The next time you’re tempted to pop a pimple, think again. A woman on TikTok says that she got a staph infection from popping a pimple above her lip.
“I will never pop another pimple on my face, not ever,” Hope (@imlesbianflavored), a mom from Louisiana, began in her viral video that had amassed over 2.2 million views by Tuesday.
@imlesbianflavored Fun little draft from last month lol this was worse than childbirth and i now have a fun little scar from it #wlw #lesbian #staphinfection ♬ original sound – Hope
She explained that she popped a pimple above her lip before bed and woke up with a swollen face, followed by a fever—one of the symptoms of a serious bacterial infection. “I went to the doctor—it’s staph.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, which are germs commonly found on the skin or inside the nose. Studies have found that one in three people (approximately 33%) are carriers of staph bacteria in their nose.
While most staph infections are relatively minor, a staph infection can turn deadly if the bacteria enters your bloodstream, bones, lungs, joints, or heart. A staph infection can usually be treated with antibiotics.
In Hope’s caption, she said that the infection was “worse than childbirth, and I now have a fun little scar from it.”
She ended her video with a word of caution for others: “I popped a pimple and it turned into a staph infection. Don’t pop your pimples,” she said.
In the comments, Hope’s cautionary tale reminded some viewers of the “triangle of death.”
“Ugh once I learned about the death zone or whatever, I try not to pick my face,” wrote one user.
Also called the “danger triangle,” the triangle of death is a section of your face that covers the nose and upper lip. Since this area has blood vessels that connect to a cavity beneath the brain, popping a pimple here could allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause a deadly infection in the brain, or a stroke.
Another user shared their experience of getting a staph infection in the same place as Hope. “This happened to me in the 7th grade in the exact same place! I had to sleep sitting up on the couch for a week so it wouldn’t spread. Horrible,” they wrote.
Many of her followers argued that it is safe to pop your pimples, so long as you take precautions.
“Or just make sure you hands and skin are clean, but hope your good,” someone commented. “You can pop your pimple. Just don’t be nasty. Be clean,” another wrote.
If you must pop your pimple, it’s advised that you follow a few steps first, according to Greatist. This includes thoroughly washing your hands and putting a warm compress on the area for 15 minutes. You should also use a cotton swab instead of your fingers or sharp tools.
The Daily Dot reached out to Hope via TikTok comment.