Manicure Guide: Reasons And Ways To Stop Biting Your Nails
Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017
Hopefully this 2017 means some of you out there have just resolved to stop biting your nails! Whether it’s because of stress, or just a habit you never got rid of, nail biting is something that a lot of us do, and a lot of us want to stop doing. One reason to stop is simple aesthetics. After all, clean and trimmed nails look much better than ragged ones. But beyond that, there can be a wide range of health risks associated with biting, ranging from minuscule cuts to the risk of serious infections.
You could hurt your fingers
When you bite, you don’t just get the dead cells that form your nails, often you are gnawing down to the skin as well. Most people will, at some point in life, bite their nails “down to the quick”, meaning that the nail is so short, it doesn’t protect the sensitive skin at the tips of your fingers. This usually means that your hands will hurt a bit from typing, playing musical instruments, or other delicate tasks for a few days while the nail grows back. That’s a minor malady, but it’s still no fun. In more extreme cases, you can rip out the skin around your nails, causing bleeding and opening your body up to infection.
You could hurt your mouth
It’s a bit gross to think about, but every time you bite a sharp bit of fingernail off, that little sharp thing is automatically in your mouth. Fingernails can cause tiny cuts in your gums, or in some cases even become wedged between your teeth.
According to research done by Colgate, stress biters are also at a higher risk of damaging their teeth. If your reaction to stress involves wanting to bite down on something, chances are you also grind your teeth and clench your jaw a lot. This can lead to a lot of wear and tear, and even permanent nerve damage. So do your pearly whites a favour, and practice relaxing your jaw muscles when you start feeling tense.
Your hands are one of the dirtiest parts of your body
You’re a busy woman, which means your hands touch a lot of things during the day, from doorknobs to toilet handles, to other people’s hands! A little bit of everything you touch stays on your hands, or ends up lodged under your fingernails. So next time you feel like chomping down, think about all the things your hands came in contact with that day. You’ve definitely touched something that you would never put in your mouth!
In addition, the things that you intentionally put on your hands can also be hazardous to your health. Even small flecks of nail polish are not good to ingest, and the same goes for trace levels of nail polish remover, some lotions, oil treatments, and soap. If you’re taking good care of your hands with regular caring and manicures, you definitely don’t want to mess them up again with your teeth!
It really does look bad!
At the end of the day, one of the biggest reasons to keep your nails long is simply because it looks better. People notice your hands when you wave hello, when you pick up your phone, or when you pay for something. Instead of feeling uncomfortable every time you take out your wallet, or want to shake hands, you could feel confident and happy in having clean, healthy nails, and elegant hands.
Not sure where to start?
If you’re a lifelong nail biter, breaking the habit can be hard. The first step is to be aware when you’re actually biting your nails. Find ways to remind yourself that you want to quit, whether its writing yourself notes, or spending a few minutes a day meditating on the mantra “I want to stop biting my nails.” Also keep your nails trimmed and pretty – you won’t want to mess them up when they look so good!
If you want to give yourself a little shock each time you start chewing, you can try painting your nails with a bitter tasting polish. There are some on the market which are non-toxic, and actually promote healthy nail growth. The best part is, these products are clear, so you can wear them over your normal manicure.
If self-control and conditioning don’t work, ask your friends and family for help. The people around you notice your habits, and they can always give you a gentle reminder to keep your hands out of your mouth.
So don’t wait, make 2017 the year you let your nails grow out. You’ll be a happier and healthier you, with much more space to show off some fun and funky nail art!