In this brand-new series, CNA lifestyle asks the specialists for their thoughts top top common poor habits. This week, we look in ~ a really universal one: nose picking.

You are watching: Will picking your nose make it bigger


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(Art: Jasper Loh)


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You don’t require research come tell you just how gratifying it feels come indulge in this certain habit (yeah, sure, deny every you want). Yet if you need to know, nose picking is so typical that one survey of 254 adults uncovered that 91 every cent carry out it – and also 1.2 per cent execute so at least every hour.

So yes, civilization – not simply kids – do habitually pick their noses out of boredom or nervousness.

The evident excuse is that it’s every in the name of removing those pesky boogers, which, in and of itself in reality have critical function.


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“The nasal lining produces mucus to help clear particles in the air that a human breathes in. Boogers are dried mucus that has collected these particles,” claimed Dr Tan Teck Shi, the clinical lead for a respiratory workgroup run by SingHealth Polyclinics.

READ: Love wearing the mask ~ above your eight or under her chin? You’re dispersing germs

“Dusty areas or a hazy environment could cause much more dust or dust particles to it is in trapped by our nasal lining, resulting in an ext boogers.”

WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?

But over there are also some risks when “cleaning” one’s nostrils. Since “blood ship on the lower part of the septum are an extremely superficial”, picking her nose have the right to actually obstacle the sleep debris against the breakable nasal lining and also sometimes reason bleeding, warned Dr Tan. The septum is the cartilage in the sleep that off the nostrils.

“Although reports the septum perforation in severely influenced patients are rare, consistent nose choose can cause chronic infection, inflammation, and thickening the the nasal passages, thereby enhancing the size of the nostrils,” that said.

Yes, you read that appropriate – constant picking deserve to enlarge those sleep holes.


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(Photo: Freepik/drobotdean)

“Pinching your nose is i can not qualify to help in minimising the nose enlargement,” stated Dr Tan. “On the contrary, it might attribute to the enlargement as it causes much more damage and hence, inflammation v pinching.”

That’s not all. Over there is a higher chance that you choose up germs v your fingers and also delivering them straight into your nose. During the pandemic, you definitely don"t desire to risk introducing the COVID-19 virus right into your body. 

Not just COVID-19, staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria the commonly reasons skin infections, is more likely uncovered in the nose of nose pickers in a 2006 dutch study.

HOW deserve to YOU prevent THE HABIT?

Picking one’s nose is something plenty of of us perform without even thinking around it – yet just Dr Tan also pointed the end that yes a opportunity that the habit could likewise be brought about by a emotional disorder such together rhinotillexomania or compulsive nose picking.

“Rhinotillexomania might be diagnosed if a person continues to nose-pick even when the boogers room removed. This is divide under obsessive-compulsive disorders, which include skin picking, hair pulling and nail biting,” the said.

Whatever prompts friend to begin picking her nose, Dr Tan recommended part tips to alleviate the habit.


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(Photo: Diana Polekhina)

If stress or stress and anxiety is the reason behind your nose picking, try muscle relaxation or deep breath exercises, that said.

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What about situations once you really must clear out your nostrils? “Blow your sleep gently with clean tissues and also wash your hands automatically thereafter,” claimed Dr Tan, especially if a cold or allergy has increased her secretion the mucus and also the result boogers.

“To minimise rubber production, you deserve to use a humidifier or air purifier. Allergies can likewise be treated through steroid sprays and also antihistamines.”

However, if you persistently view blood in your boogers, it might be a authorize of something an ext serious, and you should think about consulting a doctor, stated Dr Tan. “Similarly, look for medical help if over there is persistent sleep irritation, abnormal discharge and also bleeding, obstruction, pain or ede in the nostrils.”