The “Danger Triangle” or “Triangle of Death” yeah! It sure sounds spooky or even horrific but it is REAL!
The triangle of death is a colloquial term for an area of the face that points exactly at the bridge of your nose, just in between your eyes and slants to the corners of your mouth and upper lip.
Directly beneath the nose and mouth are four major cranial nerves that control functions in and around the face. If the skin inside this triangle is broken, bacteria can enter your body this can quickly cause an infection, and because of the proximity to critical portions of your brain, the infection can lead to serious complications quickly.
Depending on which of these nerves is infected, you can develop partial or permanent paralysis on your face, this includes the eyes lids and mouth, and motor functions can be impaired, too. Finally, vision loss can also occur or even death.
Infection in this area can often spread from manipulation, Such as:
The guilty pleasure that one feels while popping a pimple is relatable to many and its most likely that you’ve been warned to not squeeze that pimple on your face! As it can cause severe consequences compared to the momentary pleasure it gives.
Popping pimples is an unhygenic urge that must be resisted because not only does it cause serious damage such as scarring, hyperpigmentation or dark marks, but if exposed to infection it could cause serious consequences or death in worst cases. Pimples in this area of the face most especially should be left untouched.
Plucking Nose hairs
As unsightly or awkward as they may be, your nose hairs play an important role in keeping you healthy. And there’s a very good reason why you shouldn’t pluck them out. Dr. Erich Voigt, an otolaryngologist at New York University describes what’s going on in your nose with the hairs that filter out all the stuff you breath in every day.
To start, there are two kinds of nose hairs that are key here: the ones you can see and want to pluck, called the vibrissae, and the microscopic cilia, which are responsible for filtering mucus and moving it to the back of the nose, where it can go into the stomach.
The vibrissae, which hang out near the front, are responsible for keeping some of the larger particles from making it that far.
If you pluck those hairs or trim it too short, germs and particles near the follicles can get inside and cause an infection.
Picking the Nose
Apart from being highly unhygienic, nose picking causes more harm than good. It is worse especially if the hands are unclean or the fingernails are sharp which can break the skin barrier thereby making room for bacteria to have easy access into the nerves at the danger triangle which in turn leads to devastating consequences and even potential life risk.
A staph infection, furunculosis [boils], cellulitis (an infection in the skin) or infections in the hair follicles are some of the most common types of infection on this area of the body.
So if those germs make it all the way back there, it could lead to conditions like;
- Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis – This condition can lead to blood clots, which increase the chances of stroke and death.
- Meningitis – In which the protective membranes on the spinal cord and brain become inflamed.
- Brain Abscess – This is another type of inflammation and swelling that happens in the brain, related to an infection.
These types of infections are rare, but they can cause serious trouble for people with weakened immune systems. And, depending on the infection type (bacterial meningitis, for example), the infections can be extreme and in some cases deadly.
Some basic preventive hygiene practices:
- Don’t try to pop pimples on your face, especially if they’re in the danger triangle.
- Avoid picking the nose, plucking nose hairs.
- Wash makeup brushes regularly, and avoid hands touching the face. Especially on broken skin around the danger triangle.
- Use a tissue to clean your nose, and clean any cuts or sores with a first-aid astringent like hydrogen peroxide.
- Lastly, if the fear of deadly infection isn’t enough to persuade you to stop the pop, keep in mind the lasting physical damage pimple popping can cause.
If you start to notice an infection, seek treatment from your doctor right away because, like most skin infections, if a person sees a swollen patch of skin that has pus, it is likely that the person has an infection.
However, a cellulitis or staph infection is treated with antibiotics, but it has to be caught early because of the risk of serious problems. That’s why it’s important to seek out medical attention if you notice a deep bump or cyst under the skin in this area of the face.