Girl suffers severe brain infection after popping a pimple on her nose
7th September 2020

Teenage girl, 19, suffers severe brain infection after popping a pimple on the tip of her nose with her hands

  • The young Chinese woman squeezed a red spot on her nasal tip with her hands
  • She felt a pain under the skin around her right eye soon after popping the pimple
  • The teenage girl was rushed to hospital after suffering a fever and a swollen eye 
  • Her condition was caused by picking at the spot in the facial ‘Triangle of Death’

A teenage girl in China has suffered a severe infection inside her brain after she popped a pimple on her nose with her hands.

The 19-year-old, known by her surname Yang, felt a persistent pain under the skin around her right eye soon after she squeezed the red spot on the tip of her nose.

She was rushed to a hospital in eastern Chinese province Zhejiang a few days later when she developed a fever while her right eye became extremely swollen, reported local media. 

A teenage girl in China has suffered a severe infection inside her brain after she popped a pimple on her nose with her hands. The file picture shows a woman applying acne cream

The incident was brought to light when Ms Yang’s family recently took her to seek medical attention at the Second Hospital of Ningbo in the city of Ninghai.

The young woman was diagnosed with cavernous sinus thrombosis, a blood clot in the cavernous sinuses, which are hollow spaces located under the brain, behind each eye socket.

A blood clot can develop when an infection spreads to the cavernous sinuses from the nose, sinuses, ears, or teeth.

The condition can be life-threatening even with prompt treatment. As many as one in three people with the condition may die, according to NHS.

Doctors said that Ms Yang’s infection developed after she popped the pimple on her nasal tip, part of an area known as the ‘Triangle of Death’.  

Also named as the Danger Triangle, the ‘Triangle of Death’ stretches from the tip of the nose to a point on either side of the lips, roughly where dimples usually appear. 

Medical experts warn that picking at skin inside this danger zone can have serious implications for your overall health.   

Doctors said that Ms Yang’s (not pictured) infection developed after she popped the pimple on her nasal tip, part of an area known as the ‘Triangle of Death’. The file picture shows an Asian woman standing in front of a mirror as she tried to squeeze the pimples on her face

The teenage girl was in a critical condition when she was brought to the hospital, Dr Han Kun, deputy director of the department of neurology, told Ningbo Evening News.

She had a continuous fever of 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) while showing signs of developing meningitis, the medic said. ‘Her life could be in danger if the condition worsens.’

After receiving a series of antibiotics treatment, Ms Yang is said to have been in stable condition while recovering at the Ningbo hospital. 

Also named as the Danger Triangle, the facial ‘Triangle of Death’ stretches from the tip of the nose to a point on either side of the lips, roughly where dimples usually appear

According to Jeremy Brauer, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Centre, the veins running behind our eye sockets lead back to the ‘cavernous sinus’ which is located in the brain.

He told Men’s Health that when we pick or pop pimples, dirt from our hands and airborne bacteria can infect the open wound, triggering serious infection.

The veins behind our eyes form clots to contain infections, which in turn puts pressure on the brain leading to partial or full paralysis and, in some cases, even death.

Left untreated, an infection of the sinus cavity can also lead to a total loss of vision, brain abscesses and meningitis.

Meanwhile Dr Sandra Lee, aka Dr Pimple Popper, explained that in worst-case scenarios, if inflammation from a spot spreads to the inner part of the brain, there is potential for blindness and massive stroke. 

But she cautioned that the chances of this happening are ‘slim to none’ when speaking to The Doctors. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take every possible precaution when dealing with spots. 

Dr Lee recommends dabbing hazel onto stubborn spots in the Danger Triangle to disinfect the area and reduce swelling.

But while picking at skin inside the triangle can certainly lead to grave infections, it is far more likely you’ll experience significant facial scarring as infections must be left to develop in severity before they become life-threatening.

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