negatively impacts teeth resulting into poor oral health. This is the reason; it’s often found that people who bite their nails mostly suffer from gum infections and diseases as well.
Is it a psychological disorder?
According to Scher, this habit is one of the symptoms of a psychological disorder. He suggests that an individual suffering from the same needs to get in touch with a mental health professional or a psychiatrist. This sign is something that should not be ignored. Curing the disorder without treatment may prove to be difficult, especially for adults who have been following this practice for several years.
Until then, such patients can use specially manufactured nail liquids meant for nail-biters. Its bitter taste keeps on reminding them that nails are not intended to be inside the mouth.
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