Nail biting can make you ill! | Healthy Living | DW | 13.01.2018
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Healthy Living

Nail biting can make you ill!

Nail biting is a bad habit. Most people do it unconsciously, to relieve stress and tension. But nail biting doesn't just make your hands unattractive. It also heightens the risk of disease.

Our hands touch all sort of things during the course of the day, and we don't always have the opportunity to wash them. If you bite your fingernails, you're constantly ingesting microorganisms, and that can have consequences. Nail-biters get colds, gastrointestinal infections and skin rashes more frequently. Your teeth and oral cavity can suffer as well, because pathogens can also establish themselves there. If you gnaw your nails down to below the quick, it can lead to bleeding and damage the nail bed. Constantly open wounds on your fingers can also become infected. In addition, nail biters often suffer psychologically. The feel stigmatized and hide their fingers because they're embarrassed. Many people think chewed fingernails are a sign of being weak-willed and lacking self-discipline.

Our tips for kicking the habit: Choose one finger and consciously don't bite it. After a few days, you'll already see progress. Then choose the next one. Or if you have the impulse to bite your nails, clench your fist, squeeze a rubber ball or chew gum. You can't chew gum and your nails at the same time. Another option is to wear special nail varnish that acts as a deterrent because of its bitter taste. Another tip: always carry a small nail file with you to smooth out irregularities and hangnails. And use hand cream: that really doesn't taste good.