Is Picking Your Nose and Eating Boogers a Disorder?

Booger eating is a common nasty habit among kids and adults. This piece focuses on its health implications and more of what experts say concerning picking and eating snots.

Mucophagy is believed to be a subgroup of pica (a disorder in which an individual only craves non food items such as toilet tissues, sand, soap, rocks, mucus etc) and those who suffer from it, always fall for the nasty behavior either in private or public.

I stumbled upon so many discussions about the good and bad in picking nose and eating its contents. Surprisingly, those in support of it also pulled handful of scientific reasons to imbibe in this habit. This is shocking, against any cultural issue, it seems this habit needs proper examination.

Below are some of my observations on the unpleasant habit. When I think it’s high time to make the world a mucophagy-free planet, some people say it’s healthy with scientific proofs while others are against. Where do you belong?

The Good and the Bad

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A research from University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon says picking nose and eating boogers isn’t that unhealthy as thought, as it helps build up immunity i.e. pulling out and eating mucus helps in boosting immunity.

A leading lung specialist, Dr. Friedrich Bischinger  who endorsed the picking of nose and eating of boogers, said:

“With the finger you can get to places you just can’t reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner. And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system.”

“Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.”

Hence, Dr. Friedrich Bischinger encourages children to pick and eat their boogers. “It is a completely natural response and medically a good idea as well.”

Nosebleeds

Apart from the shame it brings, you are at the risk of nosebleeds as a result of hole dug through your nose, which could lead to anemia.

VIDEO:Is Picking Your Nose and Eating Boogers a Disorder ? 

Blood Pressure

Research says there is high percentage of salt content in the mucus, thus a steady diet of it would create some hypertension issues for whoever is enslaved to it.

Addiction

Starting from finding pleasure in picking nose, one graduates to an intense act involving eating of boogers. Just as the case of one taking alcohol escalates into taking harder drugs. One who sometimes picks and eats boogers is guaranteed to graduate to intense booger-eating, booger raves, and binge boogers.

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References:
What is snot? And why do some people eat it? – Boingboing.net
Essential Facts about Mucophagy – healthguideinfo
Reasons why kids should not eat boogers – ineffableisland

 



Moses Chukwu

About

Hi, I'm the editor, an advocate of Mental Health and Emotional Intelligence. Explorer of the World of Psychology, and a zealous Lifestyle blogger.



  1. June 29, 2016 @ 7:14 pm bob

    well so long as you are not eating dingleberries

    Reply

    • September 29, 2016 @ 4:00 am D

      Nearly died from laughter.

      Reply

  2. September 11, 2016 @ 3:54 pm ann

    I am seeing this activity more and more.at first I was shocked. Recently the older woman in the car behind me was eating boogers out of her nose.I was so disgusted.

    Reply

  3. November 12, 2016 @ 3:38 pm Jane Doe

    As a booger eater I can voice that it is highly addicting. I’m trying to stop but I do it sometimes without thinking about it. I’ve done it since I can remember. I’m a young adult and I’m finding that its rather embarrassing that I have to check my shoulder after picking just to see if anyone’s watching so I can pop it in. Before anyone judges I don’t really care, I just wanted to say my piece. I came here looking for help 😂

    Reply

    • November 28, 2016 @ 9:12 pm Jane Doe2

      I too eat boogers they are good…I tried to stop and did for years. But what’s the point its good for my immune system.

      Reply

    • December 15, 2016 @ 9:34 pm Allan

      If you’re in your safe space..CHOW DOWN !!!
      Who am I to judge?

      Reply

    • February 10, 2017 @ 6:17 am Jenny

      Sigh, I’ve been eating boogers my whole life. I really want to stop but I just can’t. I’ve been doing it every day, 10-15 times a day, since at least preschool (that’s as far back as I can remember) I’m 21 years old now. It’s really not as easy as just saying “I’m not going to do this anymore”. It’s extremely addicting.
      Please try hard not to judge us, the majority of us have no idea really why we do it and we can’t stop.

      Reply

  4. November 22, 2016 @ 7:53 am M

    I’ve always eaten my bogies But strangely I find the idea of eating snot repulsive. If you’re going to go mining for gold I find it far more offensive for people to wipe it on something or someone else. In my opinion it only an “addiction” to someone with an addictive personalit.

    Reply

    • April 20, 2017 @ 12:12 pm Jane doe 3

      Wow i thought i was the only one!! Im nearly forty and have been doing my whole life. But now my out of my 3 kids so far just one does it. I hound and hound him about it Trying to stop the addiction before it happens, i think its too late… and of course he has no idea about my habit… . Just wanted to voice this… never told anyone in my life about this habit!

