Nail biting affects not only their appearance but also your health. If you know of people who have nail biting habit, warn them that their lives could be at stake.
What you need to know about your nails
Nails adorn and protect the fingers and feet. Much people neglect their nails, leaving them grow without care. Others are occupied with care of their nails, via manicure, pedicure, polish, etc. But what are the nails? It is good to know that it is consisted of several parts, more or less sensitive, and is good to understand their usefulness and problems they face.
1- Nail plate represents the body of the nail. It is hard, translucent and made of keratin.
2- Paronychium or lateral nail fold is the expansion of the skin on each side of the nail.
3- Lateral nail groove has the light or pinkish color in the shape of a half moon at the base of the nail.
4- Cuticle or eponychium is the thin membrane between the nail matrix and the nail plate of the nail. Avoid cutting the cuticle to prevent damage of the nail matrix.
5- Nail matrix is the layer of skin beneath the nail. This is the most sensitive part.
6- Free edge is apparently the fingernail, whitish in color which is mainly treated in manicure and pedicure.
7- Nail bed is located under the nail plate.
8- Hyponichium is also located below the nail plate and constitutes the extension of the nail bed.
The fingernail grows about 4 millimeters and feet nail 1.5 millimeter per month. And they are subject to various types of infections.
Common nails diseases
Nail infections can cause discoloration, brittle or crumbly nails, thickening etc. And this is usually caused by microscopic fungi called “dermatophytes.” The most common are:
- Nail fungus that grows in hot and humid environment.
- The ingrown toenail, caused by bad cut of the nail which is covered with skin. The negligence of an ingrown toenail can progress to an ulcer, requiring surgery.
- Cancer of the nail is characterized by the abnormal brown or black color of the nail plate. It is caused by an abnormal accumulation of melanin in this part and can be cured if it is quickly diagnosed.
Apart from these diseases, the nail may experience mild illness such as allergies caused by varnishes, solvents and artificial nails or trauma associated with frequent manicures and pedicures.
Nail biting, sometimes a deadly habit
The British press has echoed the death of a 40 years old man for “gnawing his nails.” He died of sepsis caused by injuries of the skin around his fingernails. John was often biting his nails, which were also in poor condition; when he arrived at the hospital, they were bleeding. John had this bad habit because of anxiety and it got worse when he got depressed. His nails were bleeding more than usual and his wounds became infected. The infection widespread causing cardiac arrest. The doctors tried to save him by cutting his finger tips to stop the infection, then put him on antibiotics for two weeks, but he did not survive.
How to help your child to stop biting your nails?
“More and more children are affected, approximately 1 out of 3” according to the pediatrician Edwige Antier. Children start biting nails around at 2 years of age and this attitude becomes an addiction starting from 5 years of age. The most important thing is not to scold your child when it bites its nails. This could make it more nervous and reinforce this trend. Teach your child to taking care of its little hands and take the opportunity to subtly discover what is it anguish, then discuss it because often nail-biting hides some psychological or emotional disorder.
Nail biting can be a simple act of imitation, when the child sees a parent or relatives does. Some use the technique of bitter nail polish, but, according to many experts, it is not at all effective as it does not address the fear of the child.
Find, by discussing with your child or thru its favorite play what bothers him. If you recognize, despite your best efforts, that you do not have the weapons to help, it is best to consult a psychologist or child psychiatrist.