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Could Biting Your Fingernails Lead to Whitlow Infections?

Jaclyn Hughes

There are millions of people young and old that have one habit in common…biting their fingernails. In a time where organic food is key, and there can never be quite enough hand sanitizer around, one would presume that nail biting is still considered to be a dirty little habit, but just how bad can it possibly be?

According to Punch online, one medical specialist is advising that biting one’s nails can result in very dangerous infections, including whitlow. The specialist, who is employed by Graceland Hospital, went into detail about the implications that biting germs under the fingernails can turn into. Advising that under the nails is the prime body part where bacteria grows and then becomes an even bigger problem once the patient transfers that bacteria into their mouth. Not only can it cause redness and swelling to develop around the fingernails, but it can also result in the dangerous paronychia, or whitlow.

Some useful tips to help stop the nail biting cycle:

Many use nail polish to help control biting cravings. For the men, they use a clear coat of polish that has a matte finish so that the polish isn’t noticeable to others if that’s a concern.

Many also use some type of agent to dip the fingertips in to cause a reaction that would have them steer clear of biting. Dipping them into something such as apple cider vinegar, that would cause you to seriously want to avoid putting them in your mouth is a great idea.

Trim your fingernails shorter as a precaution to safeguard your health. Maintain clean nails by purchasing a nail scrubber and keeping it by the sink to have a tool close by for quick clean ups. Some that still have challenges trying to avoid biting their nails, choose to fasten a rubber band to their wrist and flick it against their skin every time they catch themselves biting those nails. It may not be pretty, but it has been a well known tactic to help restrict nail biting.

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