Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sinus Problems Lead To Embarrassing Habit

Dear Tazi:

I have an unusual problem that I am hoping you can solve – I am far too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone in person. I am a nose-picker. I have terrible sinus problems and my nose frequently clogs. I will always use a tissue to protect my finger before I dig should I have a Kleenex on hand…but this is not always the case. I am a guy, so I have no place to put them.

I know that the stereotype is that all guys pick their noses, but it just seems like such a gross habit I can’t imagine that to be true. I feel like I am the only one with this issue. And before you ask, no; I do not eat what I find. I either leave it in the Kleenex or wipe it on my jeans. This is a habit that I would truly like to break, even when Kleenex is available. Any ideas? Please don’t suggest that I talk to my doctor about it, I am embarrassed to say anything to him, too.


Dear Nosey:

You have something called rhinotillexomania, the urge to chronically pick your nose. How alone can you be when science has a name for your problem?

You say that you have chronic sinus problems; have you tried using nasal saline (not nasal spray) to keep your sinuses moist and clear? Saline can do wonders for nasal dryness and will solve your need to pick at the problem. Although I have never tried one, many people I know swear by a Neti-Pot. Although you are embarrassed to ask your doctor for advice, you do not have to go into great detail; just say that you suffer from irritating nasal dryness.

Could this be the answer to your problems?

Columnist Dave Barry once joked that studies have found more and more women are picking their noses while the number of men doing it “remains steady at 100%”. While I highly doubt the scientific validity of this comment, it would appear that you are not alone in this habit (see above comment about rhinotillexomania). At least you use a Kleenex when one is available; I have witnessed others who use their shirts.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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