In this brand-new series, CNA way of life asks the professionals for their thoughts ~ above common poor habits. This week, we look in ~ a an extremely universal one: sleep picking.

You are watching: Does picking your nose make your nostrils 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 particular habit (yeah, sure, deny all you want). But if you have to know, nose picking is so common that one inspection of 254 adults discovered that 91 per cent carry out it – and 1.2 per cent perform so at the very least every hour.

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

The obvious excuse is that it’s all in the name of removed those pesky boogers, which, in and also of itself in reality have vital function.


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“The nasal lining produces rubber to aid clear corpuscle in the air that a human being breathes in. Boogers room dried mucus that has accumulated these particles,” said Dr Tan Teck Shi, the clinical lead because that a respiratory workgroup run by SingHealth Polyclinics.

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

“Dusty areas or a hazy environment could cause an ext dust or dirt particles to be trapped by our sleep lining, resulting in an ext boogers.”

WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?

But over there are likewise some risks when “cleaning” one’s nostrils. Due to the fact that “blood vessels on the lower part of the septum are an extremely superficial”, picking your nose deserve to actually rub the sleep debris versus the delicate nasal lining and also sometimes reason bleeding, warned Dr Tan. The septum is the cartilage in the sleep that separates the nostrils.

“Although reports of septum perforation in severely influenced patients are rare, consistent nose choose can reason chronic infection, inflammation, and thickening of the sleep passages, thereby increasing the dimension of the nostrils,” that said.

Yes, you read that best – continuous picking deserve to enlarge those sleep holes.


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(Photo: Freepik/drobotdean)

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

That’s not all. There is a higher chance that you choose up germs v your fingers and delivering lock straight into your nose. During the pandemic, you certainly don"t want to risk introducing the COVID-19 virus right into your body. 

Not simply COVID-19, staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that commonly causes skin infections, is an ext likely discovered in the nose of sleep pickers in a 2006 netherlands study.

HOW can YOU avoid THE HABIT?

Picking one’s sleep is something numerous of us perform without also thinking about it – but just Dr Tan additionally pointed the end that yes sir a opportunity that the habit could additionally be led to by a mental disorder such as rhinotillexomania or compulsive sleep picking.

“Rhinotillexomania may be diagnosed if a person continues to nose-pick also when the boogers space removed. This is share under obsessive-compulsive disorders, which encompass skin picking, hair pulling and nail biting,” the said.

Whatever prompts you to begin picking your nose, Dr Tan recommended part tips to reduce the habit.


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(Photo: Diana Polekhina)

If tension or tension is the reason behind your nose picking, try muscle be safe or deep breathing exercises, that said.

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What about situations as soon as you really should clear the end your nostrils? “Blow your nose gently through clean tissues and wash her hands automatically thereafter,” claimed Dr Tan, especially if a cold or allergy has increased her secretion the mucus and the result boogers.

“To minimise mucus production, you can use a humidifier or air purifier. Allergies can also be treated with steroid sprays and antihistamines.”

However, if girlfriend persistently watch blood in her boogers, it might be a sign of something more serious, and you should think about consulting a doctor, said Dr Tan. “Similarly, seek medical assist if over there is persistent nose irritation, abnormal discharge and bleeding, obstruction, pains or ede in the nostrils.”