Dr Oz, Pimples, and the Triangle of Death
From time to time Dr Oz talks about the Triangle of Death, (catchy name – huh?) This topic was was on the air again today (you can view the segment here), and predictably, esthetician message boards have been buzzing.
Here’s a brief recap:
The Triangle of Death is an area on the face which has blood vessels connecting directly to an area of the brain called the cavernous sinus. Dr Oz says that popping pimples in this area (the triangular area extending from the bridge of the nose to the outer corner of the lips) is to be avoided because of the possibility of forcing pus and bacteria into blood vessels, and thence to the brain – which, of course, would be a very bad thing!
As estheticians we know that it is possible to rupture the hair follicle when doing extractions. A worst case scenario could see a client (or an inexperienced and over-zealous esthetician) creating some very real problems. It should be safe to assume that careful professional extractions of blackheads, on well prepared skin, will not cause any issues. You’ll want to stay away from deep angry red pimples in that area though!
Of course in the Triangle of Death scenario it’s not just squeezing pimples that presents a problem. Piercings and other facial trauma also have the potential to lead to a bacterial infections of the brain. If you’ve ever had a nose piercing, your piercer has probably been very insistent on scrupulous care for the area – all for good reason!
Not surprisingly, it is this same quirk of vascular anatomy that leads to the reservations that many people have about waxing and tweezing nasal hairs.
You can read more about this issue on the Dr Oz show Dr Oz On Acne and Pimple Popping and Dr Oz – Facing Up to the Triangle of Death, and also learn more of the anatomy from Wikipedia (scroll down to the area titled Clinical Significance)