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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » A Nervous Habit and Worried

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Author Topic: A Nervous Habit and Worried
EC
Activist
Member # 43338

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For much of my life, particularly the last couple years, I have been a heavy "nail biter." I know that it's not a great thing and I'd like to find a way to do it less. The thing is, sometimes my habit extends to the skin around my fingernails, so on any given day I have some skin that is not fully healed there. On occasion it will bleed a little.

I know that of course this makes bacterial infections more likely, which is one reason why I should find a way to stop eventually. In the mean time, I find myself slightly worried that maybe I will contract a virus like HIV or Hepatitis. I'm aware that I may be thinking too much into this, but still want some input as to my situation.

I'm never dripping blood or anything, but sometimes there are small cuts. Is it hazardous to have this ongoing broken skin exposed to public places? I'm worried about things like city bus handles and trash cans (coming in contact with a disposed blood product). What is the level and quantity of contact that would pose a viable risk?

I tend to engage in this habit more when I'm anxious, and thinking these thoughts make me anxious [Roll Eyes]

Anyway, I do plan to get a full STD test soon as part of my routine health care. Thank you for your insight.

Posts: 44 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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I'd probably be more concerned about infections in general than STIs in specific from this. In other words, there are a lot of really destructive things you can pick up with open wounds on your hands. Things like staph or MRSA or bacterial infection would be much greater concerns when it comes to general contact. (The likelihood of your picking up something like HIV this way would be pretty much nil. You'd really need to have broken skin contact with infected blood to have a transmission risk...so unless you're riding buses where there are puddles of fresh blood for you to put your hands in, I'd not be so concerned about that specifically.)

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Sarah Liz

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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