Nail biting can be repulsive and gross. Often interpreted as a sign of nervousness or tension, nail biting is not merely a bad habit as it affects our health in more ways than one. The physical consequence of nail biting is apparent but the social ostracisation can prove to be traumatic for the individual.
Physical Consequences of Nail Biting:
- Bleeding and Pain – The most obvious side-effect of serious nail biting is pain and Bleeding. If nails get bitten down deep till the nail bed, it can result in open wounds and Bleeding.
- Nails become frail – Repeated nail biting can make the nails weak and brittle. Fingertips can become red and sore.
- Causes Infection- People who are habitual nail biters are prone to infections as the dirt under the nails have bacteria, viruses or parasites. Warts may also appear around the nail bed due to constant biting.
- May lead to OCD- Extremely severe nail biting can be a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
- Dental problem- Probably the most menacing side effect of nail biting is gingival injury .
Emotional effects of Nail Biting
- Anxiety and secrecy – People who bite their nails may remain anxious that others may see them. In most cases people hide this habit and start biting nails in secrecy.
- Feeling of shame and frustration - People who bite their nails feel a deep sense of shame and frustration if someone close to them discovers their annoying habit .
- Negatively impacts Social activities – Deformed ugly fingers may cause friends or colleagues from avoiding body contact. A simple handshake, dinner date or a meeting at the office can turn into an ordeal for people who constantly bite their nails.
Nail biting is definitely not a productive activity so it’s better to give it up before it starts affecting your health and happiness.You can consult your doctor for further advice and suggestions.
Written by: Dr. Rohini
Edited: C. Soni