Are you in the habit of biting your nails? There is a good reason why this is a bad habit. This practice could cause and infection which makes your cuticles to separate from your nails. The infection is called paronychia, and it could be the result of nail biting.
Cuticles are an important part of the nail as they perform a critical function. They prevent bacteria and infection-causing organisms from setting into the nail. However, many people take the cuticles for granted and do not take good care of them. When the cuticles get damaged, they can give rise to a number of nail conditions that are undesirable.
Although Paronychia can be caused by the habit of biting nails, it could also be caused by other ways. Excessive manicuring can lead to this infection as well. Whenever the nails are subjected to high levels of dampness on a continuous basis, this infection could set in.
Some kinds of jobs also require the hands to be in more contact with dampness. People like dishwashers, housekeepers and bar tenders tend to be more prone to this condition and face a higher risk of contracting this infection. The main source of infection could be bacteria, yeast or fungus. Bacterial infections are more spontaneous and appear suddenly, while fungal infections develop over a longer time period. When an infection sets in, it can separate the cuticles from the nails and can also develop a blister in the area that fills with pus.
This condition is treatable and you need not worry about it much. If the infection is caused by bacteria, you can find relief by soaking your nails a few times in hot water everyday. If there is swelling or pain caused by the infection, this will provide relief. At times, you may also need an antibiotic to get rid of the infection. If the condition is severe or the sore is filled with pus, you might have to consult with a physician and have them cut the sore in order to drain the accumulated fluid.
If the condition is caused by a fungus, then you need to use an anti-fungal medication. Fungal infections are more stubborn and can take a longer time to heal. Therefore, the best option is to prevent any kind of cuticle infection in the first place. Avoid biting your nails at all costs. Keep you hands dry and wear a pair of gloves when working with wetness for long periods of time.