Nail biter? Thumb sucker? You were probably told off plenty as a child, but according to a new study, the habit may have helped you out as an adult.
Published in the journal Pediatrics, research found that sticking your fingers and thumbs in your mouth when you’re a kid increases microbial exposure later on.
This means that the risk of developing atopy (being hyperallergic) is lowered.
Following 1,037 participants from birth to adulthood, parents reported their children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits when they were five, seven, nine and 11 - then, once they hit the ages of 13 and 32, they were tested for allergies.
It found that while the habits won’t help asthma or hay fever, sadly, kids who knawed on their digits had lower allergy risks later than those who didn’t.
Good news for people who did both, too; these children were at even less risk of developing atopic sensitisation.
Congratulations, former gross children.
Does this mean we should let kids suck their thumbs? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.