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Stop nail biting, keep hands germ free

Are you a nail biter? If so, you suffer from a nail disorder called onychophagy (ahn-ih-koh-fay-jee). This bad habit is the result of an individual biting the free edge of their nail plate due to being anxious, nervous or just plain bored.  Such a condition is not only unsightly but it also promotes the risk of welcoming unwanted germs to the human body.  Just as important as quitting a terrible, unchic habit, washing your hands frequently can prevent infection and illness from spreading. 

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, there is a right way to wash your hands. When washing hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds.  Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty

If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast-acting.

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Apply product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.

When you stop biting your nails, you give them a chance to grow and strengthen. Keeping hands clean and germ free promotes good health and helps to maintain a lasting manicure. Beautiful hands and nails and great health is always a winning combination.