Nail biting is one of those habits pretty much everyone is guilty of at some point, but based on this information you’d have to be mad to continue to chomp away at your finger tips.
Some research states that the habit is actually good for you, but these facts might just be enough to keep your fingers out of your mouth forever.
Warning: Graphic content
1) Nail varnish contains poisonous formaldehyde.
Although a Yale study reported varnished nails as reducing the amount of germs lurking under your fingertips, it is extremely bad for you to ingest the formaldehyde within the paint. In 2011 the National Toxicology Program upgraded formaldehyde to a ‘known human carcinogen’. The chemical is also used as an embalming agent to preserve dead organic tissue, now is that the kind of thing you want in your mouth?
2) You can seriously damage your teeth and gums.
According to the Journal of Periodontology chomping away at your nails can cause chips, fractures, offset jaws and tooth loss. There have also been reported cases of fragments of fingernail becoming embedded out of sight inside gums, leaving patients open to a whole host of infection and discomfort.
3) Your nails may not grow back.
Nails are a privilege not a right, apparently. Excessive biting can shorten the nail to a point of no return. You do have to significantly chomp away into the nail bed for this to occur, but why take the risk?
4) You may cause infections in your fingers.
Draining infections from around the nail bed is a painful experience and often acute paronychia results from, you guessed it, nail biting. The NHS advises that failure to treat the issue in its infancy can lead to chronic suffering, and repeated build ups of pus and inflamation to fingers.
5) The germs can cause oral STDs.
Of all the ways to get an STD acquiring it without actually having sex is depressing. Not that you’d want one at all, but getting herpes as a result of trimming your nails the old fashioned way is needless. Granted this is an extreme consequence, not experienced by everyone, but it has been documented.
So no excuses, stop biting your nails or prepare to accept the nasty consequences.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.