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Why People Bite Their Nails
What is nail biting? Many people bite their nails. Chewing at the ends of your fingers may not seem nice but is actually very common. It is such a common phenomena that most of us use the phrase “That was a nail biter”. We normally use this saying to indicate that something has made us nervous or stressed that we bite our nails. From the outset we see that nail biting is associated with negative experiences. We have all seen the images of the cartoon character gnawing at the ends of their fingers when frightened or stressed.
Those people who bite their nails may worry that it conveys an unprofessional bearing in the work place. They may also worry that it reflects poorly on their hygiene and that the look of ragged fingernails makes them look unkempt.
Children And Childhood Nail Biting
You are not alone if you suffer from nail biting. It is actually one of the most common nervous habits around today. The condition occurs most commonly in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. This age range can be one of the most stressful periods in childhood with the changes the happen in adolescence. Biting their nails is mostly a harmless way for these kids to help deal with stress. It is also perfectly normal. As many as 50 per cent of children go through a period of nail biting during this time.
This behaviour can actually continue into adulthood. Many folks who have been teenage nail biters continue into their 20s. Most people, however, stop and ditch the habit by the time they reach their 30s.
Health Problems Caused By Excessive Nail Biting
In general nail biting isn’t dangerous and seldom leads to any health problems. Only the most excessive of biting can cause problems. These problems occur if the person bites into the nail bed. This is where the growth of the nail begins and is the U shaped area at the base of the nail itself. If you are an excessive nail biter then you should know about the problems that can occur. These can include bleeding from the nail and underlying skin, periungual warts developing and bacterial infections underneath the nail.
Viruses and bacteria can spread from your mouth to under your nails. They can also go the other way and spread from under your nails to your mouth. This can obviously cause numerous problems and infections in both areas. The best way to prevent this is to reduce your nail biting or stop altogether. Also maintain a high level of hygiene on your hands. Washing them regularly in warm soapy water, with attention paid to the nails, is the best way to start. Antibacterial hand washes can also help stop the occurrence and spread of bacterial infections to and from your nails.
We hope you found this information helpful. If you suffer from any problems or concerns relating to nail biting do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Thanks for reading.