When it comes to prioritizing health concerns, our nails often take a backseat as we tend to focus more on their appearance. However, the health of our nails is closely tied to overall well-being, and some common habits can significantly impact both. Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist from Mississippi, shared vital insights on her TikTok account @dermguru, highlighting three practices she would never engage in for the sake of her own nails and overall health.
Firstly, Zubritsky strongly advises against nail-biting, emphasizing not only its unsanitary nature but also the risk of transferring warts to the mouth. The alarming images she presents in her video underscore the potential health hazards associated with this habit. Warts, being infectious, can easily be transmitted when biting the nails, raising concerns about oral health.
Secondly, picking at hangnails is cautioned against by Zubritsky due to its potential to cause wounds or open skin around the finger or nail. This can introduce bacteria into the skin, leading to paronychia—an infection characterized by inflammation around a fingernail or toenail. Zubritsky stresses the painful consequences of paronychia, which may require oral antibiotics for treatment.
Lastly, Zubritsky addresses the trend of getting gel manicures, particularly UV gel nails. Citing a 2023 study, she reveals that the UV dryers used in this manicure type can cause “DNA damage and mutations in human cells,” potentially contributing to cancer development. While acknowledging the need for more studies to determine the extent of this health risk, Zubritsky, as a dermatologist, asserts her reluctance to take such a risk herself.
The video has gained immense popularity on TikTok, with over 523,700 views and 200 comments. Many viewers admitted to participating in these habits, emphasizing the commonality of these practices. However, Zubritsky’s message serves as a reminder that popularity doesn’t diminish the negative impact of these habits on nail and overall health. It’s never too late to adopt healthier practices, and Zubritsky’s advice provides valuable insights for those looking to prioritize their well-being.