The Dangers of Nose Picking: Link to Chronic Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease

The mechanism of chronic inflammation is at the root of many modern diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and chronic hepatitis. A review of the literature from Western Sydney University has suggested that chronic neuroinflammation triggered by chronic nose picking may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Nose Picking Increases Inflammation and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Nose picking is a common practice, with a significant percentage of individuals admitting to engaging in this habit. While it may seem harmless, research indicates that nose picking can have serious consequences, particularly concerning the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Pathogens entering through the nose and olfactory system could potentially trigger neuroinflammation, a key factor in Alzheimer’s disease development. Therefore, refraining from nose picking is crucial in reducing this risk.

More Reasons to Keep Your Fingers Out of Your Nose

In addition to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, there are numerous other reasons to avoid nose picking. The nasal cavity hosts a variety of pathogens that, when disturbed through picking, can lead to opportunistic infections and other health issues. Individuals who pick their noses are at a higher risk of colonization by harmful bacteria, which can result in infections and increased healthcare costs. Furthermore, nose picking can inadvertently introduce bacteria into the bloodstream through tiny cuts in the nasal tissue, leading to potential complications.

More Strategies to Help Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

While avoiding nose picking is an important step in reducing Alzheimer’s risk, there are additional strategies you can implement to protect your cognitive health. Monitoring your sugar intake, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, ensuring adequate cholesterol levels, addressing vitamin B deficiencies, and minimizing exposure to air pollution are all critical factors in reducing the risk of dementia.

Tips to Help You Stop Picking Your Nose

If you struggle with nose picking, there are practical steps you can take to break the habit. Keeping your nasal passages moist can reduce the urge to pick by decreasing mucus production. Using an indoor humidifier, staying hydrated, using nasal saline spray sparingly, and applying coconut oil to hydrate the nasal membranes are effective strategies to combat nose picking. Additionally, addressing underlying stress and anxiety that may contribute to compulsive nose picking is essential for breaking the cycle.


Dr. Mercola

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