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Compulsive Nose Picking (Rhinotillexomania)

Rachel , 11 Jan 2010

Mucus eating

I have been a very mild picker for as long as I can remember. I think its herediterary for the most part. My mother is a very strong picker and I have grown up watching her pick everything. Anyway, I have never really found my picking to interfere with my normal life. I pick scabs, acne, cuticles, and my nose, but never to the point of scarring or keeping a wound from healing. I do eat everything I pick though. I will also eat the occasional bit of ear wax or discharge from my nipples (normal waxy stuff, nothing abnormal) Im new to the forums, but Im wondering if anyone else is like me. The weirdest thing I do is I wear my underwear for a couple of days, build up a layer of normal vaginal discharge and then I pick that off my underwear and eat it after it dries. It tastes like boogers and is the same texture. I know this must not be sanitary and I have tried to stop, but if its there, Ill eat it. I just wonder if the eating of everything is related to a dietary issue. I do have a great deal of shame associated with this behavior and have never spoken of it to anyone.
103 Answers
January 14, 2010
I'll raise my hand to have done this before. if you were like me when i wrote my first post tears probably poured out your eyes because you finally felt some sort of relief because you were about to let it out right? That is a scary but good feeling;) i have found support. i haven't posted for a while because by some miracle i stopped doing all these activities for like a month or two but they have all come back :( i know we all want to stop..i wish we could post pictures on here my fingers are knawled down to the 'quick' as my mother would say. do you know when you started doing these things? thanks for being brave & posting:)
April 04, 2010

In reply to by Becca

I am definitely crying my eyes out right now... A few days ago I heard about something on tv about people who eat scabs.. and until then I honestly didn't think too much about all this. Obviously it's embarassing.. my boyfriend has been helping me with biting the skin from around my fingers, but he hasn't seen me pick my nose, and eat it. I've been doing this since I can remember. I'm 20 now, female. I have had serious eczema on the palms my hands for years and just started to get special treatments for it, but this has caused there to always be dead, dried, flaky skin on my hands, and i'll compulsively pick it off and eat it. I've never reached out to anyone about this, and I can't imaging not doing it. But I'm going to try. I bit my nails for years but after 3 attempts managed to stop that. I've read some people saying that it may be related to traumatic events in childhood, but I honestly had a wonderful childhood. I don't know why I do it. I do really enjoy the taste of mucus and blood. It is comforting to know that I'm not the only one out there. It feels so strange to say this. Thank you for this website and for everyone's support.
April 04, 2010

In reply to by kangamaru

yes, compulsions come in all guises, shapes and forms. the thing is, this is a place to be able to come to find that others have similar and different compulsions and all are seeking ways and means to rid themselves of them. there's a lot of information in the menus and topics posted here and elsewhere on the net about the tactics and approaches to approaching the task if you are serious about it. it isn't an easy process, but with determination and commitment, it is possible. read, read, read, and you will see. all the best to you !!
January 15, 2010
Rachel - I am so delighted that you had the courage to come out and admit all this... I have had almost all the same issues, and I feel like the worst part is that I have the urge to eat whatever I get. It's interesting though... I think the thing that I have been most ashamed of is picking and eating mucus. I just ... can't stop, and it's horrible. I hate having to have "that discussion" where I tell the guy I'm dating that yeah, well, I pick my nose... and I eat it, too... luckily guys aren't as grossed out by it as I think girls might be, but who knows, I have a feeling more girls do it than guys. But yeah. I remember I wanted to quit picking AND eating, so I made that my new years resolution for 1998 - hah. The interesting thing was at first I realized "ok, I can't stop picking, there are some things that a tissue just won't help with, so I'll have to pick my nose, but I must not eat!!!" and I actually stopped eating for a while... but the thing was I did it in bed so much and I just wiped the boogers/snot on the side of the bookshelf next to me because I didn't have a tissue at hand, and it just made such a huge mess that I went back, figuring "ok, well, whether or not I eat my mucus I just have to do it in private. If i eat it there won't be any evidence leftover, so it's okay." and I haven't tried to quit since. Anyway, I have the same stuff - eating everything. Usually I regret putting my finger in my mouth when it's got earwax, because it tastes so bad, but I still do it compulsively sometimes. But I'm the same with the panties... Do you ever eat your menstrual fluid? Once I did because I went to the bathroom and had gotten my period unexpectedly, so I brought the panties up to my mouth and sucked out some of the blood that had stained them, and my god, ... just, i want to say "what a high". I think part of why I do it (as well with reg. vaginal discharge) is because I just feel like it's so dirty and wrong. But yeah, I think boogers taste delicious, i love them when they're harder - and I love to eat my scabs (then the blood that comes out), whiteheads/blackheads from zits, pus, anything. So yeah. You're not alone. :)
January 15, 2010

