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Stop nail biting, keep hands germ free

Wash hands with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds
Wash hands with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds

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. 

Keep hands clean and germ free
Stacey Queen Oliver

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.  


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