In life we are sometimes faced with embarrassing situations, some of which we can prevent or handle; while others are totally out of our control. Some of these situations are habits we acquired knowingly or unknowingly. Habits are actions performed repeatedly and automatically,
usually without awareness. These actions could
be considered good or bad, enjoyable or embarrassing. In all, one of the embarrassing and highly discouraged habits is biting of finger nails. It is so because it is a bad habit.
Why do people bite their nails? There are no clear reasons why people bite their fingers nails but it has been observed that biting of nails in most cases starts from childhood. It
is regarded as one of the nervous habits just like thumb-sucking, hair twisting, teeth grinding and nose picking. However, it is also believed that this habit occurs as a result of anxiety, curiosity, boredom, imitation, excitement and stress. More still, biting of nails has been seen to be instinctual, while those with this habit are seen as those with impulse control problem.
There are negative health implications of biting of nails like: Ø Bleeding and discoloration of the skin around the nail. Ø Introduction of bacteria into the mouth and stomach leading to gastro intestinal infections that can bring about diarrhea, abdominal pain etc. Ø Stress caused by biting of nails can wear down the front teeth as well as other dental problems. Ø It can lead to the infection of the folds of tissues surrounding the nail (paronychia), as well as septic infection of the entire finger. Ø Discourage this habit in children as soon as you notice it. Ø Distract your hand whenever you feel like biting your nails; like playing of musical instruments and other types of game. So, get your hand busy. Ø Keep your mouth busy with activities like, singing and chewing of minty gum etc. Ø Maintain healthy nails by cutting of nails and removal of cuticles, so that you would not see any reason to bite. Ø Cover your nails with gloves or adhesive bandages to keep you from biting, so as to allow the nails grow. Ø Break the habit on one nail at a time. In other words, do not bite a particular nail over a period so as to overcome the biting habit on that nail as well as appreciate the beauty of that particular nail over others. Then do the same to another nail until you conquer the habit totally.