Popping A Pimple In The ‘Triangle Of Death’ Could Lead To A Serious Infection

People have been warned to never pop a zit in the 'triangle of death', no matter how tempting it is.
Credit: @dermdoctor/TikTok & Alamy

People have been warned to never pop a zit in the ‘triangle of death’, no matter how tempting it is.

It may be hard to resist popping a pesky pimple but a number of dermatologists have come forward to warn you about potentially causing a serious infection if you choose to pop your zits in one specific area.

But what is exactly the ‘triangle of death’ and why is it so dangerous?

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The ‘triangle of death’ refers to the region of skin spanning from the centre of your eyebrows, encompassing your nose, and extending down to your upper lip.

Dr Corey L. Hartman urges you to form a triangle with your hands by placing the tips of your index fingers on the middle of your eyebrows and the bottom corners aligned with the corners of your mouth.

Hartman tells Insider that people should be careful when treating acne in this area because DIY extractions can lead to serious infections and even death.

One doctor has taken to TikTok to educate his followers on the dangers of the ‘triangle of death’. Credit: @dermdoctor/TikTok

“Theoretically, it can lead to meningitis and other infections of the central nervous system since there is proximity to the brain,” Hartman says.

Over the years, dermatologists have spoken out and generally discouraged the practice of popping pimples at home due to the potential for scarring and exacerbating acne.

However, the heightened risk associated with squeezing zits within the ‘triangle of danger’ comes much higher.

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In an interview with Health, Dr Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai in New York, says: “The area of the face connecting the nose to the corners of the mouth is thought to be a particularly dangerous area of the face because of their close connection to the brain.”

The region below the mentioned triangle contains significant sinuses that are actually connected to the brain.

According to Dr Hartman, if a pimple above these sinuses is popped, it can trigger a sequence of infections that may potentially spread to the brain.

One doctor has even taken to TikTok to educate his followers on the dangerous pimple-popping technique, and it’s led many people to ask how to safely get rid of them.

@dermdoctor Danger danger @Tyara 🤪 #dermdoctor #pimplepopping ♬ original sound – DermDoctor | Dr. Shah

One user questions: “If not pop them what should people do?”

While a second user adds: “How do you treat pimples in this area? We need a video on this.”

A third user comments: ‘What’s the best way to get rid of them or treat them?’

If you’re in desperate need to pop your pesky pimple, Hartman recommends using preventative measures, like a skincare routine that includes acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, hydroxy acids, and retinoids.

Alternatively, you can seek professional advice from a doctor or dermatologist.

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Written by Ryan Wilks

Ryan is a former content editor at IGV who specialises in celebrity and entertainment news. He has a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production from the University of Gloucestershire. He previously worked as a social media editor for Reach PLC’s national brands including Daily Star, Daily Express, OK! and The Mirror.