Biting Your Nails Can Cause Some Scary Health Issues: Experts Find

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 15, 2014 3:37 PM EST

No point denying that many of us indulge into nail biting to express different kinds of emotion.

Richard Scher, M.D., an expert on nail disorders at Weill Cornell Medical College and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, says this habit can indeed damage one’s health.

Reuters
5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 2010 earnings: $30 million.

Firstly, human nail contains bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli, the most known causative agents for gastro-intestinal infections that lead to diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Constant nail nibblers may also suffer from an infection termed as paronychia,

“Tears or abrasions in the skin of your fingertips allow strains of bacteria or yeast to get inside. Both cause swelling, redness, and a buildup of puss around and under the nail, which has to be drained surgically and treated with antibiotics or antifungal agents. If the infection is bacterial, the nail can also become tender and painful. “You’ll see it where every fingertip becomes inflamed,” Scher adds.

According to Chris Adigun, M.D., a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, wart virus HPV happens to be a common infection amongst nail biters, says. From fingers, these warts can then spread to one’s mouth and lips.

Nail biting causes poor dental health, gum diseases.

Nail biting is a physical manifestation of tension and stress, to get rid of it, even though psychological helps are available but finally it depends on one’s will power.

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(Photo: Reuters / /Brian Snyder)
5: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 2010 earnings: $30 million.
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