Brooke Hyland is best known for being an original cast member on Lifetime's hit reality show, Dance Moms. She also recently went viral for asking TikTok for advice after squeezing a face pimple that caused a painful infection to spread into her eye.
In a now viral video seen by over 3.5 million people, Brooke explained that she woke up with a painful pimple above her left eye. "I've had this massive pimple for, like, two days, and it's extremely hard and not poppable...and I swear the inflammation around it has spread into my eye. So, if you have any medical experience, am I okay to just put on some ice and call it a day?" Brooke asked.
TikTok users rushed to the comments warning that the pimple was located in the "triangle of death." According to the Cleveland Clinic, the "triangle of death" is an area from the bridge of your nose to the corners of your mouth that you should never touch if you have a pimple, as it can lead to serious health issues if infected. One user wrote: "No, you need to go to the emergency room. I had this and almost died!"
Another user shared their experience: "This happened to me, and it ended up spreading to behind both of my eyes, and they were very swollen. I had to stay overnight in the hospital."
Another user wrote: "Yes, so this happened to a family member of mine. He had to go get antibiotics because the infection/swelling is in that danger area (close to the brain)."
In a follow-up video that now has over 11 million views, Brooke shared that after doing some research of her own, she decided to seek medical attention for her eye. "I didn't know that the triangle of death existed...hopefully you can avoid ever having something like this happen to you, or worse... I'm going to the hospital today because between that and your TikTok comments, you guys are scaring the absolute shit out of me."
To learn more about the "triangle of death," BuzzFeed reached out to Dr. Kimberly Shao, a dermatologist at Sora Dermatology in Colorado. According to Dr. Shao, the reason that popping pimples in the "triangle of death" can be a health risk is because "blood vessels of the face communicate with blood vessels of the brain through the cavernous sinus."
Well, according to Dr. Shao, "Popping a pimple can introduce bacteria from your fingers or nails into the broken skin, potentially causing infection. In theory, this infection could then travel to the cavernous sinus and ultimately the brain."
"A cavernous sinus thrombosis is a blood clot that can form in the blood vessels of the cavernous sinus that can lead to symptoms ranging from severe headaches and eye swelling, to neurological problems, including a brain abscess, infection, and stroke," Dr. Shao told BuzzFeed.
"With the advancement of antibiotics and blood thinners, the risk of a cavernous sinus thrombosis leading to death is very low; however, it's still important to exercise caution," Dr. Shao said.
Symptoms such as "increasing redness and swelling, ongoing or increasing purulent drainage, severe pain, fever, headache, change in vision, or neurological problems (altered mental status, difficulty moving eyes, etc.)" should be taken seriously, and you should see a doctor immediately, according to Dr. Shao.
Overall, Dr. Shao recommends being safe and not touching any pimples on your face or in other sensitive areas. "There are some additional sensitive areas that are more prone to infection or have delicate skin, including around the eyes, in the nostrils, within the ear canal, the genital area, the underarms and in between the butt cheeks."
In a follow-up video, Brooke explained the medical treatment she got to address her eye. "I got on a virtual appointment with my doctor, and she basically was like, 'I don't know if it's a pimple or what it is, but basically, the bacteria got in your eye, and I'm giving you an antibiotic.' So, I've been on an antibiotic for the past couple days, and I'm finally doing better; it's just a little bruised."
"I can't decide what's worse, the triangle of death because I love to pick my face, or the triangle that I was ranked on every Tuesday," Brooke jokingly said, in reference to the pyramid on Dance Moms.
Well, I don't know about you, but I officially have a new fear unlocked. Have you had any scary experiences with the "triangle of death?" Let us know in the comments below.