Plucking your nose hairs: Here's why you should not be doing it

Though pulling nose hairs might be in the standard grooming regime of many people, it can lead to a host of serious medical conditions.

Plucking your nose hairs: Here's what you should know about doing it
© Jacob Wackerhausen
Plucking your nose hairs: Here's what you should know about doing it

Whether it is a stray grey hair, or a strand of hair protruding unseemly from your nostrils, the urge to pull them out immediately is quite universal. But seems like just as you should never pull out a grey hair, plucking your nose hairs too could come with some surprisingly serious consequences.

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Considering medical advice on the matter, seems like tweezers for your nose hairs should be one of the bathroom products you should toss out if you don't want an infection.

As per Healthline, removing nose hairs does not come with any known health benefits, but on the contrary, pulling them out could cause certain medical issues.

Nose hairs is important for the body's immune system

Nose hairs is an important aspect of the human body's defence system. Cleveland Clinic explains that nose hairs function as the body's natural air filter system. Dr. Benninger explains that they trap dust, pollen or other foreign particles and stop them from entering our lungs. He says,

As you breathe through your nostrils, the hair in your nose blocks and collects dust, pollen and other particles that could make their way to your lungs.

Removing your nose hairs can thus lead to increased risk of allergies and asthma, as per some studies.

Removing nose hairs actually does not come with any known health benefits Elisa Guarneros

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Plucking nose hairs can cause a host of medical issues

As per Healthline, if you absolutely must remove your nose hairs, it might be advisable to trim them, rather than pulling or plucking them out. Plucking nose hairs can result in the following issues that range from mildly uncomfortable to very serious complications.

Ingrown hair

Ingrown hair happens when a hair has been pulled out, and it regrows in the same spot, but back into the skin. Theinability of the hair to emerge from the follicle leads to ingrown hair appearing as raised, itchy bumps on the skin.

Ingrown hair occurs commonly in areas such as the face, armpits, or pubic areas, where hair is frequently removed. They can be itchy, tender and painful, although they are rarely serious enough to warrant a doctor's visit.

These usually heal by themselves, though if they become very painful, or lead you to feel hot, feverish and unwell, you should visit a doctor immediately.

Nasal vestibulitis

The 'nasal vestibule' is the part of your nose just inside your nose opening or nostril, which is usually lined with hair. Plucking your nose hairs could result in this part of the nose being infected with 'nasal vestibulitis.' The bacteria Staphylococcus is a common cause of such infections.

Symptoms include pimples or sores inside nostrils, severe pain in your nose, swelling and discolouration, itching or bleeding just inside or around your nose or yellow crusting or scabbing around the septum.

As per Cleveland Clinic, while this condition is easily treatable with over-the-counter antibiotics, in rare cases, it can result in boils, called nasal furunculosis, which could have serious health consequences.

Nasal furunculosis

Nasal furunculosis is an infection of hair follicle in the nose. With the formation of the boil in the nostril, there is a possibility of the bacteria travelling to the brain through the veins, leading to a life-threatening condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis, a kind of brain infection.

It can also cause Cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection affecting both your skin and the tissues beneath.

Acute bacterial meningitis is also possible in some cases, where the tissues covering brain and spinal cord become inflamed.

Considering the risks of plucking nose hairs, and the benefits of keeping them intact, it is advisable to stay away from the tweezers!

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Sources used:

Cleveland Clinic: 'Why Nose Hairs Grow So Long'

Cleveland Clinic: ' Nasal Vestibulitis'

Healthline: 'Is It Dangerous to Pull Out or Pluck Your Nose Hair?'

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