Is there any relation between biting your nails and the anxiety?

Health tips

Biting your nails frequently can be very bad for your health. It probably is a sign showing that you suffer from constant anxiety.

As we all know, it is a bad habit that causes aesthetic and health problems. Why?

The habit of biting your nails makes the shape of your teeth to change and alters the health of the nail bed. This happens because the regular bites modify the normal growth of the nails, creating microtraumasin the nail bed, that is, the base of the nail. This changes the anatomy of the nails and also produces small injuries in the nails’ borders.

You finger can swell up!

Despite being a rather common problem, there are few research studies about it. This pathology affects between the 20% and the 45% of the population. This habit usually starts during childhood, but it gets worse in the adolescence. And, if it has remained until the adult stage, its treatmentis more complex. That is why you should treat it before it is too late.

Researchers prove that more than a half of the children bite their nails as a routine. This habit is called onychophagy and it is usually also rather common among the child’s relatives.

It is worth mentioning that biting your nails is a practice that is usually done unconsciously and automatically, since deep inside it hides a conduct disorder. This behavior towards the nails is related to some pathologies like the onychophagyand the onychotillomania.

When we say onychotillomania, we are talking about a psychodermatological disorder, with the particularity of suffering a constant alteration of the nail’s anatomy. What is more, in some severe cases, this habit can be associated to an obsessive-compulsive disorder or other mental issues.

Thus, biting your nails is not just an isolated phenomenon. It could be the tip of the iceberg of deeper problems.

Do you already know why you bite your nails?

We are going to give you some reasons to stop biting your nails. It can be so harmful for your health!

The first consequence of this habit is the change in the shape of the nail. If you bite them, you might have different nails’ appearance. Some of them will be shorter, coarser or even smoother.

The second effect is the change in the nail’s colour. The continuous exposure could cause the nails to show a darker pigmentation and small haemorrhages due to the injuries.

These same injuries might also cause the skin to swell up as a protection measure. The skin becomes inflamed and gets red. It could get an infection due to a virus, fungus or some bacteria as well.

Another risk that you will face if you bite your nails frequently is the osteomyelitis. The distal phalanx can suffer an infection. In other words, the bones in your fingers could get infected. This is very rare, but it could happen. Experts know that the habit of biting your nails makes it easier for you to endure osteomyelitis.

And, finally, in children, it also increases the presence of enterobacteria in the mouth.

When do we bite our nails?

Too much excitement, stress and anxiety, as well as some boring moments, are what usually make you bite your nails.

You could be doing any activity and automatically, without even noticing, you start biting your nails. Some studies suggest that people who suffer onychophagy endure more anxiety than the average.

Furthermore, it is an automatic and repetitive act, so it is very difficult to control this tic.

How can you overcome this bad habit?

To overcome the habit of biting your nails, you need to follow these simple tricks.

If you have the tic of biting your nails, remedy it now!

For example, some products with unpleasant taste will help you a lot. You can cover your nails with them and, due to its bitter taste, you will avoid getting your nails into your mouth. We also advice you to use bandagesthat will work as a barrier that will not allow you to bite your nails.

There are many ways to solve your problem!

In Clínica Excelan, we give you useful advices for you to stay always healthy.

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