August 25, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Rhinotillexomania!!! Are there any long term deleterious effects, besides infection, associated with picking yer nose?

I know I used the psych term for compulsive nose picking but that was just for dramatic/trivia affect. I'm more interested in the standard pick your nose 9 or 10 times a day than any clinically obesessive picking.
posted by spicynuts to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I probed around inside PubMed and Google Scholar for "nasal cancer rhinotillexomania" but came up dry.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2006

Bummer. Nothing more disappointing than probing around up there and coming up dry.
posted by spicynuts at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2006

Well, you're going to lose any friend that sees you do it more than once.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2006

Apparently, some folks think twice-a-day pickings are excessive.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:10 PM on August 25, 2006

Saw that thread moonpie but it says nothing about dangers.
posted by spicynuts at 12:15 PM on August 25, 2006

I did this incessantly as a kid (less so now), and thrice-weekly nosebleeds were my reward. Not that did me any long-term harm, as far as I know.
posted by altolinguistic at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2006

This might be one of those cases of TMI, but I trim my nose hairs, and thus, don't have anything for them boogers to hang on to.
posted by Merdryn at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2006

There's a slightly increased chance of catching a cold (if your finger is heavily contaminated with virus) by picking your nose.

It depends on how you pick your nose. I suppose repeatedly clearing your nasal passageways could decrease the amounts of infection-protecting mucus.

Then again, mucophagy (eating boogers) isn't a bad idea per se given that you're making introductions between your immune system and innoculous amounts of antigen - thus potentially protecting one from infection.

9 to 10 seems a little excessive. I do mine in the shower (the steam loosens the dried out deposits of the day before) just to clear the passages out for the day.

Hmm, I wonder if there's a relationship between chronically well-trimmed nostril hairs and infection with rhinovirus?
posted by porpoise at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2006

I think I've done some damage to the interior of my right nostril as a result of long-term picking combinded with periods of having feelings of very high stress (the damage occurred during one such period of time). I'm not about to have someone take a deep look up there, but I get the sense that I've mined out the flesh lining up there. It seems permanently scabbed/scarred in that region.

One time (a while later) I got a massive nosebleed when once again attacking that area. We're talking a "my mouth keeps filling with blood, this is fucking scary" nosebleed. Even that hasn't stopped my compulsive habit.

I'm not sure I wanted to share that, but I have. YMMV. Maybe I should get a t-shirt with "rhinotillexomaniac!" printed on it.

posted by lowlife at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2006

< shame>
I was an avid, deepmining nosepicker until my doc pointed out the fact that I had more of a nosegoblin stripmine going on, as well as a deviated septum as a result.
< /shame>
posted by zerokey at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2006

Lowlife - same thing!
The nosepicking became a major obsessive stress habit for me.
we should probably never ever be friends
posted by zerokey at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium resides in the nose (amongst other places) and is part of the growing problem of methicillin-resistant bacteria.

Given that I frequently see people picking their nose at stoplights and flicking their boogers out the window (and probably not thoroughly washing their hands and fingernails afterwards), this is most encouraging:-\
posted by invisible ink at 5:57 PM on August 25, 2006

Is it possible to self-infect with Stap bacteria after picking your nose? Can you give yourself a skin infection or toxic shock syndrome?
posted by crabintheocean at 2:35 PM on August 30, 2006

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