Why You Probably Shouldn't Pick Your Nose

Picking your nose probably won't kill you, but it's not exactly a healthy habit either. Not only does picking your nose look gross, it could be leaving the door open for dangerous bacteria that want to call your nose home. In this video from the Tech Insider YouTube channel, Dr Erich Voigt, an otolaryngologist at New York University, explains what happens inside your nose when you pick it. As you mine for nose gold, your fingernails cause tiny abrasions in your nasal cavity. Those abrasions bleed, and your blood becomes food for all of the germs that live in there. Germs like Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections like abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis and food poisoning. In fact, one study from Cambridge University, and published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, suggests that nose pickers are significantly more likely to carry Staphylococcus aureus.

Of course, a lot of people pick their nose and they're fine. One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, even found that 90 per cent of those surveyed admitted to doing it regularly. Nose picking is rarely the cause of any serious problems in healthy individuals, but it could be trouble for those with weaker immune systems. Also, having fewer nasty germs like Staph in your body is usually a good thing — even for healthy people. So if you're a picker, it's not the end of the world. But you may want to consider blowing your nose next time instead, or at least grabbing a tissue before you go digging.

Why picking your nose is bad [YouTube]


    I need someone to build a safe "hard booger" extractor, I'd say there will definitely be a market for it.. the device not the hard boogers. :)

    It may not be good for you, but it can be quite satisfying. Sort of like walking away from a 'Silent But Deadly'.

    wasn't there a recent article that states that picking your nose is good for you as it improves your immune systems ability to fight off the common cold.

      Writen by Chris


      Nuuuu! I am in a Lifehacker caused conundrum now. On one hand Chris is telling me to pick my nose to be healthy and on the other Patrick says "Nope, bad for you"

      Who outranks whom.

    Note to self: Hayley is also in the "nose picking is good" camp. Three years later she added to Chris' booger missive with


    Things are not looking as balanced on Patricks side now. Two against one.

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