Wellness Tips 10 scary lessons for nail biters

According to a study from the University of Calgaryn fact, up to 50 percent of us will chronically gnaw our nails at some point in our life.

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Nail biting play

Nail biting

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Nail biting, medically known as onychophagia, usually seems innocent enough,

According to a study from the University of Calgaryn fact, up to 50 percent of us will chronically gnaw our nails at some point in our life.

All the same, experts warn that the nervous habit can have consequences far worse than ruining your pricey manicure.

From making you sick to making you look insecure, these 10 science-backed facts are scary enough to make you put a stop to the bad habit for good.

Bacterial infections

Finger nails are perfect catch alls for dirts and debris, which is exactly why they are the first place most cops and coroners look for evidence in a crime.

Chewing on your nails gives these germs access to your insides, says Micheal Shapiro, MD, medical director and founder of Vanguard Dermatology in New York City.

"Your nails are almost twice as dirty as your fingers. Bacteria often gets stuck under the nails, and can then be transferred to the mouth, causing infections of the gum and throat", He says.

Colds

Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA says. "Think of every single thing you touch during your day, from door knobs to toilets. Germs can live on these surfaces for hours, so when  you stick your hands in your mouth, you are exposing yourself to cold and flu viruses, or worse, Hepatitis".

Toxic Poisoning

Arthur says, "regular nail polish have toxins themselves, but gel polishes have chemicals that are specifically approved only for topical use, meaning they are not meant to be ingested".

It may take a long time to build up toxin levels in your system, but is it really worth the risk?

Painful Hangnails

Hangnails are often open sores which can easily get infected. The best ways to avoid the painful sores is to prevent the hangnail from forming in the first place, hence no more chewing.

"Chewing exacerbates dry skin, making peeling worse and leading to hangnails", explains Aurthur. She further explains that people who chew their nails often use their teeth to peel of hangnails, which leads to tears that are longer and deeper.

Broadcasting your anxieties

Nail biters usually put off a self conscious vibe, believe it or not.

"Most people bite their nails to seek comfort or relief from a negative emotional state. such as distress, shame, anxiety or boredom". says Mary Lamia, Ph.D Clinical Psychologist and professor at the Wright Institute at Berkeley, CA.

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