In reply to by sofamouse

Oh, one more question I had for you... Do you pick your nose/scabs/whatever specifically because you want to get something out, to eat? I always feel like it's not "successful" unless I have a "product", evidence of some kind, and I will keep on picking until I can get something, anything. I just feel like... such relief at the sight of a lump of mucus on my finger, a blackhead finally emerging from a pore, a thin flake of scab.... it's like you catch your prey, then you eat it.
January 20, 2010
Thanks for all the supportive comments everyone. I am able to control my picking and eating easily when I am around people, but as soon as Im alone, Ill pick my nose, zit, fingers whatever to get something to eat. I never eat anything bloody on my panties, just the discharge when it dries. I also dont suck blood of a wound. I prefer to wait for it to clot and then eat the yellow stuff once its hardened. Im very proud of myself lately, I have stopped biting my nails. (I do this on and off every few months) AND, I have allowed my skin on my fingers to heal. No scabs or anything. Since there is nothing to pick, I am not inclined to.
April 27, 2010
Hi, I am so glad to come across you guys, i thought i was nutso! I am a compulsive picker. I pick and squeeze pimples and then eat the product, and of course that produces a scab which I also pick and eat. I have had sores that lasted years because i couldnt stop picking. I also bit my nails all my life until 9 years ago while i was pregnant with my baby girl. I stopped picking completely then, nothing at all, no picking or eating or biting my nails. The best i can figure is that i was blissfully happy at the time and i was quote possibly the happiest I have ever been. I didnt try to stop, it just stopped on its own and i didnt even notice i had stopped til my hubby commented on my long nails. I never started the nail biting again, but a few yrs later when i was diagnosed with MS i began picking again and then started tearing and eating my cuticles. I have had them really bloody and gross looking but figured out i could pour peroxide on them and in a few hours they would scab givin me more to eat. My thing when picking cuticles is that im trying to tear the extra skin and make them look better, but they always look worse. The thing i think when eating the stuff that i do is that if i put it back in it will help healing, so why waste it. I have found something that has made a huge difference in the cuticle biting if someone would like to try, acrylic nails! I never tear or pick when i have them.
June 20, 2010
i also completely stopped picking when i was pregnant i didnt even try or notice that i had stopped i just didnt pick why do you think that is?
pretty picker
June 25, 2010
It's one thing to pick at a scab or pimple, but to eat your vaginal fluid? I'm sorry, but something IS wrong with you. You really, really, really need to get some help. I may be wrong, but I don't think it's normal either to have breast discharge.
June 26, 2010
i dont think it you should post a reply like that pretty picker, it has taken alot of courage for rachel to post her problem in the forum and the the majority of people on here would agree that comments like yours are not helpfull to anyone. im trying to find out some of people's picking problems and mine could be influenced by hormonal inbalance and ive found rachels and the other lady that replied to her story very interesting because feeling happy only when pregnant and surplus vaginal discharge amongst other symptoms could be related to a hormonal inbalance.
pretty picker
June 26, 2010

In reply to by MAD-am

I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I know it sounded a little harsh, but I really do believe that something is not right if you are doing that (eating your vaginal fluids). I don't know how else to word it to sound nicer, but I honestly didn't mean to sound rude or careless.
June 28, 2010
Oh my goodness.. I knew there were thousands of other pickers in the world, but I had no idea there were other "pickers and eaters." This is such a relief! I do all that you all talked about. The harder and crustier things are, the better. I TOTALLY related to the post that said you have to get something out, a product, to feel fulfilled. I laughed out loud when I read the part about finding prey.. and then eating it! I totally understand. Because at that moment, when I'm in a picking frenzy, getting something out of my face/body becomes my goal in life. Nothing else matters. I do this now because I'm single and can--my secret remains secret--but I'm just worried I will carry this behavior into marriage. Well, that is if I even find a guy who doesn't mind my crazy, scarred-up face. Ehh!
June 29, 2010
I have been a compulsive skin picker for about 11 years. I always thought I was the only one that was eating the things I picked! It is so hard for me to type this, but it is also such a relief to know that I am not the only one. A lot of the time I am doing the picking, the only thing on my mind is to get something to put it in my mouth. I used to think that I was just obsessed with getting the scab off, because I hate the feeling of scabs, pimples, etc. and I just want the surface to be smooth (even though in my head I know I made it 10x worse) But now I am realizing that it is more than just that. If my nails aren't long enough I will use a fingernail clippers or a tweezers to get to it. I am so embarrassed and not many people know about my problem. I have been to a dermatologist trying to reduce my break outs, but I find myself making something out of nothing. I have been to a psychologist for behavioral cognitive therapy and because of lack of funds I had to stop going. I am so frustrated with myself. I haven't worn shorts or a swimsuit in years because of the scars I have on my legs and now the scars on my hands and arms and face are getting worse everyday. I want to stop this so bad, but don't know how! I am constantly looking for advice and help with this. I am on medication for OCD thinking that is what I have and why I do this, it seems to not be helping. I have been "experimenting" with medicine for years and haven't found anything to help. Anyone out there who has been a compulsive skin picker and has eaten things from their picking and has recovered from this, please give me some advice. Anyone actually, I am going crazy trying to stop this.
June 30, 2010

