The risk of contracting a disease from compulsive picking behavior is usually the last thing on a compulsive picker’s mind. They’re more focused on the boredom, shame, nervousness, guilt, anxiety, stress, etc. — that both cause picking and (in a cruel twist) frequently result from picking.
Maintaining fingernail health is an important reason to not pick your fingers and skin around the fingernail. Picking exposes the deeper layers of skin — and other areas such as the cuticles and nail plate — to the fungus and bacteria that live all around us. And there are some extremely freaky fingernail diseases that you don’t want to get!
However, there is also the risk that some diseases — both related and unrelated to picking — can be spread by open sores on the body. Nail Fungus and bacteria can be easily spread to other people through touching. Further, skin and blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B/C and certain viral fevers can all be passed to others by contact with open sores.
Thankfully, few compulsive finger pickers ever go so far in injuring themselves that this becomes a danger.
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