Just about all and sundry has had at least one nail-biting moment in his or her life. Perhaps you found yourself with nails between teeth while sitting through an uninteresting class lecture, anticipating a career-changing gathering with your manager, or worriedly watching the fate of your favorite horror-movie heroine. Biting fingernails is a routine that often starts in early days. Studies show 60% of children and 45% of teenagers bite their nails. Nail biting becomes less common after age 18, but it can persist into adulthood. Many adults and children are often unconscious they are biting their nails because doing so has become a habit. The dilemma can range from a mild, occasional habit to an ongoing and more serious hitch.
Biting or picking your nails might also lead to momentary or permanent effects to your actual nail. The majority of the fingernail is produced in the area of the nail bed where there is a "white hill," also called the lunula. The fingernail is made there, as well as the area beneath the lunula that extends down underneath the skin. You may end up with a fingernail that's bumpy or ridge-y. Sometimes these effects are short-term. An infection that lasts a week or two might lead to a funny-looking nail for a short period of time.
Nail biting has both physical and emotional penalty. Frequently biting your nails and cuticles can leave your fingers red and stinging. The region of skin around your nails may bleed and become impure. Bacteria and viruses passed from your fingers to your face and mouth can make you susceptible to infection. Nail biting can also harm your teeth, leading to poorly aligned, weakened teeth.
The appearance of bitten-down fingernails can also be uncomfortable, which can only add to anxiety and stress.
So stop biting your nails and act like an adult. Remember these effects and you sure will stop.
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