Picking Your Nose Will Make it Bigger

Man Nose Picking in Public

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  erwinsoo

Have you ever been told “Picking your nose will make it bigger?” This is a pretty common myth that many parents have told their children over the years to make them stop that diggin! There’s nothing more unsightly than someone diggin’ for gold In the Ole Nostril Pass.
I did a piece a while back that asked the age old question Is it Safe to Pick your Nose, and in that post we talked about the dangers of picking your nose. But not from jabbing yourself in the brain, but from contracting an infection due to some dirty fingers.
So when I started thinking about the old myth that picking your nose will make it bigger, I knew I had to discuss this with you all.

The Nose Picking Statistics

According to anonymous polls 91% of Americans had admitted to picking their nose occasionally. But it gets worse, the poll also stated that 43% of them confessed to picking away while out in public. Yah, I think I know who most of them are, you can’t miss it! Then to my amazement, I found out that another 23% will jab their finger up their nose for anywhere between five and fifteen minutes at a time! I sort of think that picking nose in public is better than doing it for fifteen minutes straight…lol


So I think it’s pretty safe to say that we Americans are definitely Nose Pickers… But contrary to the amount of folks that love to dig in their beak, most of them were warned as children that picking your nose will make it bigger.


Medical Views of Picking your Nose

On a psychological level, picking your nose will definitely decrease the amount of people that want to hang out with you. But will it really make your nose bigger? To answer abruptly, NO!


According to Dr. Shervin Naveri of Washington DC picking your nose will not reshape your nostrils or your nose. Since he is a facial plastic surgeon, I tend to agree with him rather than siding with many fear inflicting parents.


Dr. Naveri confirms this by saying that in order to reshape the human nose, bone and cartilage must be restructured surgically. Even though this is the case, it’s also a fact that skin may possibly be stretched, over long exposures to forceful movements in the wrong direction. Plastic surgeons know this because they have a certain technique that involves placing balloons under the skin in order to stretch it out. They use this technique to help cover areas that a patient may be missing skin from.


This skin stretching procedure is quite similar to the stretching of lips and ear lobes in certain African tribes. Unfortunately today’s youth have also made a regular practice of stretching their ear lobes to fit unsightly plugs into their ears.


But, all this being said, in order to stretch or misshape your nose, the picking would have to be constant over time. I’m sure some of you are probably thinking, “well I know people that do pick their nose constantly”. But in all actuality they would have to pick from sun up to sun down for probably months to see any change.


Parents Picking their Nose

Another common teaching of parents is that picking your nose will lead to nose bleeds. This is in fact true. Most doctors will tell you that the majority of nose bleed cases in children are due to picking their nose. But the culprit for adults is normally due to dry air. Now you’re probably remembering those statistics from earlier, which could mean one of two things.


1. Adults don’t admit to picking their nose while at the doctors office with a nose bleed.

2. They have gotten much better with age where clipping their nails and hygiene is concerned, and the dry air really is to blame.


Children are not the only compulsive nose pickers out there. It is so bad they’ve even given it a clinical term, rhinotillexomania, which means obsessive nose picking. One documented case involves a man by the name of Ian Bothwell of Manchester, North West England. Bothwell was found by his landlord in a pool of blood. Most people thought he’d died from a blow to the head when falling out of the bed. But according to the coroner’s office, he had bled to death from picking the crap out of his nose!

So if you’re a parent out there looking for a new story to keep your kids from diggin for gold, then tell them about Ian Bothwell from England. It may not be possible that picking your nose will make it bigger, but it could certainly lead to bleeding to death!
Any more dangerous or daring nose picking stories? Use the comments below…


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Founder of Odd Random Thoughts and plenty of things on the mind. I love bizarre and interesting information and will always form a unique opinion on it. If you have an interest in strange and unusual subjects and would like to share what you've learned, please feel free to Apply to Become a Contributor.  I would love to hear from you!

Robert Tuttle

Founder of Odd Random Thoughts and plenty of things on the mind. I love bizarre and interesting information and will always form a unique opinion on it. If you have an interest in strange and unusual subjects and would like to share what you've learned, please feel free to Apply to Become a Contributor.  I would love to hear from you!


  1. it’s really annoying when someone whom you barely know try to be your best friend just fish out some kind of information.. Hrrr.. hate it.

  2. NCIS Episode Guide

    That is not the nicest post i gotta say, i hate that i am visual person :D …but it was really informative

  3. I really hate when someone puts his finger in his nose it’s so impolite especcialy in front of the public
    thanks for sharing this awesome post !

  4. Hi :D i usually pick my noise :p may be a bad habit :D

  5. That is just a story! First, you really don’t have to do that in public, do it in the comfort room or somewhere private. Just do it carefully so that it does not affect your nose and, after all, it is for cleaning purposes.

  6. Hahaha! i really think that this is unhygienic, you should use a tissue paper or something in picking those dirt inside your nose.

  7. Well, this whole myth about picking your nose makes it bigger was perpetrated, so people would get off this disgusting habit. I know there is no medical basis to it, but I really wish it were true so people would stop doing it.

  8. it will surely not increase the size of our nose but saying this will work if we are trying it with our children!
    yogesh pant recently posted…THE REASON FOR EARTHQUAKESMy Profile

  9. So this was a myth. I am 25 and still believe that this really happens.
    Anyways, thanks for this informative post.

    • hah, yah, you’re far from the only one that believes this myth. It’s something that’s been passed down for many generations, but believe it or not, it is just a myth. You would have to wedge your finger up there for quite some time to see any noticeable effects. :)
      Robert Tuttle recently posted…Ancient Dog MummiesMy Profile

  10. nice post, it is really interesting.the myth will come for good meaning.thank you for sharing this post.

  11. lolx i never knew this but it is very irritating..
    Prince Ramgarhia recently posted…How To Disable Seen From Chat In FacebookMy Profile

  12. fun fact LOLOL

  13. Blegh, that view you have on people in the train who picks their noses. I would shame myself to dead if i would be that person ;-) Nonetheless, great article!

  14. Picking nose is a habit that many people have. Whenever I feel ichy in my nose, I put my pointer finger in and pick my nose. I know that it is not a good habit but I can’t stand the itch.

  15. picking your nose is a very disgusting habit and it should only be done in the privacy of your house. We know how that feels when we spot someone do it before they shake hands with us. Anywys thanks for such an interesting article.

  16. hi thanks for this article this post was very interesting as well as well informative
    rajat recently posted…views about iphone 5s and picsMy Profile

  17. ‘picking your nose will make it bigger’ is unknown information . Thank you for this post.

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