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Nail Biting

There was a man who couldn't seem to stop biting his nails, so he went to see a psychiatrist for some help.

After explaining his problem, the doctor told him that nail biting was a common complaint, but it really didn't cause any harm.

"That's what you think, doc," said the man. "I'm a carpenter!"
 
 

Nail Biting History

Quick Tip

There are lots of ways to discourage nail biting. Here are some of the most interesting tricks that I have come across. They range from the most obvious, to the most unusual.

*The Bribe:

In the early sixties, it was quite common for parents to bribe their children to stop. A lowly sum of 25 cents a week was quite popular.

*A Little Pain:

Keeping a elastic band around the wrist was another trick that was popular. Every time you find you find yourself nibbling... you snap it. As an recovered nail biter, I don't think I like this one.

*A Tennis Ball:

Keeping the hands occupied was another trick that often worked. It seems that if the hands had something to do, the nails were left alone.

*Paint Them Nasty:

There are products still on the market that you paint onto the nails and the nasty taste is supposed to make you quit.

*Chew Gum:

This actually makes sense. If you are busy chewing gum, you are less likely to nibble.

*Keeping Them Polished:

It seems that nails that have been groomed will slow down the urge to bite. It might have something to do with the sudden improvement in the appearance of the nails.

Probable Reasons For Biting

-Nervousness

This is a common cause especially in teens. The stress if school and the statis of their social life can usually be blamed.

-Boredom

This can affect any age group. You find yourself with nothing to do and before you know it, you start nibbling.

-Comfort

This reason is the likely cause for young children. They have gone through the pacifier stage or thumb sucking stage and have progressed to the nails.

Nail biting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Nail biting is the habit of biting one's fingernails or toenails during periods of nervousness, stress or boredom. It can also be a sign of mental or emotional disorder, but is commonly seen in intellectuals. The clinical name for nail biting is chronic onychophagia.

It occurs in:

  • 28% to 33% of children ages 7-10 years old,
  • 44% of adolescents,
  • 19% to 29% of young adults and
  • 5% of older adults
  • It is more common in boys
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Health effects

Biting the nails can result in the transportation of germs that are buried under the surface of the nail into the mouth. In fact, nail salons use tools that potentially affect a human in a similar way. “If they (nail tools such as files) are used on different people, these tools may spread nail fungi, staph bacteria or viruses,” warns Rick Lopes, a spokesperson for the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. In fact, over 100 bacterial skin infections in 2000 were traced to footbaths in nail salons. Thus, one can see that many pathogens have the ability to "live" inside of a nail, and because of this biting the nails can potentially cause health issues.

[

Breaking the habit

Various forms of aversion therapy exist to help people stop biting their nails. These include methods such as coating the nails with a bad-tasting substance (sometimes in the form of a special nail polish) or wearing a rubber band on their wrist and having friends and family members snap it (or tell the nailbiter to snap it) when they see nailbiting. Some methods (including aforementioned aversion methods) can work by making the biter aware of their actions and finding other things to do. Keeping a record of when one bites may also be helpful in finding the root of the problem.

Some nail biters who undergo orthodontic treatment find that wearing a retainer or a bite plate makes it impossible for them to sever their nails with their teeth. This can have the unintentional side-effect of helping the individual to overcome their nail-biting habit.

Some nailbiters may try hypnotherapy if other methods fail.

Some nail-biters, however, find the effectivness of these remedies to be poor. For them, it may take sheer determination to break the habit. Tactics they may find helpful include making a mental note to stop, promising oneself not to bite, and making it a New Year's resolution to stop.

Like other nervous habits, nail biting is sometimes a symptom of an emotional problem. In these cases, resolving the underlying problem can help to lessen or eliminate the nail-biting habit.

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Facts

  • Nail biting is, according to Freudian theory, a symptom of oral fixation.
  • It is considered to be a mildly embarrassing habit in some cultures.
  • It does not break the taboo of cannibalism against eating parts of the human body, as the nails are not usually consumed.
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External links

Nail (anatomy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Fingernail)
This article discusses the anatomical nail. For other uses of the term, see nail.
Nails: left hand, 24 year-old human male
Nails: left hand, 24 year-old human male
Anatomy
Anatomy

In anatomy, a nail is a horn-like piece at the end of an animal finger or toe. See also claw.

Fingernails and toenails, which are made of protein and are a form of modified hair, are composed of:

  • the nail matrix or the root of the nail - this is the growing part of the nail still under the skin at the nail's proximal end.
  • eponychium or cuticle which is the fold of skin at the proximal end of the nail.
  • paronychium which is the fold of skin on the sides of the nail.
  • hyponychium which is the attachment between the skin of the finger or toe and the distal end of the nail.
  • nail plate which is what we think of when we say nail, the hard and translucent portion, composed of keratin.
  • nail bed which is the adherent connective tissue that underlies the nail.
  • lunula which is the crescent shaped whitish area of the nail bed.

