Nail biting is a common bad habit. People usually bite their nails due to stress, anxiety, or boredom. If you’ve had this habit for a long time, you might not even realize when and how much you bite your nails. This habit is common in children, but it can last until adulthood. An adult may develop this habit due to specific stressors.
It may seem as a harmless habit, but it can put you at more risk than you think. It can be unpleasant to watch and make your nails look jagged and dirty. And since you’re putting your fingernails in your mouth, you are getting bacteria in your system from the things you may have touched. Nail biting can also damage the skin around the nail, tearing the skin open and putting it at risk of infection. Other than that, it can also put your nails at risk of a fungal infection.
Nail biting can cause Paronychia, where the skin that meets the nail has a bacterial or fungal infection. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pus-filled blisters around the nail. As it gets worse, the infection can spread to the nail and cause Onychomycosis.
When you bite your nails and pull off a piece of the nail from the skin, it can put you at risk of a fungal infection. Because of this the fungi can get into the open areas of the nail bed, causing an infection. Once it infects the nail bed, it can cause the nail to become thick and discolored. Unfortunately, it can spread easily and infect the other nails.
Here are some tips to avoid nail biting
- Keep your nails trimmed – it can be less tempting to chew on short nails.
- Learn about your triggers – figure out what makes you bite your nails so you can be aware and stop the urge to bite your nails
- Find another habit – find something that keeps your hands busy and away from your mouth
- Use bitter nail polish – these are created to stop nail biting so when you bite your nails, you will regret it.
If you have nail fungus, consult with a health practitioner to discuss treatment. In our clinics, we use the PinPointe Laser, the most effective laser on the market with the highest cure rate. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We have over 120 clinics nationwide, including Carlsbad, CA, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Austin, TX, Deerfield Beach, FL, Mount Pleasant, SC, and New York City.