Could Popping a Pimple Leave You Blind?

When it comes to breakouts and blemishes, everyone you ask will tell you no matter what you do, not to pop it—keep your hands off. Not only can you make the pimple worse, but you can also potentially break the skin, take longer to heal and spread the infection. Plus, it can cause scarring.

But, a new theory puts it out there that popping a zit can actually do even more damage than what we know. Dermatologists overseas have identified an area of the face, known as the “Danger Triangle,” which consists of the area across the eyes, bridge of the nose, upper lip and corners of the mouth.

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Here’s where the problem lies. In the Triangle lives a host of blood vessels that are connected to your brain. Squeezing the pimple too hard or just wrong can, potentially, run the risk of triggering the Triangle. If that happens, serious problems can arise—think permanent paralysis, vision loss and even death.

According to San Francisco dermatologist Vic Narurkar, MD, the so-called Triangle contains critical blood vessels that can potentially be affected when fillers and injectables are used. “If injected and occluded, there can be vascular compromise with the potential for skin necrosis and rarely blindness,” he says. “The risk of injecting acne cysts with cortisone is exceedingly rare because the injections are more superficial and are made in the active cyst with small needles. It’s usually more of a concern with dermal fillers that are injected intravascularly in high-risk regions.”

New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD, adds that, "A careful and knowledgeable practitioner should be able to avoid catastrophic complications. When addressing acne, treatment options are typically superficial to all major vessels and should pose limited risk to the well-trained, careful practitioner or the average patient “popping" a pimple, though it is never advised to pop anything with a lot of pressure. A light pressure on either side of the pimple, pushing away from the center is the best method and should not cause harm."

While it’s always best to leave any type of extraction to a professional, we think it’s safe to say that popping a pimple isn’t going to leave you for dead. As always, proceed with caution when it comes to your skin.

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