8 Disgusting Habits We All Do That Have Scary Consequences On Our Health

Health | Did You Know

8 Disgusting Habits We All Do That Have Scary Consequences On Our Health

Every individual has their own habits and quirks that those around them would frown upon. I'm definitely guilty of a bad habit or two, including drinking milk and juice straight from the bottle.

While these habits do gross other people out, that's not the only thing that should motivate you to kick them to the curb.

Certain nasty habits, like picking your nose and biting you nails, could actually lead to some serious health complications.

Here are eight common disgusting habits and the toll they could take on your health:

1. Nail biting


Many of us will outgrow this common habit, but for those who have not, maybe dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner's warning will convince you to put an end to it.

"Biting your nails and your cuticles can increase your likelihood of developing infections of the fingers," Zeichner said.

He explained that excessive nail biting could lead to a condition known as paronychia, a skin infection that could severely damage your nails. The chronic form of paronychia causes the cuticle to breakdown and the nail to detach from the skin.

Zeichner added that in some cases the nails could be permanently disfigured, and if left untreated the infection could spread to the bone of the finger.

2. Popping a pimple


Pimples are painful, disgusting, and always appear at the most inconvenient times.

Popping them is one of the easiest ways to eliminate them, and we've all definitely done it, but did you know it could cause a serious infection, and even potentially kill you?

When you pick a pimple that isn't ripe, especially if using unclean fingers, not only will it worsen the inflammation and redness, it could lead to infection and permanent scarring as well.

The risk of an infection like cellulitis, which affects the soft tissue, also increases when you pop a pimple in the "danger triangle" area of your face. The triangle includes, the bridge of your nose, the corners of your mouth and upper lip.

Infections in this part of the face could affect the brain because the blood vessels in the area are connected to the back of your head.

The satisfaction of popping a pimple isn't worth the risk, so think twice before you do it again.

3. Double dipping

KyXy 96.5

If you're like me, and need to have every bit of your chips or bread covered in the dip that it's paired with, then chances are you've doubled dipped plenty of times, even at parties.

It's really hard not to go in for that second dunk, but you really should stop because it's a lot more disgusting than you thought. Not only are you spreading germs from your mouth, you're also scooping up other people's germs.

A study published in the Journal of Food Safety showed that double-dipped sauces contain up to 1,000 more bacteria per milliliter than sauces that have not been touched by food that's already been bitten into.

You should be especially careful when eating thinner sauces like salsa, because they tend to contain more bacteria than thicker sauces like a spinach dip.

"Thinner sauces are less viscous, so when the bitten chip or cracker is placed back into the dipping sauce, more of the sauce falls off of the chip and back into the bowl," explains study author and Clemson University food safety researcher Paul Dawson, Ph.D.

4. Grinding your teeth


Although this isn't as common as the aforementioned habits, there are still many people who do it and experience some awful consequences.

Also known as bruxism, excessive teeth grinding can cause breaks and make people prone to fillings and porcelain crowns, according to dentist Dr. Mark Burhenne.

It can also lead to gum recession, swollen lymph nodes, ear, neck and back pain.

"Some of my patients have even cut their tongue on the fragments of what [teeth] broke off in their mouth," he told Insider. "One of the most 'scary' occurrences that happen from time to time are patients who wake up and look in the mirror in the morning and find a front tooth missing or broken off from grinding that occurred during the night."

If you have bruxims, your dentist should be able to notice the signs, and prescribe a night guard.

5. Picking your nose

Sick Chirpse

Nose-picking is definitely one of the most disgusting habits on this list, and it's also quite dangerous.

Sure, no one makes too big of a deal about this behavior when you were a kid, but as an adult, you shouldn't even do it private because it can "introduce and cause abrasions that bleed which also promote germs," according to otolaryngologist Dr. Erich P. Voight.

In addition to the pathogens that have entered your system, picking your nose will actually increase the production of mucus.

You also risk the chance of getting a hole in the nasal septum, which causes difficulty breathing and can only be repaired with surgery.

In extreme cases, picking can trigger infections, like cavernous sinus thrombosis, which can cause blindness.

6. Eating food off the floor

Reader's Digest

The five-second rule always applies, right? Wrong.

You should never ever eat food that has touched the floor. Even if the floors have just been cleaned, bacteria, like salmonella, remain active on surfaces for up to four weeks.

You have a higher chance of contracting a nasty infection from eating wet food that has touched the floor, than dry food. Still, you should always be on the safe side, and throw the food out if you can't thoroughly wash it.

7. Going barefoot at the gym or pool


A few years ago, a man nearly lost his foot after forgoing shoes at the gym shower. While his case was extreme, it doesn't mean that it is an isolated incident.

Plenty of people end up with problems like athletes foot and warts simply because they walked around the gym or pool change rooms or bathrooms without socks or shoes.

"Even if you're not worried about slipping on wet feet, you should be wary of the stuff found in sweaty, steamy places that can cause athlete's foot and plantar warts," Dr. Billy Goldberg and Mark Leyner, authors of Let's Play Doctor, told Today. "If your feet (and the areas between your toes) remain moist, an infection can grow ... and grow."

Mild foot infections can often be treated with over-the-counter medicine, but the more serious cases definitely need to be checked by a doctor.

8. Drinking milk from the carton

Huffington Post

I'm guilty as charged for this particular habit because I lived alone for so long and didn't have to share food or drinks with anyone.

But I've been trying to quit doing it because experts are sending out warnings about how dangerous it can be for our health.

"When someone drinks, there's sometimes backwash from the mouth that returns to the container, adding to the overall bacteria that will grow in the milk," said Dawson.

As a result of this backwash, milk cartons we drink out of contains up to eight times more bacteria than milk that you pour in a glass.

Do you have any of these habits? Let us know in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.