Sunday, November 13, 2016
4 Things You Never Realized Were Disgusting Until Now
Humans are pretty disgusting, if you think about it. In and on your body right now, you have slightly more bacterial cells than human cells ― the ratio is actually about 1.3:1 ― which means about half of who you are is germs. To be fair, you need most of those germs to survive; microbes in your intestines are vital for breaking down food into nutrients your body can use, but still ― gross.
It turns out that humans also tend to develop habits that are incredibly disgusting, only adding to our gross-factor. In fact, you probably do at least one of the following, which increases your risk for disease and seriously grosses other people out. Whether you notice it or not, you have to stop ― and once you do, you’ll never go back.
Nail-biting is somewhat of a controversial behavior. Though 45 percent of teens bite their nails, only 5 percent of older adults do it, prompting the American Psychiatric Association to label it as a form of pathological grooming often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In fact, nail-biting can be a form of pica, a mental disorder that compels sufferers to eat non-nutritious things, like dirt, paint, or, well, fingernails.
Sanity issues aside, biting your fingernails is all kinds of nasty. If the look of gnawed-on nails doesn’t turn you off, you might be disgusted to learn that beneath your fingernails is an entire ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. These germs don’t interact well with the ecosystem already in your mouth, which means when you get to nail-chomping, you might start an infection or two. Additionally, nails are tough, and using your teeth to tear them apart can cause chips, fractures, and even displaced jaws.
Keep your smile and manicure looking fine: Stop biting your nails.
This one shouldn’t be a surprise. Tobacco cigarettes stains your fingers, nails, and teeth a gross yellow color. Additionally, the cigarette smoke you exhale also contains those harsh chemicals, which linger in the air, stick to fibers like hair, clothing, and upholstery, and stain nearly everything around, including your skin and teeth.
One option is to switch to e-cigarettes. You still get the nicotine fix you need, but without the gross staining that comes with normal cigarettes. E-cigs employ water vapor and a couple other natural ingredients to transport nicotine into your body, which means they aren’t nearly as icky.
Avoid looking and smelling gross: Switch to using e-cigarettes.
As the vision-impaired already know, it sucks not being able to see. To remedy this, many contacts-wearers never release their 20/20 vision, preferring to sleep in their contacts rather than suffer from temporary loss of sight. There are a few other reasons you might convince yourself to wear a single pair of contacts for days at a time: saving money on saline solution and saving time getting ready in the morning chief among them.
However, though you might not feel them, your contacts are not a natural part of your eye, and your body hates them for it. When your cornea (the wet part of your eye) is cut off from oxygen for long periods, it will grow excessive blood vessels that look gross and feel terrible while preventing you from wearing contacts ever again. Plus, few can forget the story of the woman whose eyes were eaten by amoebas after she didn’t change her contacts for six months.
Save yourself from that disgusting fate: Take out your contacts before you sleep.
Modern humans have this odd misconception that water is inherently clean, and that items that “only hold water” never need to be washed. Yet, if you consider the areas of your home most likely to get disgusting quickly ― i.e. your bathrooms ― you might realize that water is actually one of the primary ingredients of gross stuff like mold and mildew. Bacteria and fungi love warm, wet, dark environments, so your water bottle is like a dream home to germs.
Using a water bottle (or any other water-filled container, including a CamelBak reservoir) for months on end is asking for all sorts of debilitating diseases, such as enterovirus, listeria, and legionnaire’s disease.
Prevent getting sick by this revolting habit: Wash your water bottle every night.