Health

Eating your bogies is not only disgusting – it can also be really dangerous


Eating your bogies is something we can all agree is ‘frowned upon’.

As a child , you probably had your hand swatted away by a parent as you furtively tried to have a good dig.

It’s not uncommon to see children have a good nasal root around, but by the time we reach adulthood, the understanding is that we’ve grown out of it (or have become better at doing it in private).

But aside from the fact it’s seen as a bit gross and uncouth, IS having a surreptitious little pick and eating your findings such a bad thing?

Firstly, there’s the myth that by eating your bogies, you strengthen your immune system.  

We’re sorry to say that there’s absolutely no scientific evidence which backs this up.

Staphylococcus aureus is part of human normal flora, shown here on a nasal hair
Staphylococcus aureus is part of human normal flora, shown here on a nasal hair

Next, according to Dr Erich Voigt, picking your nose and eating your bogies is actually quite dangerous.

Speaking on a Business Insider video, Dr Voigt explains how introducing germs into your nose such as Staphylococcus aureus (“a germ which can live in the front of the nose”), combined with picking can cause abrasions.

As a result, these abrasions “bleed, promoting germs, increasing the crust and irritation by picking your nose.”

Depending on where you are and where your hands have been, this could introduce some serious nasties into your body.

Staph can even cause abscesses or pus-filled pockets inside your nose. In extreme cases of prolonged picked, you could even puncture your septum

Nose Picking
You could be introducing a lot of germs into the body by doing this

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Dr Voigt also points out how bad it can be for children, saying, “children are notorious for picking their nose, and they give themselves nose bleeds.

“The blood supply to the nose is very vigorous – there are five arteries that lead to the front of the nose (kiesselbach’s plexus).

“When an abrasion occurs there can be vigorous bleeding, children induce a lot of nosebleeds that way.”

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