Health Nail Biting Habit May Lead To Life-Threatening Infection

18:02  14 may  2018
18:02  14 may  2018 Source:   medicaldaily.com

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Do you ever chew your nails off when reading articles about dangerous health consequences? This one just might get you to do the opposite. The habit of nail biting or onychophagia is commonly used as a coping mechanism for psychological factors such as stress and boredom.

While nail biting is not life threatening , the habit has many negative effects. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that biting your nails may even lead to warts caused Neem oil has a bitter taste and antiseptic properties which help your cuticles to heal and ward off any infections .

Do you ever chew your nails off when reading articles about dangerous health consequences? This one just might get you to do the opposite.

The habit of nail biting or onychophagia is commonly used as a coping mechanism for psychological factors such as stress and boredom. But what most people would assume to be an unhygienic but ultimately harmless habit almost cost a young British man his life.

Calling it a "nervous thing," 28-year-old Luke Hanoman explained that he used to frequently bite his nails. "And one day, I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn’t think anything of it."

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Nail Biting Habit May Lead To Life - Threatening Infection . Poor appearance is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complications from nail - biting . The habit could even spell disaster for your life.

Nail Biting Habit May Lead To Life - Threatening Infection . Poor appearance is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complications from nail - biting . The habit could even spell disaster for your life.

But soon after, he developed flu-like symptoms, high fever, cold sweats, and swelling in his fingers. As the symptoms worsened, he was found with red lines all over his body and was rushed to the hospital.

Hanoman was diagnosed with Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection which seemed to have occurred due to the small piece of skin he chewed off.

Nails© Nails Nails

"They told me I was lucky to make it so long. I was close to septic shock," he said, recalling how the doctors initially did not reveal the severity of his condition to avoid causing stress.

Any wound-like opening can become a gateway for bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. Tears on the skin of fingertips, in particular, can allow yeast and bacteria to accumulate inside, leading to swelling, redness, and a build-up of puss. Treatment may involve surgical draining or the use of antibiotics.

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Akpan said: “ Nail biting is a common habit that affects people of all ages that might have been picked up as a child. Akpan added that “ nail biters” are vulnerable to skin infections , which may lead to swelling around the nail that have to be removed through surgery.

Nail biting is certainly a bad habit that can lead to local infections , disfigurement around the nail bed and harm to your teeth, but doctors had never Septicemia, a life - threatening bacterial infection in the bloodstream, is especially dangerous because of the potential to spread to the entire body.

Dr. Steven Simpson, the medical director of the Sepsis Alliance, stated that ignoring serious symptoms and not taking antibiotics on time can lead to a situation like the one Hanoman was in, or worse.

"Waiting too long [to get antibiotics] is dangerous. When you have these kinds of symptoms, people need to seek medical attention," he explained, referring to fever, swelling, chills, etc.

But infections are not the only consequences of nail-biting. After all, the act involves another significant body part apart from your fingernails: Your teeth.

"Constant biting can lead to poor dental occlusion, so the biter’s teeth shift out of position or become oddly shaped," said Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. In other words, it can affect how your upper and lower teeth come into contact at rest or when you chew. Stress can cause teeth grinding, Dr. Adigun said, adding how fingernails can serve as "a handy buffer" for people who are prone to such conditions.

If you are looking to kick the habit, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that nail-biters identify their triggers (for example, hangnails) and find alternative ways to deal with them. Keeping nails trimmed short or wearing bitter-tasting nail polish are also useful methods to help people lose their nail-biting tendency over time.

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