3 doctors weighed in:
If a child bites his fingernails and eats them, is there any harm?
3 doctors weighed in

Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Well, yes, there is.
Nail biting causes chronic infections of the nails and the skin around them, and eventually can lead to permanent scarring of the nails.
Conversely, fingertips are loaded with bacteria, which put you at varying degrees of risk when introduced to your body through your mouth. It's not only unsightly but unhealthy. Stopping is not easy; entire books are devoted to techniques for breaking the habit.

In brief: Well, yes, there is.
Nail biting causes chronic infections of the nails and the skin around them, and eventually can lead to permanent scarring of the nails.
Conversely, fingertips are loaded with bacteria, which put you at varying degrees of risk when introduced to your body through your mouth. It's not only unsightly but unhealthy. Stopping is not easy; entire books are devoted to techniques for breaking the habit.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Thank
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes and no
The nail itself is not toxic but the practice might introduce germs into the body that could cause illness.
If done to an extreme it would injure the fingers and provide an open wound for germ to enter and cause nailbed/finger infections. In most kids/adults who randomly bite their nails, their bodies defenses are adequate to prevent any damage.

In brief: Yes and no
The nail itself is not toxic but the practice might introduce germs into the body that could cause illness.
If done to an extreme it would injure the fingers and provide an open wound for germ to enter and cause nailbed/finger infections. In most kids/adults who randomly bite their nails, their bodies defenses are adequate to prevent any damage.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Jonathan Jassey
Board Certified, Pediatrics
13 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors