Here’s what’s been hiding under your fingernails

Need a little more motivation to break your nail-biting habit? The truth might do the trick.

by Emily Cummings

  • Whether you bite your nails when you’re nervous, or it’s a habit you’ve had for years, it’s not something you should keep up. Hordes of bacteria are specially adapted to live under your nails, and the moment you start to chew off the corner of your thumb, those colonies jump ship and land in your mouth. Gross.

    Hopefully these facts about nail-biting are enough to help you kick the habit:


  • 1. Some serious germs call your nails home

    Along with dead skin cells and dirt, nasty germs like Klebsiella (bacteria that cause pneumonia and urinary tract infections) and Candida parapsilosis (a yeast that causes wound and blood stream infections) can be found under fingernails.


    Salmonella and E. coli are also found under your nails, Richard Scher, M.D., an expert on nail disorders at Weill Cornell Medical College explains. Who knew such nasty organisms were hiding under your glossy gel nails? Continue…

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