Rhinotillexomania

J Clin Psychiatry. 2001 Jun;62(6):426-31.
A preliminary survey of rhinotillexomania in an adolescent sample.
Andrade C, Srihari BS.

Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India. andrade@nimhans.kar.nic.in
BACKGROUND: Rhinotillexomania is a recent term coined to describe compulsive nose picking. There is little world literature on nose-picking behavior in the general population. METHOD: We studied nose-picking behavior in a sample of 200 adolescents from 4 urban schools. RESULTS: Almost the entire sample admitted to nose picking, with a median frequency of 4 times per day; the frequency was > 20 times per day in 7.6% of the sample. Nearly 17% of subjects considered that they had a serious nose-picking problem. Other somatic habits such as nail biting, scratching in a specific spot, or pulling out of hair were also common; 3 or more such behaviors were simultaneously present in 14.2% of the sample, only in males. Occasional nose bleeds complicating nose picking occurred in 25% of subjects. Several interesting findings in specific categories of nose pickers were identified. CONCLUSION: Nose picking is common in adolescents. It is often associated with other habitual behaviors. Nose picking may merit closer epidemiologic and nosologic scrutiny.

PMID: 11465519 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]