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Nose Picking Effects on Health

by
author image Vaishali Mehta
Vaishali Mehta is a doctor by profession and has a master's degree in otolaryngology from India. She has clinical experience in the field of ENT. She has a passion for medical writing and has written stacks of research articles. She likes to write for health, fitness and nutrition, and otolaryngology-related topics.
Nose Picking Effects on Health
Habitual nose picking can lead to infections and bleeding from your nose. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Everyone picks his nose at one time or the other. However, sometimes it becomes a habit. If this is done compulsively and excessively, you can have some harmful effects. Some children develop this bad habit, which may be difficult to stop. Teaching your child to use a handkerchief or tissue will help. Not only is picking socially unacceptable, but it can also lead to infections and nosebleeds.

Infections

Infections can arise in the nose. Pimples are often seen in nose pickers. Picking with a finger will deliver germs into your nose. These can lead to skin infections. Vestibulitis is infection of the area just inside the opening of the nostril. Pickers can also infect the hair follicles inside the nose and cause small pimples called folliculitis, according to the Merck Manual website.



Nose picking can introduce the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The nose will act like a carrier for these bacteria.



Picking your nose can cause you to have more severe boils, which can be painful. Infection occurring in the nose carries the rare risk of spreading to the brain. This is dangerous and happens as the blood vessels from the nose lead to the brain. This area is sometimes referred to as "the danger area of the face."

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Nosebleeds

Nose bleeding commonly occurs due to picking your nose. This is more common in children. The picking will break the blood vessels. Fingernails can scratch and cause cuts in the nasal passages. To prevent nosebleeds, you should avoid nose picking and apply some petroleum jelly to the nose.

Septal Perforation

Self-induced damage of the partition between your nostrils (called the septum) occurs with habitual nose picking. This may result in a hole in the septum. This will cause crusts, nosebleeds and a whistling sound through your nose.

Unhygienic, Unsightly

Nose picking is unhygienic. After picking your nose, you will have germs, which you will introduce wherever you touch. You should wash your hands thoroughly to get rid of them.



It is also unsightly and considered rude to pick your nose in front of other people. It can be embarrassing for you socially. You may become the butt of jokes and giggles.



Sometimes, nose picking may be a sign of an underlying allergy and a build-up of mucus with a stuffy nose, which needs to be relieved.

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