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Nose-picking is the act of extracting mucus or foreign bodies from the nose with a finger. Compulsive nose-picking is known as rhinotillexomania (etymology: Greek, rhino "nose" + tillexis "habit of picking" + mania).

Although a very common habit, it is a mildly taboo subject in most East Asian and Western cultures. Children's literature often makes reference to it, to amuse readers (for example "bogey-flavoured beans" in Harry Potter, or Jacques Charpentreau's poem "De l'Education!"). John Allen Paulos's imaginary novel, Rucker: a life fractal has a section where "proboscis probing is discussed at length."

Mucophagy, the consumption of the mucus thus extracted, while common in some cultures, is a much greater taboo. So much so, that even those who engage in the practise generally find it disgusting when done by someone else in their presence, much like flatulence.

Nose-picking has a number of medical risks, including causing nasal infections and nosebleeds. Most authorities recommend using a tissue.

Due to the special nature of the blood supply to the nose and surrounding area, it is possible for retrograde infections from the nasal area to spread to the brain. For this reason, the area from the corners of the mouth to the bridge of the nose, including the nose and maxilla, is known to doctors as the "danger triangle of the face". This has been dramatized to a generation of American high-school students as the "triangle of death."

Table of contents
1 Quotations
2 References
3 External links


Popular sayings and jokes reveal social attitudes about nose-picking:


External links