Fingernails require 3 to 6 months to regrow completely. Toenails require 12 to 18 months. Any major illness will cause a groove to form in the nails, marking in time the past medical history of its owner. These are called Beau's lines.

Nails grow at an average rate of 0.1 mm/day (1 cm every 100 days) [1]. The average is not constant, though, and actual growth rate is dependent upon age, season, exercise level, and hereditary factors.

Nails can have small white spots (leukonychia), become thickened (onychogryphosis), loosened (onycholysis), infected with fungus (onychomycosis) or degenerative (onychodystrophy); for further information see nail diseases.

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Care

A manicure or pedicure is a health and cosmetic procedure to groom, trim, and paint the nails. It is accomplished with cuticle scissors, nail scissors, nail clippers, and nail files, among various other tools. To paint the nails, nail lacquer (also known as nail polish or fingernail polish) is manually applied and allowed to dry. In 2003 the first ink nail printer NailJet Pro was released. It allowed individuals to print custom hi-resolution colour images on their nails.[2]

In some parts of Asia, similar but larger nail-art printers have been set up near bookstores and other popular destinations of young people. They work much like picture-taking booths.

Small white spots, called leukonychia, may appear on nails as a result of nutrient deficiencies, certain illnesses, or local injury.

Some viruses can infect the toe if not cleaned out at least once a week with peroxide. Toe infections can come from dirty socks, walking barefoot and exposing one's feet in a moldy environment.

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Biting

Main article: Nail biting

Many people bite their nails. It is considered to be a mildly embarrassing habit in some cultures. Biting one's nails can indicate internal tension or stress.

However, biting the nails can result in the transportation of germs that are buried under the surface of the nail into the mouth. In fact, nail salons use tools that potentially affect a human in a similar way. Regarding nail tools such as files, "If they're used on different people, these tools may spread nail fungi, staph bacteria or viruses," warns Rick Lopes, a spokesperson for the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.[3] In fact, over 100 bacterial skin infections in 2000 were traced to footbaths in nail salons. Thus, one can see that many pathogens have the ability to live beneath a nail, and because of this biting the nails can potentially cause health issues.

Long nails are commonly seen on women in Western cultures.
Long nails are commonly seen on women in Western cultures.
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Fashion and culture

In the late 20th century, artificial nails for women became widely popular. The artificial nails are not a replacement, but an extension for natural nails. There are two main approaches to creating artificial nails—tips and forms. Tips are lightweight plates that are glued on the natural nail. Forms are fit over the nail and then an artificial nail is molded and the form is removed. With both approaches several materials can be used to glue the tips of form artificial nails. One popular material is acryl—a mixture of powder and ethymethacrylate that hardens in 30–40 seconds after application. Acryl can be removed in 20 minutes using a variety of solvents. Another material, gel, hardens under ultraviolet light and is more lasting and more expensive. It can only be removed by cutting it off. Other materials can be used, as well as combinations of them. There are also cheaper flexible tips that can be quickly glued at home without help from a professional. Artificial nails are produced in a variety of colours and can use "special effects" such as contours and sparkles.

In some Asian cultures men also will grow long fingernails, or only the nail on the little finger, to show that they do not do much manual labor, but instead work in an office setting.

Some guitar players, notably classical and fingerstyle players, will purposely grow long nails on one hand. Their longer nails serve as small, easily-maneuverable guitar picks. Care thereof becomes a daily ritual and a mark of pride. Though this attention may seem effeminate, it is a mark of the dedication that accompanies the serious musician. Someone whose occupation is to cut any type of nail, give artificial nails (or "nail arts") and care nails is generally called a nailist. The place where a nailist works is generally called a nailshop (or "nail shop") or a nailsalon (or "nail salon").

Lee Redmond holds the world record for the longest fingernails. They haven't been cut since 1979, and in 2005 they measured 7.51 metres (about 75 cm per nail).


 

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Growth after death

It is commonly claimed that nails and hair will continue growing for several days after death. This is a myth; the appearance of growth is actually caused by the retraction of skin as the surrounding tissue dehydrates, making nails and hair more prominent.

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See also

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References

  1. ^  American Academy of Dermatology - Nail Health
  2. ^  ImagiNail Website
  3. ^  Digi Nail Art Website
  4. ^ Tram Kim Nguyen, "The Truth About Germs", Fitness Magazine. Accessed 10 April 2005.