In reply to by aknockel

I pick at the occasional blackheads/acne my fiance gets. He lets me do it, actually he says he likes it. I remember when I was little my mom would pick at my grandpa's skin on his back because he had a fair deal of blackheads on it. Edit: I should say that I do not have any desire to eat the "product" I extract from my fiance's acne/blackheads. I just like the feeling of getting the stuff out of his pores.
Belle and the Beast
July 01, 2010

In reply to by shameonme

I've never eaten stuff I've picked before but I love to get blackheads out of my brothers face, neck and back. He hates it when I do though because my nails hurt. I go so far as bribing him just so he'll let me pick him. I really bothers me if I see he has blackheads and he wont let me get them out!!!
June 30, 2011

In reply to by aknockel

The most frustrating thing I do, other than destroying my own face (obviously), is that I find myself constantly wanting to pick OTHER people's skin. If I see and scab or a blemish on someone else (my boyfrend's blackheads are the worst for me) I just obsess over it until I can get my hands on them. I can't even look my boyfriend in the face without analyzing his every bump and blemish and I hate it because I think he's so perfect and handsome I can't stand that the litltle things jump off his face at me and scream to be squeezed out. He'll eventually give in most of the time and let me get them but I can't stop at just one. I end up making his face all red and bumpy because of MY issue. Ugh I hate this. He really encourages me to stop but he doesn't understand how hard it is...
June 30, 2010
Rachel, I cannot tell you how happy I am to read your post. I came across this entire site accidentally and while browsing the forums and reading the stories from people here I think I am experiencing the problems closest to yours. I do everything you listed except for the nipple discharge (because I don't get any, I'm sure if I had any I'd eat that too). I am almost 25, I do not remember when my habit started but I've been doing these things as long as I can remember myself. I will consume almost any type of discharge/cellular waste from my body but am grossed out by the same stuff off other people's bodies. I occasionally pick at pimples on my face, sometimes shoulders (I get them but not much) and very rarely other parts of my body: chest, legs, arms. I eat hardened skin from different skin bumps I can scratch off, I can eat blackhead residue and acne puss (thankfully I do not get that sort of acne with puss very often any more). The part that has caused me the greatest deal of shame is the vaginal discharge. I pick it off my underwear, sometimes even little bits off short hairs around the area. I know this has to be unsanitary and I feel terrible after doing it. But when I'm at home in the bathroom I am drawn to do this. Often I have an urge to scrub myself really hard in the shower to try to get off every little bit of dead skin tissue and every bit of mucous off my body so I cannot eat them later. I often feel I get an abnormal amount of dead skin sloughing off or discharges, but objectively speaking I think I am about average in this. Noone in my life knows about this. I look like a girl next door, my weight is average for my height, I do not have visible scars, my breath smells normal, I lead a regular life, regular social/sexual life and am terrified at the thought of coming out with this issue to anyone I know, including my fiance or parents. I feel like this is so shameful that even family would not be able to be around me if they knew I do these things. I do all of my picking alone in the bathroom or in my bedroom or when I am 100% sure noone can see me. The only self destructive part of this behavior is the acne/blackhead picking and also irritating my scalp when I pick at it, but the rest of it is just plain disgusting. I am not on any medication, I have never been diagnosed with any mental conditions but that may be partly because I never felt the courage to seek help at times of need (especially college time). I have no idea where to even start with this issue, it has caused me a great deal of self loathing. Right now I am overcome with gratefulness for this resource and do not feel so alone. Good luck to everyone out there struggling with these feelings.

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