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Old 04-07-2007, 04:14 PM   #1
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gummybeard HB User
Unhappy Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

I guess as a child nobody ever told me that biting your nails makes your nails become totally short. This is what happened to me. My nails are totally short now and they aren't even round and the white line starts way too early. Is there anything medical you can do to increase the size of the nailbed again?

 
Old 04-08-2007, 04:32 PM   #2
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

Once the nail bed has been exposed from biting away the nail plate, it will turn into 'real' skin. After this happens from repeatedly biting away the nail plate, the nail plate can no longer attach to the 'real 'skin and will remain shortened due to the repeated trauma. At this point, there is nothing you can do to repair the damage as it is now permanent.

 
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

Latecomer, I know. But...

Marti: that's not true. I bit my nails my entire life up until three years ago and my nail bed was bitten down to a quarter inch long (the "normal" skin at the top of my finger was the same length as the nail bed itself, yuck.) When I stopped biting my nails and touching the nail bed through scraping under my nails or anything like that, my nail beds lengthened slowly but surely and in about six months they grew almost to my fingertips. Right now there's only about 2 millimeters of normal skin between my nailbed and fingertip.

 
Old 04-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

It totally depends on if you are a 'nibbler', a 'biter' or a 'cannible' biter. If you bite just the nail, the nail bed might heal enough to allow the nail to grow properly. If you are a cannible biter and bite the skin as well, then it won't grow properly. The nailplate rides forward on the nail bed upon a series of rails and grooves much like a train rides forward on its tracks. The rails are on the surface of the nail bed and the grooves are on the underside of the nail plate. If one bites away the surface of the nail bed, then they bite away the rails and the skin can harden and smooth out. When this happens, it does not re-grow a new set of rails and the nail plate has nothing to attach to. So, it totally depends on just how bad you have bitten your nails, how far back you have bitten them, how long you have bitten them and if the skin of the nail bed was compromised.

The nail plate is comprised of three main layers, the one that touches the nail bed (which is very thin), the central portion and the surface layer that one can touch. When one bites their nails and they do not compromise the layer that touches the skin, then yes, the nail plate can push forward and cover this thin layer of nail. Also, if one can see the matrix ( the leading edge of the matrix is the white half-moon at the base of the nail called the lunula ) and the matrix is fairly long, then the nail bed will be long. If the lunula is very tiny, then the nail plates will be shorter and thinner.

Last edited by Marti; 04-02-2008 at 06:41 PM.

 
Old 04-09-2008, 02:15 AM   #5
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

Wow, Im not a nail biter- but its interesting about the nail bed not coming back-

 
Old 04-21-2008, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marti View Post
It totally depends on if you are a 'nibbler', a 'biter' or a 'cannible' biter. If you bite just the nail, the nail bed might heal enough to allow the nail to grow properly. If you are a cannible biter and bite the skin as well, then it won't grow properly. The nailplate rides forward on the nail bed upon a series of rails and grooves much like a train rides forward on its tracks. The rails are on the surface of the nail bed and the grooves are on the underside of the nail plate. If one bites away the surface of the nail bed, then they bite away the rails and the skin can harden and smooth out. When this happens, it does not re-grow a new set of rails and the nail plate has nothing to attach to. So, it totally depends on just how bad you have bitten your nails, how far back you have bitten them, how long you have bitten them and if the skin of the nail bed was compromised.
Hmm. I'm confused now, because I was the epitome of what you call a "cannibal biter". I mean, sorry to be so graphic, but I would chomp off all the skin anywhere near my nails until I'd bleed, including the chunk right over the edge of my nail (where my nail bed should have still been). The routine was: 1 ) rip off a strip of nail, 2) chew off the newly exposed strip of nail bed, 3) bleed. If it was too painful to bite off any more nail, I'd just attack all the skin in the surrounding area. And all this since I was a toddler. Somehow my tortured nail beds have regrown all the way to the tips of my fingers. Am I a mutant or something, or maybe is it possible that my growing nail plates somehow physically "pulled" the nail beds along with them over time? Or something? That's kind of what I'd envisioned, anyway...

Edit: upon close examination, I can see a difference between the newly grown part of the nail bed and the uncompromised part... you can faintly see where my old "nail line" used to be because the new part of the nail bed is slightly paler in color.

Last edited by QueenJannine; 04-21-2008 at 09:36 AM.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:39 PM   #7
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Re: Totally short nailbed due to biting the nails....

I'm biting mine right now. (Well, not this second, as I'm typing.) I've been a compulsive biter for ages, and I notice they don't grow in correctly now, but I don't think it's strictly a length issue--it's more that I've gone after layers, some of which have been bitten off from within. The layers are all messed up now. But it doesn't much matter to me how they grow or don't grow, as I have no intention of stopping.

 
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