Nail biting tendencies, guilty or not?
Also known as ONYCHOPHAGIA, nail biting is common to some people, whether male, female, the young and the old. Admit it or not, at some point in our lives, we have the tendency to bite our nails out of habit. But have you ever wondered why people bite their nails?
There can be a lot of reasons why people do this. For some, when they get excited, stressed, or when they feel bored, nail biting is a common stress-relieving habit—like thumb-sucking, hair-twisting, tooth-grinding, etc. The habit is used to channel stress, to keep the body occupied while the mind is elsewhere and preoccupied. There are even times when you are already biting your nails without you realizing it. When you get used to it, it becomes one tough habit to break.
However, no matter how prevalent it may be, one must fight the urge to bite his/her nails because even if it somehow becomes a stress reliever sometimes, it also has negative effects on one’s health.
It’s definitely not good for your health!
- First of all, it is unhealthy. Your hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the body since you use to hold just about anything. Imagine putting it in your mouth??!? Think again. Guys, remember, when you bite your nails, you’re putting your unwashed hands in your mouth! And as you bite your nails, the bacteria in your hands are easily transferred into your mouth and to other parts of your body, which can further lead to infection/s.
- It increases the risk of infection of the skin surrounding the nail, which is more commonly known as paronychia. Infection to the cuticle itself can further lead to other health problems.
- Nail biting can result in short, ragged nails. Regular biting leaves your fingers red and sore, it can even cause bleeding.
- It can cause dental problems. When you bite your nails, your teeth may shift out of their positions and eventually, leading to poorly aligned teeth and they also become weakened over time.
People eventually grow out of their habit of nail biting. However, for those who still struggle with the habit, here are some techniques that you can do to help yourself stop from nail biting.
- Find other ways to channel and release your stress. There are thousand ways that you can do to manage your stress like: listening to music, using stress balls, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, and other ways of relaxing yourself.
- Trim your nails regularly to keep it short. If your nails are short, you’ll not be tempted to bite your nails.
- If you’ve tried these things and still they’re not working, try putting adhesives on the tip of your fingernails so that your nails won’t be accessible for you to bite.
- Try coating your nails with bitter-tasting nail biting polish—the taste will discourage you from biting your nails.
- Children have the tendency to bite their nails when they are having problems at school or with their friends. For parents, if your kids do nail biting, try talking to them and ask if there’s anything bothering them. Children are more likely to stop doing nail biting when they understand what triggers it.
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