It’s no secret that nail biting is a nasty habit, or even an addiction for some. As explained in this NPR article, there are a variety of reasons why people bite their nails. But, what are you eating as you gnaw on your nails?
Your nails are made of a strong protective protein called keratin. Keratin is also found in your hair and skin. In addition to keratin, dead skin cells are a key component of your nails and what makes them hard.
So why is nail biting gross, you may ask? Because of all the nasty shit below and around your nails. Don’t take this personally, I’m not calling you grimy. We all have nasty shit under our nails, being that it’s literally unavoidable, but exposing yourself to this nasty shit is.
First of all, putting your unwashed hands in your mouth increases your risk of catching a cold or another illness, which is kind of common sense, right? However, the germs lurking under there can lead to a bunch of skin infections like boils and abscesses. Nice.
But wait, there’s more! Biting your nails can also spread warts to other parts of your hands. If that doesn’t deter you from the habit, consider the fact that it can also spread herpes. Yes, you read that right. Herpes. Like, yeah, it’s super rare, but why take the chance? That shit is gross.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s also terrible for your teeth. Everyday health says that it can damage enamel, lead to shifting, or possibly even break your teeth. That is not a good look, people. This EWG article adds the fact that nail polish is literally poison. Like no, that’s not something to snack on. The only toxins coming into your body should be from a shot glass.
But I totally get it, I was biting my nails as I wrote this article, and now I’m sufficiently disgusted. So if you’re like me, here are six ways that’ll maybe help you kick this habit.