      Reply

  5. December 5, 2016 @ 10:47 am Angel

    It is such an embarrassing thing ti do; you always have to check uf anyone is watching and if someone is watching you have to pretend like you were just removing it😂😂im also not stopping since i found that its good for my immune system, no wonder why i don’t get sick thank you for your help, i also came for help and i found it…🙈

    Reply

    • December 12, 2016 @ 5:58 pm John doe3

      Like a disease i hate the addiction, but feel relief due to thr immunity boost. Booger eating results in extreme paranoia lol.

      Reply

  6. January 6, 2017 @ 8:17 am Brian

    I think I will eat a Turd fresh out of my BUTHOLE !!!!!!!!! (SAME THING )

    Reply

  7. January 18, 2017 @ 10:32 am Tissue User

    boogers? does it taste like chicken or poop?

    Reply

  8. January 25, 2017 @ 1:32 am Kay Dee

    It is just Gross especially when seeing an adult eat their boogers.. I don’t want a kiss from a booger eater!

    Reply

    • June 27, 2017 @ 5:34 am Ang

      Lol i bet ypu HAVE kissed a booger eater and never knew…

      Reply

  9. January 26, 2017 @ 3:04 am G~mom

    Wow my grandson does it.that’s my reason for searching. But reading these posts its unbelievable, I actually don’t know if I want to laugh my ass off or vomit.

    Reply

  10. February 6, 2017 @ 3:57 pm Jane

    I’ve been doing this since I was a kid and used to get so badly teased from my parents and my brother. So I learnt to do it in secret. I’m now 20 and still do it and trust me I HATE IT.
    I’ve tried almost everything to stop including dipping my fingers in petrol and other stuff for small periods of time.
    Anyway… I now suffer really bad paranoia, especially with my girlfriend (just an hour ago she said something about how eating boogas is gross (was blowing my nose into my hands in shower-which we both do)) but I don’t know if she’s ever seen me do it
    I’m thinking of talking to my councillor tomorrow about it but it’s a big step because quite literally… I’ve never told a single soul since I was 5. A few kids in high school spotted me doing it and would tease me about it so I stopped doing it in class and only in the toilet at school.
    I do agree with the immune boost bit as it is soooo rare that I get sick.
    Anyway I know it’s super gross but please, if you see someone doing it don’t be nasty. It causes serious anxiety and paranoia.

    Reply

    • Moses N. Chukwu

      February 10, 2017 @ 5:03 am Moses N. Chukwu

      Jane, that’s a good step. It’s always nice to seek expert’s advice.

      Reply

  11. February 8, 2017 @ 11:15 pm Ms. Boogie Eater

    I am a booger eater but I think it’s more to it. I have a strong urge to eat them right after I eat a meal, almost like booger dessert. I enjoy the feeling of the booger unlodging and before I consume it I play with it in my mouth. I wear my nails long so I can get the far back juicy ones…..I think I have a problem.

    Reply

    • Moses N. Chukwu

      February 10, 2017 @ 5:07 am Moses N. Chukwu

      Yes indeed, it’s a problem. It’ll be nice to make a move against it today.

      Reply

      • February 10, 2017 @ 6:24 am Sam

        It’s not a problem. Seriously, it’s really not. People make such a huge deal out of it when the truth is that it’s not even unhealthy for you. So, gross or not, it’s not really something to be considered a problem.

        Reply

  12. March 3, 2017 @ 9:35 am Daniel Rouan

    As a social worker who would see patients do this i can tell you it is very OCD-like and a common theme that people have that do this is stress. I disagree with the doctor. First, you can find any doctor these days to back your opinion if you look long enough. I have talked to many doctors who say this is NOT good for you. Think about it: if eating these were good for you because of the bacteria in them that is filtered from the environment, then why do we even wash our hands, take baths, etc.? Why not just lick a public handrail then? Im sure it has tons of bacteria. Think folks. The reason the body creates mucus is to protect against infection from bacteria. The bacteria in your nose is there to prevent that bacteria from entering your system. Why do you think the body created it to begin with? And personally if anyone knows about mucus and its pros and cons it is me. Why? I have Cystic Fibrosis which is a genetic lung disease (it affects other organs too), which causes a lot of very thick mucus to develop in my lungs, liver, pancreas. The mucus is way too thick because the sodium chloride channels in my cells are blocked. The mucus collects the bacteria which is supposed to do, but i cant cough it all out due to how thick it is. As a result of this collection of bacteria, i get recurring lung infections. Over time this will kill me. The average age of life for a person with this is 39.
    So with that said, trust me, it is nit good to eat the bacteria filter you body has created to rid itself of harmful bacteria.

