There are some habits we can’t explain so easily although it looks simple. Whether it’s always scratching at your skin despite no itch or rash, or pulling your eyelashes one by one, or biting your nails. They all appear to be painful or uncomfortable at the very least.

Although to the others from the family or friends it looks like a mini form of body torture as a nervous tick or a quirk, there is a better explanation for the aforementioned habits. The people who subject themselves to this type of behavior don’t feel any physical pain as the area has been numbed from all the picking, biting, and pulling.

It’s so easy to get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. We all have some go-to coping mechanism to deal with stress or boredom in life. Some people can just let things slide off their backs without any issues. But others can’t cope so easily. Nail biting is that one habit that isn’t  easy to break, but not because of the reasons you expect.

Anyway, biting your nails is never a good thing.

Just try to visualize all the dirt left on our hands after so many contacts throughout the day. Biting your nails means that every germ and bacteria you have touched is going straight into your mouth.

Don’t think that it’s ok to bite your nails since you haven’t touched anything for a long time. Because germs can live long hours on surfaces.

“Your fingernails are almost twice as dirty as your fingers. Bacteria often gets stuck under the nails, and can then be transferred to the mouth, causing infection of the gums and throat,” explains Dr. Michael Shapiro.

Before nail biting was considered a nervous habit  it was believed to be a progression from sucking our thumbs.

Although most  people know biting their nails is never a good habit they still do it.

Researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada believe nail biting has more to do with your personality than a bad habit.

According to the study, those who are perfectionists are more likely to bite their nails, pick their skin, and pull their eyelashes off.“We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform task at a ‘normal’ pace,” explains Dr. Kieron O’Connor, the study’s lead and professor of psychiatry at the university.

Perfectionists are more likely to get bored, compared with the others, which leads to frustration.

The study points out that everyone bites their nails sometimes  which is completely normal.

This is a form of a coping mechanism for everyone at one point or another.

“The positive effects of the habits are stimulation and a way of regulating emotion,” says O’Connor.

But when you cannot stop yourself from biting your nails you should be concerned. It can turn into a habit disorder if it’s not treated.
The urge to bite your nails can start pretty early on.

The study shows that up to 45 percent of teenagers bite their nails. This habit can also affect their dental health in the future.

The study involved 48 individuals with half suffering from repetitive behavior like nail biting, hair pulling, and skin picking.

They were put through four sessions where feelings of stress, relaxation, frustration, or boredom would arise.

The boredom test was pretty simple. The individuals were left to stay alone for six minutes.

During this time and the frustration tests, people with repetitive behavior concerns had the highest urge to give into their habits.

Perfectionists feel a high level of dissatisfaction, frustration, and impatience when they feel they have not reached their desired goals.

Sometimes one can stop this unhygienic and painful habit by replacing it with another. For example chewing gum can relax both kids and adults.

Or try to stroke your hair when you have the urge to bite your nails. This is turning the negative action into a positive one.