Health & Fit Nail Biting Habit May Lead To Life-Threatening Infection

18:06  07 may  2018
18:06  07 may  2018 Source:   medicaldaily.com

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Nails © Nails Nails Poor appearance is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complications from nail-biting. The habit could even spell disaster for your life.

Do you ever chew your nails off when reading articles about dangerous health consequences? This one just might get you to do the opposite.

The habit of nail biting or onychophagia is commonly used as a coping mechanism for psychological factors such as stress and boredom. But what most people would assume to be an unhygienic but ultimately harmless habit almost cost a young British man his life.

Calling it a "nervous thing," 28-year-old Luke Hanoman explained that he used to frequently bite his nails. "And one day, I bit the skin down the side of my nail. It hurt a bit but I didn’t think anything of it."

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But soon after, he developed flu-like symptoms, high fever, cold sweats, and swelling in his fingers. As the symptoms worsened, he was found with red lines all over his body and was rushed to the hospital.

Hanoman was diagnosed with Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection which seemed to have occurred due to the small piece of skin he chewed off. 

"They told me I was lucky to make it so long. I was close to septic shock," he said, recalling how the doctors initially did not reveal the severity of his condition to avoid causing stress.

Any wound-like opening can become a gateway for bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. Tears on the skin of fingertips, in particular, can allow yeast and bacteria to accumulate inside, leading to swelling, redness, and a build-up of puss. Treatment may involve surgical draining or the use of antibiotics.

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Dr. Steven Simpson, the medical director of the Sepsis Alliance, stated that ignoring serious symptoms and not taking antibiotics on time can lead to a situation like the one Hanoman was in, or worse. 

"Waiting too long [to get antibiotics] is dangerous. When you have these kinds of symptoms, people need to seek medical attention," he explained, referring to fever, swelling, chills, etc.

But infections are not the only consequences of nail-biting. After all, the act involves another significant body part apart from your fingernails: Your teeth.

"Constant biting can lead to poor dental occlusion, so the biter’s teeth shift out of position or become oddly shaped," said Dr. Chris Adigun, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. In other words, it can affect how your upper and lower teeth come into contact at rest or when you chew. Stress can cause teeth grinding, Dr. Adigun said, adding how fingernails can serve as "a handy buffer" for people who are prone to such conditions.

This Woman Claims Her Finger Was Cut at a Nail Salon, and Now It May Be Amputated

  This Woman Claims Her Finger Was Cut at a Nail Salon, and Now It May Be Amputated A woman from Arizona claims her finger may have to be amputated after it was supposedly deeply cut during a manicure session. Allure reached out to the client and salon for more information.The last thing you expect to happen when you go to a nail salon — especially one you've been going to for years — is to get injured. Sure, mistakes can happen, especially with the sharp tools used for manicures, but a tiny little cut once in a blue moon isn't a big deal, right? Eh...not exactly. As one Arizona woman says, a seemingly innocuous wound can land you in the hospital with an infection.

If you are looking to kick the habit, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that nail-biters identify their triggers (for example, hangnails) and find alternative ways to deal with them. Keeping nails trimmed short or wearing bitter-tasting nail polish are also useful methods to help people lose their nail-biting tendency over time.

Gallery: 8 weird things your fingernails say about your health (courtesy Organic Life) Fingernails: you don’t likely think much about ‘em unless you're picking out a polish color. But at some point or another, we’ve probably all seen some strange things happen to our nails, like the appearance of white spots, brittleness, or funky tints.What do changes at the tips of your fingers mean? We asked top dermatologists to explain eight weird things that can happen and what each could signal about your health.This article was originally published on Women's Health. 8 Weird Things Your Fingernails Say About Your Health

Kansas mom claims flesh-eating infection developed after spider bite .
<p>Tamara Owsley-Savard has been hospitalized for 40 days and has undergone 14 surgeries after she was infected with a “flesh-eating” bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis.</p>Tamara Owsley-Savard 32, told KSHB she was bitten by a spider over Memorial Day weekend.

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