Biting Your Nails As A Kid May Have Helped You Out As An Adult

Do you have fewer allergies than your friends? This may be why...

Biting Your Nails As A Kid May Have Helped You Out As An Adult

by Charlotte Davey |
Published on

Good news, thumb-suckers (we know there are still some of you out there) – it turns out children who suck their thumb or bite their nails are less likely to develop allergies. A new study, published in the journal, Pediatrics, has found that sticking your grubby hands in your mouth as a child increases microbial exposure, which in turn lowers the risk of developing atopy (being ‘hyperallergic’).

The study followed 1,037 participants from birth to adulthood, with parents reporting their children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits at the ages of five, seven, nine, and 11. At age 13 and 32, the participants were tested for allergies using a skin prick test. While the study found that nomming on your hands sadly has no effect on asthma and hay fever, it shows that children had lower allergy risks than those who didn’t bite their nails or suck their thumbs, and that children who did both were even less at risk of developing atopic sensitisation!

While your childhood habits may have been kinda gross – the evidence when it comes to allergies seems to be in your favour.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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