It is known that the causative agents of respiratory infections enter the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, nasopharynx and mouth. Poking your nose, without washing your hands with soap and without treating them with an antiseptic, you seriously risk delivering the coronavirus directly to the mucous membrane. A professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine Paul Pottinger told CNN in a comment.
In addition, the skin inside the nose is very delicate, and from picking, especially with a sharp manicure, tiny cuts can form on the thin thin epithelial covers of the cavity.
“As soon as this barrier is broken, access to the capillary bed is opened, which becomes a channel for infection with viral particles. Thus, you significantly increase the risk of infection directly into the bloodstream, ”explained molecular virologist Cedric Buckley in an interview with the same publication.
During a pandemic, it is better to get rid of all obsessive habits associated with constant contact with mucous membranes (stop biting nails, plucking nose hair), scientists say. These habits increase the risk of contracting not only coronavirus, but also other infections. They can be symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a relatively serious mental disorder. Therefore, it is possible that to get rid of them, you may need to visit narrow specialists, for example, a psychiatrist.
Experts also note that the habit of picking your nose may be associated with persistent discomfort or nasal congestion, rather than an obsessive desire to occupy your hands. In this case, it is necessary to consult an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor). Perhaps it’s all about a deviated nasal septum or inflammatory processes.
Scientists recommend that all those who like to pick their nose or bite their nails often wear a mask – the main attribute of preventing infection.
“If you want to break with the habit of picking your nose, the best way to do it is to take advantage of a rare moment in human history when we all have to constantly cover our faces,” said Pottinger.