A teenager is going viral on social media after turning her frightening nail-biting experience into a helpful PSA.
Lauren Nichols, an 18-year-old from Texas, shared a video chronicling her experience to TikTok last month. The clip, which has since garnered more than 2.3 million views, explains what happened after she got an infection from biting her nails.
"To my fellow nail biters, stop what you are doing," Nichols says at the start of her video. "I almost had to get the tip of my finger amputated because I bite my nails."
Nichols then goes on to explain the saga, which began on Jan. 8. Through a series of increasingly painful-looking photos, the teen shows how her condition worsened over the course of a week.
She reveals that doctors diagnosed her with paronychia, an infection that occurs in the cuticles around toenails and fingernails. However, Nichols' antibiotics weren’t working, and by Jan. 12 she said she was experiencing a lot of pain.
Nichols went to the doctor the following day, and was told she’d have to undergo surgery. Apparently, the timing may have saved her from losing part of her finger.
"[My doctor] told me that he has to amputate the tips of people’s fingers because the infection gets too bad, and that I’m lucky I came when I did," she told BuzzFeed.
The 18-year-old was seemed to be fine during the procedure, including several hospital selfies in her video. She did not take the outcome lightly though.
"Since this has happened to me, I have stopped biting my nails because I never want to have to go through that again," she told BuzzFeed. "I made the TikTok to educate people to not bite their nails because it can have serious consequences."
Several commenters on the now-viral video shared their own experiences with similar infections, telling Nichols they were sorry and suggesting other treatments they’d tried in the past. Others, however, said they simply could not stop biting their nails no matter what the result could be.
"I’m literally biting my nails while scrolling…oop," one person commented.
Nichols, meanwhile, made sure her "PSA" left a mark on her viewers.
"plz watch… it could save your finger’s life," the caption of her video read.