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February 08, 2015

A Study on Nose-Picking (You Know You Do It)

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I could write a lengthy blog about why we pick our nose... but I think the results below speak for themselves. In this particular study on rhinotillexomania (or compulsive nose-picking), 200 adolescents were surveyed.

The conclusion is it's a common behavior. Interestingly, they study found 12% of the survey population picked the nose purely for pleasure.  Other interesting facts (from another study on nose-picking) include 65% use the index finger to pick the nose, 20% the pinky, and 16% the thumb.

Although nose-picking may be considered an issue with cosmetic or etiquette consequences, medical problems may arise from rhinotillexomania including epistaxis, septal perforations, cellulitis, etc.

At the very least, cut the fingernails short to minimize potential medical problems from chronic nose-picking.




References:
A Preliminary Survey of Rhinotillexomania in an Adolescent Sample. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 62, no. 6, June 2001, pp. 426-31.

Rhinotillexomania: psychiatric disorder or habit? J Clin Psychiatry. 1995 Feb;56(2):56-9.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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