Consequences of nail biting | Chewed fingernails

Consequences of nail biting

The consequences of nail biting are very complex and can reach undreamt-of dimensions. The most obvious consequences of biting are the resulting injuries to the fingers. Those affected bleed at the fingertips and often have scars.

In addition, the nail bed is often attacked and thus susceptible to bacterial infections or infections caused by fungi. Besides the physical consequences, the psychological consequences of nail biting should not be underestimated. A large part of the interpersonal communication takes place through gestures with the hands.

Those affected are ashamed of their nails and socially withdraw. In addition, well-groomed hands are important in various professions today, including hairdressing and cooking. With fingernails that are always chewed off, the choice of profession can therefore be limited.

For people with compulsive disorders, nail biting can take several hours a day. In the same way, various everyday activities with chronically injured fingers cannot be carried out. These include, for example, preparing food with bare hands or cleaning with detergents. Hobbies, such as playing the guitar, cannot be pursued due to severely chewed fingernails.

What do I have to pay attention to when my fingernails grow back?

Biting the fingernails is often an expression of compulsive behaviour, which can have not only physical but also psychological consequences for the person concerned. Depending on how pronouncedly the nails are chewed off, there are different characteristics which should be taken into account when the nails are regrown. In principle, the best chances for a good growth of the nails are with early termination of the nail biting.

If the nails are bited off permanently, permanent shortening and deformation of the nail and damage to the nail bed can occur. Successful nail growth can only be achieved by a conscious decision against biting the nails. For this purpose, the causes of nail biting, for example stress or other psychological burdens, often have to be eliminated or at least improved.

Psychotherapeutic methods can help to reduce these factors. Local measures, such as applying nail polish with a bitter taste or bandages and gloves, can also help to give the nails time and rest to grow. It is also important to treat the consequences of nail biting, such as fungal infection or inflammation, as these can also inhibit nail growth. Disinfecting ointments and creams help to protect against infections and to care for the affected nails and the surrounding skin.