Wellness and Fitness Why biting your nails Is bad for your health

Sure, biting and picking at your nails is kinda gross. Apart from the fact that you are ruining your perfect manicure, biting your nails can raise the risk of catching a cold or other illness

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Sure, biting and picking at your nails is kinda gross. Apart from the fact that you are ruining your perfect manicure, biting your nails can raise the risk of catching a cold or other illness because you're putting your unwashed hands in your mouth. It can also raise the risk of paronychia, or infection of the skin surrounding the naill.

You can end up with redness and swelling and pain and discomfort that's a sign of infection. While most instances of paronychia are bacterial, they can also be fungal.

In addition, if you have a wart, biting your fingernails is a way to raise your risk of spreading warts to other parts of your hands. That's because warts are caused by one of the many kinds of human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that spreads as an infection. The more open skin you have, the more you're going to spread.

Biting or picking your nails could also lead to temporary or permanent effects to your actual nail. The majority of the fingernail is produced in the area of the nail bed where there is a "white hill," also called the lunula. The fingernail is made there, as well as the area beneath the lunula that extends down underneath the skin. So if you end up with a lot of inflammation or an infection of that skin where the fingernail is made, you may end up with a fingernail that's bumpy or ridge-y."

Sometimes these effects are temporary. An infection that lasts a week or two might lead to a funny-looking nail for a short period of time, she says. But you can also do permanent damage to the area, so you forever make a funny nail

Nail biting can also have effects on your teeth: As Everyday Health points out, it can lead to teeth shifting out of place, as well as potential breaks in teeth or tooth enamel.

So what can you do to kick the habit? I know most people bite or pick at their fingernails as a way of relieving, or channeling, stress. Finding another way to release that stress that doesn't involve picking at or gnawing on a part of your body -- could be useful. Try twirling a ring instead, or playing with a hair tie on your wrist.

Basically, instead of telling someone [to] just stop, maybe you can come up with another way of relieving the stress and doesn't end up causing damage.

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