    Reply

    • April 26, 2017 @ 2:52 pm Lissa

      Oh brother. Do not tell these poor people that they have OCD because they pick their nose. It’s only a symptom if it’s done excessively and can be characterized as a mania. Occasionally digging for gold is not a mental disorder.

      Reply

    • May 31, 2017 @ 6:53 am betty

      Yes.and also how about the staphilococus aureus that is living in our noses?will arrive in our bodies causing so many staph infections:endocardities,artrities…I just read an article talking about new discovery that staph is the cause of obesify and type 2 diabeties.Are you booger eaters, overweight?

      Reply

  13. March 4, 2017 @ 12:44 pm I wish I was someone else.

    I used to eat mine until I was about 28. I am 31 now. The only reason I stopped was because I caught people staring at me through my living room window, and I was mortified. I locked myself in the house for almost a year, and was completely shut off from the world. At first, everyone in my apartment complex shamed me to the point of seeking help. Then after asking for help the doctors just laughed, and excused my issue as something people do all the time. It didn’t matter what the doctors told me, I needed help. I had done it obsessively as long as I can remember. I would do it when I would get in trouble. I would do it when I was sad. I would do it if I was stressed. I would do it to pass the time. I would do it without even realizing it. I worried my whole life that people would find out and I would be ruined. Everyone I knew loved me and enjoyed my company, but my biggest fear was losing them, and especially because they all thought I was disgusting. I would never find love again. I never told a single person, and the one person that saw me do it in elementary school moved away to another state after finding out. I was ashamed of myself and my nasty habit. I thought it was completely disgusting but I couldn’t stop. I completely blocked it out of my memory, but I know I used to do it like every time I was in the bathroom, in my car, or home alone. Even if my friends were over I’d run to the bathroom to do it. The more worried it made me, the more I did it. I am highly obsessive compulsive, and I feel like a lot of the time I did it because I hated the feeling of them being in my nose, and I didn’t always have a tissue to wipe it on. I hated blowing my nose or other people blowing their noses because it sounds super gross, and was very messy. This way, I was able to have a clean nose all of the time. I had other addictions, like sucking my thumb, biting/chewing my nails/fingers, excessive gum chewing (24/7 for years.. I’d even sleep with gum in my mouth), obsessive itching and picking, pulling my hair out, smoking, and the like. I basically tried to fill the void of my father leaving when I was less than a year old, I tried to get the love I needed anyway I could, and when I couldn’t, I found a way to stay separated. I stopped smoking very recently and worry about picking the habit back up, well because I’ve been ‘picking’ for years and I associated it with a mental disorder. I felt I had no control. Then once people found out, the only thing I could do was stop so that I would have a chance at having friends again. I studied Freud, and anything that had to do with reasons why I could have this problem. I didn’t know a single living person that had the same thing, and I thought I was defected. Now, I regret ever having done it, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I did it, then make sure no one else ever made the same mistake – i.e. Dysfunctional Development, Oral Fixation/Psychosexual Stages, General Addiction, etc. Then people got mad that I was trying to “psychoanalyze” them. Unfortunately, my internal issues escaped to external, and then affected others. Everything seemed to just increase my issues, and spawn new ones such as extreme paranoia, anxiety and depression which led to internal injuries. Basically, if you do it, if you personally have a problem with it, then try to stop. Get help if you can. The worst part was initially telling someone that I did it. I wasn’t able to until I quit. If you don’t have a problem with it, make sure you’ll be okay if people find out. You may think you’ll be okay, I thought people probably already know and will never say anything. I was soo wrong. I completely lost everything because of it. I mean think about it, people look at things like Alcoholism as less bad than picking your nose and eating it. I hate that I’m even talking about it now, but as there are others out there that may need advice that they aren’t going to find I want to help. We may never really know how good or bad it may be. Only you can know how you can personally handle a situation. Even when people tried to help, it made me hate myself more. Good luck.

    Reply

  14. May 17, 2017 @ 7:55 pm CYRANO DE BERGERAC

    EVERYBODY EVERY DAY SWALLOWS OVER A LITER A DAY OF SNOT. SNIFF AND SWALLOW, SO EVERYBODY IS INGESTING THEIR NASAL FLUIDS. SOME DRIED SOME NOT, SOME MINE AND SNIFF OTHERS JUST SNIFF AND SWALLOW. AS WITH MOST PERSONAL THINGS, DISCRETION IS APPRECIATED BY ALL

    Reply


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