- A severe warning from an allergy and infectious disease expert says that having a bad habit of nail biting can put people at risk of contracting viruses – including coronavirus (COVID-19).
- According to Purvi Parikh, the spaces under our nails can collect “all kinds of bacteria, debris, dirt, and viruses”
An allergy and infectious disease expert Purvi Parikh strongly warned the public, especially those with bad habit of “nail biting,” that doing so can increase the risk of acquiring the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Parikh also strongly encouraged people to quit the said practice. However, if it still couldn’t could not be avoided, she suggested a few things that could help prevent them from chewing their bacteria-filled nails.
In an online report, Parikh explained that nails can collect all types of bacteria, dirt, debris, and, worse, viruses. When nail-biters do not habitually wash their hands, all those germs can easily be transferred to their mouths, she said.
“Every time you touch your face — especially your mouth, nose, and eyes — you’re transferring all of those germs. And you can get sick,” she told The Cut.
Parikh added that the bacteria transmitting to your mouth is the “easiest” and “fastest” way to acquire different infections and the dreaded disease.
With coronavirus spreading globally and claiming thousands of lives, there is even more reason for nail-biters to kick the habit for good. Parikh, however, understands that going “cold turkey” on a bad habit is not easy or most.
Here are some practical solutions:
#1. Wearing gloves
In an interview with pharmacist Alec Ginsberg, Daily Mail wrote that wearing gloves is a good way for anyone to control their nail-biting tendencies. However, he said, this may appear to be an impractical remedy, especially for those living in a tropical area.
“This may not be a practical solution for around the clock, but if you live in a cold area and are going to be moving around outside, put gloves on even if you normally wouldn’t,” he reminded.
#2. Pop some chewing gum.
Another best solution is to keep your mouth busy by chewing a gum. This can help prevent anyone from unconsciously biting their fingers, said Ginsberg.
#3. Make your fingers busy.
The chewing gum theory also applies to one’s fingers, Ginsberg added. He encouraged individuals to look for anything that could get the fingers busy, including using fidget spinners or even just simply playing with a rubber band.
#4. Have a regular manicure.
Since manicure services can be expensive, people with their nails done will find it a waste if they start biting it. So this can be a good way of preventing the habit.
If regular manicure still doesn’t work, Ginsberg said to try out a “bitter” nail polish that would make their fingertips taste “disgusting.”
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