Are you guilty of chewing off those cuticles? You need to STOP!

Published on: 3 March 2022, 19:00 pm IST

You may have seen several people biting cuticles off their fingers, but did you know this habit can cause serious issues?

causes of nail biting
Take care of your cuticles and resist the urge to pick on them. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Ah, those nails. Don’t they look so pretty when painted or even otherwise? Not for everyone, because some people voluntarily or involuntarily pick their cuticles and that can cause so many issues you may have never imagined! This habit of biting cuticles begins during childhood and could be due to a psychological component. But, before we get to various solutions regarding how to deal with this issue, let’s first understand what are some of the chronic issues it can cause.

What are the risks of picking your cuticles?

Celebrity dermatologist Jaishree Sharad tells HealthShots, “Cuticles are meant to protect your nail bed. They attach the nail to the skin. Picking at them will allow bacteria, dirt, grime, fungi, and yeast to enter the nail bed and cause infection or allergies.”

This infection is also called paronychia, which causes the cuticle and the surrounding area to become red, swollen, inflamed, and pus-filled. This may also cause fever, and you may need to have antibiotics on doctor’s prescription.

Let’s get to the solutions now.

Are there any ways to prevent the habit of picking cuticles?

1. Create a physical barrier

Although it may sound silly, sometimes you really need to create a physical barrier, so as to prevent yourself from picking your cuticles. It could be something as simple as using a band-aid so that you can resist the urge to do this all the time.

2. Hydrate your cuticles

We know even a slightly frayed cuticle may give you a chance to pick at them, but we have a great hack for you. Hydrate your cuticles with nourishing oil to smoothen the edges, so that they remain moisturized, and you do not keep picking at them.

ganglion cyst
Moisturize your hands well to prevent those cuticle from flaring up. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Move your body

Wondering what is the connection between the two? Well, most people indulge in biting cuticles when they are bored or have nothing better to do. But when you move your body, you also release endorphins or feel-good hormones that reduce stress levels, and help you curb the urge to pick.

4. Pay attention to your body

It could also be that biting cuticles happens when you experience negative and intense emotions. If that’s the case, try and pay attention to the sensations in your body, when you can’t resist the urge to pick on cuticles.

nails
Proper care for nails is important so, stop picking cuticles! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Last but not the least, if this habit continues to prevail, and you end up being infected every now and then, get in touch with both a dermatologist and therapist to guide you.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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