At one time or another you must have found yourself biting your fingernails. Short of a lazy grooming attempt most people grow out of this, while others, maybe you, have turned it into a habit. If you are continually chomping on your cuticles, you may want to think about weaning yourself off of this fixation because this seemingly harmless act may be very detrimental to your health -- as one dad found out.

How it all started

According to the Daily Mail, a dad-of-two -- identified as Luke Hanoman, 28, from Birkdale, Southport in the United Kingdom -- used to bite his nails all the time whenever he got nervous.

He continued this habit until one day he bit the skin down the side of his nail. It hurt a little but he didn’t think it was anything he needed to be worried about.

Mr Hanoman then spent the next week fighting flu-like symptoms, all while an infection was spreading throughout his body. Like many other workers, he powered through the discomfort by still working whilst he was feeling unwell. He experienced cold sweats, he was constantly shaking, and he was also heating up in terms of his body temperature. When he got home he thought he’d better sleep it off, hoping things would get better. As soon as he got home, he went straight to bed, only for his mom to wake him up at 2 PM the next day.

She tried to find out if he was doing alright and he explained the symptoms he was having.

Luke’s quick-thinking mom immediately called NHS 111 and told them about the symptoms her son was experiencing.

The operator advised her to make it to Accident and Emergency before the end of that day or Luke may not survive. Luke was eventually rushed to the hospital where he spent four days under 24-hour observation after doctors discovered he had sepsis.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. When sepsis progresses to Septic Shock, blood pressure may drop dramatically, which can result in the death of the individual.

Doctors informed Luke that “he was very lucky to be alive.” The doctors saved him by getting to the infection on time and removing all the puss from his finger.

Similar situations

In 2014, a 40-year-old Man identified as John Gardener, from Lancashire, had such a chronic nail-biting habit that it led to a fatal infection and eventually his death.