You can hear your mother’s voice even now telling you to stop. As kids, we’re never really sure why, save that we’re told is disgusting. But really, the reasons are better than that. There are some real health reasons why it is in your best interest to stop biting your nails.
Why Biting Your Nails Can Seriously Be Bad for You
Let’s start with what should be obvious – the risk of infection. This can be infection in many, many forms. It could be viral, bacterial…..Any kind of germ can pass in that nicely warmed and moistened breeding ground that you have created by biting your fingernails.
It stands to reason that biting your nails passes infection around – to you and to anyone whose hand you shake. You pick up germs in the environment and then promptly bring them to your mouth. Conversely, you take them right from your mouth and distribute them to the world abroad. It’s why they recommend hand washing as a primary line of infectious defense – the easy spread of germs on hands.
Other than the obvious, nail biting can harm the bed of your nails, opening the door for infection, damage, cracks, pain and bleeding.
Is This A Symptom Of Something Serious?
How serious is the danger of nail biting, though?
That probably depends on what you’re opening your body too. Something else that is worth knowing, though, is that nail biting can also be a signal of something serious lying beneath. Studies show nail biting to be both a sign and symptom of stress and tension and a precursor to it. Maybe the one begets the other, who knows, but studies reveal that nail-biters can lead to nervous tension as well as be a symptom of tension and stress caused by outside sources. It’s an idea and a symptom worth exploring as you work to break this habit that is both harmful to your health and a possible signal that there are other health problems or anxiety and mental health issues you need to consider.
All in all, your mother was right. Nail biting is harmful to your health. It may be a habit that is nearly as old as you are, but it’s definitely one worth ditching, for your health, the health of those around you…and maybe for your mom’s, too.