The Triangle of Death -- As Plain As The Nose On Your Face

danger triangle of the face aka The Triangle of Death
danger triangle of the face aka The Triangle of Death | Source

Death by Nose Pimple -- Fact or Urban Legend?

When I told my wife recently that my high school health teacher warned us about nose pimples, she laughed. I told her that picking nose pimples could lead to an infection, and that blood vessels from the nose could carry that infection to the brain and possibly cause death. She equated my story to a warning from our five-year-old, to wit, if a puppy gets caught in the discarded plastic from a six-pack, the poor little dog could grow into the plastic and explode from the pressure.

We both knew and accepted that our next door neighbor died from a gum disease infection that had migrated to his heart, but she wasn't buying the nose pimple thing.


Physicians Seem to Agree

Physicians seem to agree that there is a greater chance of a brain infection resulting from a nose/upper-lip blemish or infection than from a blemish anywhere else on the face. This is because the veins in the upper lip and nose pass directly into areas where the brain could pick up the infection. Pushing or trying to evacuate a blemish in this area could force an infection into facial veins leading to the brain.

Treatment of Blemishes in the Triangle of Death

Amidst the warnings of the triangle of death are good health tips to treat facial acne and minimize infections in the nose and upper lip. Some of the health tips are:

  • Refrain from touching or picking facial blemishes, especially in the area of the upper lip or nose;
  • Periodically apply various cleansing agents to disinfect and shrink blemishes
  • Seek medical treatment if a facial blemish worsens despite cleansing applications

Other measures include recommendations on the use of rotary nose hair clippers and the need to refrain from facial piercings.


Comments 17 comments

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Very interesting! I had never heard that one. I used to get boils on my nose. Even at my age, I still get pimples, and on my nose too. I better start leaving them alone.


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

well there are some things I've looked into that have never panned out,, like warts on the palm of my hands (handling toads, etc)


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

I'd always heard this. I've got a small blemish above my lip right now. I think I'll leave it alone.

Been suffering from acne for over 40 years, and I suspect I've done some less than advisable things to my skin during that time.


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

I think there are very few of us who aren't in that category :)


yogi verma 5 years ago

what about hair on nose


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

good point yogi,,, maybe as long as it's not infected it's ok?


Anishpat profile image

Anishpat 5 years ago from San Francisco + Mumbai

wow this is really scary. I get nose pimples often and have been diagnosed with rosacea. Thanks for sharing.


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

you're welcome Arishpat... it's perhaps a small risk, but why take ANY risk,, and thanks for your comment


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Hi lundmusik ... I get cold sores occasionally ... they are a real pain, but I guess I shall leave them alone after this hub and just go about looking like a plate-lipped woman.

Many thanks for the info ...


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

ur welcome


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Interesting points here Lundmusik. We are constantly learning new things.

My daughter had a "spider nevus" on the tip of her nose as a child and the doctors took it very seriously indeed and cauterised it. Apparently if these things start to bleed its very difficult to stop them and during sleep you could actually bleed out (dead)

Listening to your story it doesn't surprise me at all. Amazing well done again. Voted up UI


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

thanks moloeter I appreciate it!!


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

thanks molometer I appreciate it!!


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

thanks molometer I appreciate it!!


dcd 4 years ago

wow helpful article.. A Girl from Mizoram (India) died few weeks ago, because she was trying to take out pimples from her nose. her nose got swollen when she squeeze the pimples. They took her to hospital but sad to say she died before the doctor could help..i guess this might be related to the article....


Grace 2 years ago

This is very true. Whilst on holiday I developed a pimple in my nose. Not realising the danger I picked it.. The spot drained and then within afew hours my nose became very sore and swollen. I had a headache and went to bed. I woke up the next morning to half my face and lips badly swollen and in a lot of pain. Straight to emergency dept at the hospital and that's where I found out I had a very serious condition which needed urgent intravenous antibiotics and hospital for 5 days. Seems the humble pimple can cause bacterial meningitis and can kill you. I learned my lesson... I have since kept an antibiotic script for kefflex with me and would take it if my nose became swollen again. Only happened 1 more time but I started the antibiotic quickly and it was fine.


lundmusik profile image

lundmusik 2 years ago from Tucson AZ Author

glad you caught it in time

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