5 Serious Health Risks Nail Biters Face

nailbiting AdcaIf you’re a nail biter and have been for a long time, you probably think that biting your nails is simply a nervous habit that causes no more harm than looking bad to others.

Actually, there are some much more serious consequences to your nasty habit that you may not be aware of. Here are the top five:

1. Bringing bacteria that cause disease straight into your mouth.

You would not believe how perfect an environment your nails offer to bacteria. Among them, two should catch your attention: Salmonella e E. Coli. Have you ever heard of these two? If you aren’t aware of the severe threats each can bring to your health, here’s a quick description of each, taken from Wikipedia.

Infection with nontyphoidal serovars of Salmonella will generally result in food poisoning. […] Some of the microorganisms are killed in the stomach, while the surviving salmonellae enter the small intestine and multiply in tissues (localized form). Gastric acidity is responsible for the destruction of the majority of ingested bacteria, however Salmonella has evolved a degree of tolerance to acidic environments that allows a subset of ingested bacteria to survive. Bacterial colonies may also become trapped in mucus produced in the oesophagus. By the end of the incubation period, the nearby cells are poisoned by endotoxins released from the dead salmonellae. The local response to the endotoxins is enteritis and gastrointestinal disorder.

Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella serotypes which are strictly adapted to humans or higher primates—these include Salmonella Typhi, Paratyphi A, Paratyphi B and Paratyphi C. In the systemic form of the disease, salmonellae pass through the lymphatic system of the intestine into the blood of the patients (typhoid form) and are carried to various organs (liver, spleen, kidneys) to form secondary foci (septic form). Endotoxins first act on the vascular and nervous apparatus, resulting in increased permeability and decreased tone of the vessels, upset thermal regulation, vomiting and diarrhea.

And about E. Coli:

[…] virulent strains can cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis. In rarer cases, virulent strains are also responsible for hemolytic-uremic syndrome, peritonitis, mastitis, septicemia, and Gram-negative pneumonia.

Because your nails are usually dirtier than your fingers themselves, they become a privileged host for disease-causing micro-organisms. When you bite your nails, these easily move into your mouth and from there into the rest of your body, where they can cause infections.

The second health risk compromises the way you enjoy life as a whole.