A seemingly harmless and common habit has almost killed a man and left him with permanent disfigurement.
Karen Peat, from the UK, posted a warning to nail biters on Facebook after her friend was rushed into surgery because they had “bitten their nails down too far and got an infection in the finger”.
The man, who didn’t want to be named, shared shocking images of the infected finger before and after treatment.
Ms Peat said her friend had been advised by staff at a pharmacy to treat the infection with magnesium sulphate and “keep in covered”, but the infection only became worse.
Nail biting emergency surgery
The man then went to the emergency department, where he was told if he had left the infection untreated for any longer the consequences could have been life threatening.
“It could have been fatal as the infection was travelling up the arm, hence the emergency surgery!” Ms Peat posted.
The post went viral, with thousands of people shocked to find out the common habit could cause such an extreme reaction.
“Thank you for the heads up. It's hard for a nail biter to stop if it's out of habit and or anxiety issues,” one person said.
“Oh my word that's terrible!” another wrote.
Others tagged their nail biting friends, begging them to stop.
“This is what can happen, please stop!” a person said.
Ms Peat said her friend was recovering in hospital after surgery and was on antibiotics but “minus a nail on that finger, which may never grow back”.
Ms Peat said there was a silver lining to the ordeal.
“On the plus side it’s one less nail for them to bite!” she said.
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