A Preliminary Survey of Rhinotillexomania in an Adolescent Sample
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62:426-431
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Rhinotillexomania is a recent
term coined to describe compulsive nose picking. There is little
world literature on nose-picking behavior in the general
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