Posts Tagged ‘ nail biting ’

Biting nails;Biting fungus and dirt!

How many of you bite your nails? Sadly I am an occasional nail-biter.. eeeww,what a name,”nail-biter”. Though not an addict, I am aware of myself having such a disgusting habit. I have seen many people biting nails religiously, with all concentration and content. Just thought of digging more into it and have a random post!


Nail biting also known clinically as chronic onychophagia, is a compulsive habit of biting ones fingernails or toenails during periods of nervousness, stress, hunger or even boredom. It can also be a sign of a mental or emotional disorder Nail biting is usually described as a common stress-relieving habit. Nail biting is more common in boys. 



Nail biting is a common habit that starts from an early age. It occurs in all ages, but the most common age for starting is early teens. Statistic’s show that 28% to 33% of children aged 7-10 years old, 44% of adolescents, 19% to 29% of young adults and 5% of older adults bite their nails. It is most common in boys . The side affects are unattractive and can cause embarrassment, bad grooming, unattractive hands or feet, sores and redness around the area of the nail. In more extreme cases the sufferer would be prone to get mouth infections from bacteria or germs under the nail being transferred from the nail to the mouth, or oral disease’s being transferred into the broken skin around the area of the nail causing infection and swelling.


Nail biting according to behavioral psychologists is an operant conditioned habit. This would be a behavior that the person can physically control. As all behavior’s are learned they can be unlearned. Stress is believed to be the culprit in common anxiety outlets. But some researchers believe there’s a genetic component involved, while others claim the habits are learned. Nail biting and hair pulling may trigger calming sensors in the nervous system. Such activities may look painful to an outsider, but children can feel a sense of relief in response to internal nervous-system turmoil.


Devoted nail biters can achieve top grades, have satisfying friendships and happily continue their habit into adulthood with no serious consequences other than cosmetic appearance. Parents should consider professional help when a repetitive, self-destructive behavior begins to interfere with normal functioning



While normally the activity of nail biting would be considered harmless to a person’s health, there are many things that go along with nail biting that can make it a very serious problem. Inflammation of the tissues adjacent to the nail, that is usually accompanied with infection that may cause pus to occur.  Many people who get this type of infection must have surgery to correct the problem. Severe nail biting makes the roots of the teeth in 13-15 year olds shorter due to excess pressure, and also such problems as bleeding cuticles and red, irritated skin.


  • “Don’t nag”. This is the first step in dealing with children who display anxious habits such as hair twirling, nail biting or knuckle cracking. A better choice is to offer incentives for stopping or to teach the child an alternative behavior
  • A popular method to stop nail-biting is the Nail File Technique: Buy 50 cheap nail files and scatter them everywhere you work and play. When a rough edge begins to bother you, grab a file and sand the nail smooth. People rarely bite or pick at nails with smooth edges
  •  The best way I know to stop nail-biting, however, is to grow nails and keep them beautiful. It worked for me!
  • Also,everytime you get nails into your mouth,remember that you are gulping tons of fungus,virus,bacteria and what not..***faints***