Introduction Many of us had this nasty habit of nail-biting when we were kids. Some of us even continued it in our teen years. We were repeatedly asked to stop it. Sometimes we were even punished for the same. Many of us were able to stop it by putting in some efforts. Some of us continued it even in adulthood. Also, there are those people among us who only bite their nails when they are over-stressed or when they go through lots of emotional turbulence. It is a way for them by which they deal with the situation and also with their emotional state of mind. There are many reasons as to why a person bites nails. It can be a habit or a method to cope up with stress, insecurity, failure and so many other things. Also, nail-biting in the majority of cases is automatic. A person does not think and do it. Whatever may be the reason, nail-biting is a threat to health. It can affect the health of a person in many ways. Below are mentioned top reasons to stop nail-biting.
Alarming reasons to stop nail-biting
Who doesn't want to enjoy that pearly white smile with perfect teeth alignment, especially if thousands of rupees have been spent for the pearly whites to get into perfect alignment? Why ruin that with the nasty habit of nail-biting? Over a period of long term, it can cause teeth attrition. It can crack teeth edges which will not make them look aesthetically good. Enamel which is the outermost layer of teeth can be damaged or fractured subject to attrition which usually takes place due to long term nail-biting. Resulting exposed dentin which is naturally yellow in colour will contribute in the process of ruining a white smile. It can also cause teeth shifting and ruin the alignment. Not only is it a bad habit to cause teeth problem but also can lead to painful jaws in the long term. Nails are the perfect place for germs to grow and through nail-biting these germs has a scope to enter inside the oral cavity and cause various problems such as bad breath, swollen gums and gingivitis.
Who wishes to have nails that look weird and uneven? Everyone wants to have even and shiny nails that reflect good health. The tissues around nails should be healthy. Only then nails will look good and normal. When a person bites nails, he is also damaging the surrounding tissues. Hence the nails look deformed and abnormal. People who are constantly indulged in nail-biting often develop irregular ridges and lines on their nails which destroy the overall appearance. Biting too down not only results in bleeding but also there are chances that nail may never grow back. The biting of a nail can also sometimes cause the tearing of skin at nail root. It is known as hangnail which is very likely to get infected. Nail-biting can also result in ingrown nails that are prone to infection and are characterized by pain and oedema. Whether it is a hangnail or an ingrown nail, both the conditions are painful. Thus, to keep such conditions at bay and keep nails healthy, it is essential to stop biting nails.
Nail-biting takes place automatically. Rarely there will be an intention to bite nails. In the majority of cases, it is either a habit or a way of coping with psychological issues. Also, many know that it is a bad habit and can also witness the effect it is exerting on their health. They can see the uneven and ragged edges on nails and yet they are not able to withdraw from it. It simply denotes a lack of self-control. Thus, nail-biting decreases self-esteem. Not able to control a nasty little habit in spite of knowing all the harmful effects it's been exerting makes people feel like a loser. It is as good as hating oneself for failing at numerous attempts. Many indulge in nail-biting when they are scared, angry, frustrated, stressed, distressed or bored. Nail-biting does not help them in any way. It is not freeing them from the situations they are facing. It is just a reaction to their outburst. Indulging in this habit increases the level of frustration and makes a person to chew more. A person ends up getting in a vicious cycle were behaving in a repetitive manner is followed by nail-biting.
No matter how properly and frequently hands are washed, there is always a chance that some dirt and germs may be trapped under the nails. Bacteria and other germs can easily reach hands. Spaces under the nails are perfect spots for germs such as E. coli to live and flourish. Those who bite nails are giving free access to these germs to enter inside the body and make room for illnesses. Also, the skin around the nails gets torn. The open sores that are created not only become painful areas but are also access points for germs to enter inside the body making the area inflamed and infected. Stomach infections, diarrhoea, nausea, cramps in the stomach are common in individuals who bite nails. Nail-biting also causes viral infections such as flu, common cold and hepatitis. Thus, those who want to remain healthy and free from stomach infections and viral fever should stop biting nails at the earliest.
Nail-biting is an easy way to spread infections from one nail to the rest. Warts present on the nails are caused by a virus. Those who bite the nails can spread warts to other nails. Apart from warts, nail-biting can cause paronychia which is nail infection. It is characterized by inflammation surrounding the nail. The whole of the affected area becomes sensitive, red and painful. Paronychia is usually seen after an injury or near hangnail. If the area becomes infected with bacterial invasion, the condition worsens and site may witness blisters filled with pus.
Nail-biting in itself is a gross habit that can lead to so many infections and illnesses. Biting on painted nails is still worse. It is because it can increase the risk of suffering from toxic poisoning. We all know that nail polishes are made of plenty of chemical ingredients and some of them are toxic. These paints are only to be applied to nails to make them look colourful and beautiful. They are no way meant to be ingested. If they enter the body, they can prove to be toxic and harm health in many ways. Biting painted nails once or twice is not going to make a person suffer from toxic poisoning. Its effects are seen in the long term. Also, in the long term, it can cause hormonal imbalance in the body.
ConclusionWhether nail biting is an old habit continued since childhood or it is an immediate response to various emotions such as anxiety, boredom, stress or frustration, it is essential to stop it immediately because of all the negative effects it exerts on various body parts. Not only will it spread infection and affect the health of nails, teeth, digestive system but also affects mental health as a person feels like a failure when not able to stop it despite repeated attempts. Thus, the need of the hour is to take certain measures and stop biting on nails to prevent its various negative effects on health and well being.