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Picking Your Nose - Is It Really Harmful?

Dr. Ramneek Varma 90% (359 ratings)
MD-Internal Medicine , MBBS
General Physician, Delhi  •  43 years experience
Picking Your Nose - Is It Really Harmful?

Do you have a habit of secretly picking your nose? Sounds dirty? Yes! Although most of you secretly enjoy doing it, nobody likes to admit it and is a common bad habit. There is a certain amusement to it and people seem to enjoy picking their nose. However, on top of being a very unhealthy and unhygienic habit, it is harmful to the body as well. Not only does the habit looks gross, but it also leaves the door open for dangerous bacteria to enter your nose.

Why should you stop picking your nose?

Picking your nose is quite dangerous for your body, as your fingers contain many harmful germs, which are transmitted to your nostrils when you are digging into your nose. A specific germ known as Staphylococcus aureus lives in the front part of your nose and can make you seriously ill. Combining the habit of nose picking along with the germs may lead to the development of abrasions. These abrasions can bleed and become a breeding ground for even more germs. As a result, the crust and irritation increase, as you keep on picking your nose. Based on where you are and what you have touched with your hands, some seriously dangerous germs may enter your body, causing health hazards and complications.

Children are notorious by nature and it is very common among children to pick their nose resulting in nose bleeding. The blood supply to the nose is quite vigorous in nature and there are five arteries that reach to the front part of the nose or Kisselbach’s plexus. When an abrasion takes place, there are chances of severe bleeding, due to damage to these fragile arteries.

Other reasons why you should not pick your nose

  1. Picking your nose may lead to the development of pimples in the nose hair follicles.

  2. In case a small pimple in the nose develops into a boil, the infection may travel to the brain through your bloodstream.

  3. In case you are suffering from cold and your sinus is blocked, picking your nose may lead to the development of sinusitis. This happens because of the introduction of various bacteria present beneath your fingernails into the nose. They may proceed to the sinus cavity from your nose. And, due to insufficient drainage, the bacteria will multiply and cause a sinus infection.

  4. Picking your nose on a regular basis makes your nose a breeding ground for dangerous germs. If you do not wash your hands after picking your nose, these germs may be transmitted to others.

If you feel some irritation in your nose or a constant stuffiness, you should use a tissue paper to soothe your nostrils. Avoid using your fingers for picking and if the irritation lasts even after cleaning it, you should consult a doctor.

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