My nose did something very odd (potentially icky question)
July 22, 2005 10:45 PM   Subscribe

This may be considered a little disgusting for some - it involves ingrown nasal hairs and a MYSTERIOUS DEVELOPMENT (queue twilight zone music)

So, about two weeks ago I developed a hard and painful lump inside my left nostril. It's happened before and I've always had the impression that it was an ingrown hair or pimple of some sort. It was tender to touch, and even gently touching the outside of my nose above this point hurt.

I decided it would be best if I left it alone for a while.

Earlier this week I noticed that a red lump had formed on the outside of my nose, with a white circle of dead skin on top of it. I scratched this off, and noticed that it had formed a head.

A gentle and inquisitive squeeze and then - to my amazement, a perfectly straight nostril hair, about a half inch long, slid out from the lump, along with some other goo! It had somehow travelled through the flesh of my nose and popped out the wrong side! (It was definitely a nostril hair, I took the time to examine it, and I don't grow hair on the outside of my nose).

This has been freaking me out all week. I was at the doctor about an unrelated issue, and told him about it. He was amazed, and insisted that if it ever happened again I should make sure I had a digital camera with me - he wanted the pics!

Has this happened to anyone? Has anyone heard of this? Did I experience some sort of automatic nose piercing?
posted by tomble to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
That's really, really gross. Stick a ring or a stud in it while you have the chance! (I know, not helpful, but I couldn't resist. Sorry)
posted by 5MeoCMP at 11:09 PM on July 22, 2005

May be a rare (but not unheard of) case of extra escapism.
posted by chupwalla at 11:38 PM on July 22, 2005

Yes, TWICE. Three months apart, decades ago. Until now, I'm the only person I've heard of this happening to.

I don't know if this is what prevented a recurrence, but before the nasty incidents I used to put a knuckle against my nose and grind to relieve the maddening itch of an allergy-inflamed nostril. Since then, I pinch my nose and gently wiggle.
posted by nikzhowz at 11:39 PM on July 22, 2005

There are several skin conditions which involve a painful fluid-filled lump forming around a hair follicle. Did the doctor examine your skin, and maybe culture the wound? If the fluid contained staph or some other bacteria, you don't want that to keep spreading and coming back.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:48 PM on July 22, 2005

more info, courtesty of the Merck Manual
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:56 PM on July 22, 2005

Yes, it's happened to me too. Twice in the last two years, in fact.

I get occasional zits. Very rarely, I get them inside my nose. I presume that a healed zit sealed over a follicle and forced it to double back.

nakedcodemonkey, you're scaring me.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:51 AM on July 23, 2005

Nakedcodemonkey - There was no wound left to speak of once I'd given it a squeeze. By the end of the day all that was left was a tiny red mark, that was gone in 24 hours.

I'm terribly glad to hear of it happening to others :)
posted by tomble at 1:09 AM on July 23, 2005

Sounds similar to this. It could be that an infection of the hair follicle inside led to the development of a fistula, a tract-like connection, through to the skin on the outside.
posted by manilamd at 2:09 AM on July 23, 2005

This happened to me too! Coolest thing EVER! - I just wish I'd had an audience as I drew the hair out - just telling the story doesn't do it justice.
posted by jalexei at 4:55 AM on July 23, 2005

I think maybe we should start a club. You can't choose to join - you are chosen.
posted by tomble at 6:16 AM on July 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

Well, my heart goes out to you, but that was disgusting.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:48 AM on July 23, 2005

It happened to a coworker's husband, though I'd never heard of anyone else until now.
posted by FortyT-wo at 8:09 AM on July 23, 2005

It happened to me a few years back. No one really believed me either.

I feel whole again.
posted by brheavy at 1:02 PM on July 23, 2005

I did'nt get a hair growing through my nose, but I recently pulled a HUGE nose-hair out. This thing was amazing. I woke up an did my mirror check and noticed this half inch long nose hair jutting out of my left nostrol. It couldn't have been there before - it was big enough that I'd have noticed it. I managed to pull it out while in the shower, but I was loath to throw it away. I kinda wanted to show someone this long, black, thick like a cable nose hair. It was hard to believe my body made such a thing. I did, sadly, let it wash down the drain.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:09 PM on July 23, 2005

I found this community on livejournal the other day. They would greatly appreciate your story. :)
posted by chiababe at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

Wow. Incredible and revolting: the perfect combination. Just how long was this hair, out of curiosity?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:51 PM on July 23, 2005

Nasal hairs are lethal. Whilst at uni in one of our lab sessions, we had to remove the outer membrane of frog eggs for some nefarious reson which escapes me now.

In order to do so, the lecturer demonstrated - since a blade is too coarse (even a finely honed razor), he plucked a big long fat nasal hair from his schnozzle and inserted it into the end of a hypodermic needle. He then proceeded to use the nasal hair as a miniature scalpel. Incredible stuff - and I've been wary of nose hair ever since (mostly because I don't want anything like the long thick black hair that he had, growing out of my nose...)
Looks like my concern was justified - they are dangerous!

posted by Chunder at 11:42 AM on July 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

It is not "gross" - it's fascinating. So, tomble, no permanent ill-effects? What kind of nose-hair remover do you use - is that potentially encouraging hairs to grow in an aberent direction after culling?

That's an amazing story Chunder - I'm going to have to try to hone that skill.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:35 PM on July 24, 2005

OMG OMG, the exact same thing happened to me. Had a sore spot on the inside of my nose, then a small little whitehead on the inside, then a red spot on the outside of my nose that got redder and sorer until it almost looked like a boil. Horribly embarassing and I avoided going anywhere while I had it.

The *feeling* that something was inside and needed to be squeezed out could not be denied. Despite the pain I mashed it between two fingers in front of a mirror, and then nearly fainted when a nasal hair inexorably erected into prominence on the *outside* of my nose and then delicately tumbled over onto my lip.

Red area disappeared shortly thereafter and there was no trace. I had almost convinced myself that I dreamed up the whole thing until this thread.

In retrospect, I think that it may have happened because I started using a cheapo rotary nose hair clipper; it probably clipped the hair very close and gave it a sharp edge which helped it start it's piercing journey.
posted by de void at 12:29 PM on July 25, 2005

PurplePorpoise - I've never graced the interior of my nose with any form of hair removal device (because it's not really necessary yet).

I love Ask Metafilter.

Ask Metafilter : It's probably happened to other people, too.
posted by tomble at 8:47 PM on July 26, 2005

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