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Bambakomallophobia is the phobia of cotton wool when touched, ripped apart or sometimes just upon sight.

A phobia (from the Greek φόβος "Phobos" meaning Fear), is an irrational, intense, persistent fear or anxiety of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive desire to avoid the subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.


Many sufferers do not necessarily fear cotton wool; the sensations that cotton wool elicits can be irritating and/or painful to some, so sufferers avoid cotton wool to prevent unnecessary anxiety. Some bambakomallophobics do legitimately fear cotton wool, but this is not mandatory to be diagnosed or considered bambakomallophobic.

Some bambakomallophobia stems from other disorders and conditions, both psychological and neurological, such as fibromyalgia. Hyper-sensitive tactile sensation due to a medical condition might cause cotton wool to be painful or irritating when applied or rubbed across the skin, resulting in avoidance and anxiety due to the pain. Similarly, individuals with highly sensitive or acute auditory sensation might be able to hear the movement, stretching, and/or tearing produced by cotton wool, and is often described as "nails on a chalkboard." Some individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder or similar psychological disorders may view cotton wool as highly infectious and/or unsanitary, causing avoidance and anxiety related to contamination.

If bambakomallophobia is due to hyper-sensitivity to touch or sound, the condition might extend into other textures, materials, and sound. Fabrics and materials like velvet, felt, fleece, microfiber, wool, flannel, and other fuzzy fabrics. If it is related to sound, the sufferer might have similar responses to materials like Styrofoam, latex, corn starch, and other materials that produce high-pitched, barely audible sounds when rubbed. Some bambakomallophobics have even described the same pain and irritation while walking on tightly compact snow.


  • "The weird world of phobias". BBC. 1 March 2002. Retrieved 2008-01-29. Check date values in: |date= (help)

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