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Onychophagia, a condition you probably have.

Updated on June 14, 2011
Her nails aren't that short!
Her nails aren't that short!

What is it?

Onychophagia is possibly one of the most common conditions in the world. Chances are that you, dear reader, are suffering from it right now! But don't worry, Onychophagia is the fancy name for Nail-Biting...People usually grow out of it at a young age, but if like the millions of people (Me included), you carry on with this behavior in later life, for whatever reason, you are an Onychophagia sufferer!

People persist in this behavior for many reasons, including stress. But the main reasons seems to be the human tendency to fidget. We as a race fidget like mad, especially as children...But still as adults too!

Do I have it?!

To diagnose yourself, look at your hands. If you have no nails left, or have a strong urge to bite them to within an inch of their lives, then you have Onychophagia! Enjoy that.

If you don't, or just see it as a dirty habit, then you don't suffer from this condition, hurrah!

Famous sufferers include Britney Spears, Eva Mendes and Phil Collins, so don't worry if you are a sufferer, you're not alone!

Is it dangerous?

Well this really depends...Are you a clean person? If so, you're probably fine. If not, then perhaps you should be a little more worried.

Bu why you may ask? Well think about all the places your hands have been. To scratch your ass, to stroke your dog, to wipe dust off the counter, it all adds up. Even if you do wash your hands afterwards, some dirt becomes trapped, under your nails...And you're ingesting that! Lovely! This can lead to multiple infections and rather disgustingly, worms that are found commonly around the...rear...can be found in and around the mouth.


Is there a cure?!

Fortunately there is. There are all kinds of treatments for people who suffer from this condition. One involves a nail-varnish type of liquid that has a disgusting taste being applied to the nails, and other forms of aversion therapy.

For a low-low price of £400, you can have a mouth guard made specifically to stop you biting, although the social implications are much more severe than simply biting your nails!

If they don't work, you can always try hypnotherapy...It's worth a shot!


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