What Is the "Danger Triangle of the Face"?

When you think of things shaped like a triangle, what do you think of? You may imagine tortilla chips, yield signs, and protractors, but it’s likely you don’t associate a triangle with your face. The section of your face from the bridge of your nose to the corners of your mouth is known as the “danger triangle of the face,” and it’s the one place where you should never pop a pimple. That’s because it could lead to an infection in your brain. Think of this small segment of your face as a direct line to your brain. That’s thanks to your cavernous sinus, a network of large veins located behind your eye sockets. Through this sinus, blood drains from your brain. An infection in the danger triangle has a small but not impossible chance of traveling from your face right to your brain, without much distance to cover between them. According to dermatologist Alok Vij of the Cleveland Clinic, whenever there’s a violation of the skin and interaction with bacteria, there’s always a possibility for infection. In rare cases, an infection of the face can lead to septic sinus thrombosis — a blot clot in your cavernous sinus. That can cause a variety of potentially life-threatening health issues, including brain abscess, brain infection, damage to facial nerves, paralysis of the eye muscles, meningitis, pneumonia, stroke, and infected blood clots that can travel through your bloodstream. Dr. Vij recommends avoiding popping pimples at all, as doing so can lead to inflammation, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and scarring. Instead, he suggests using a warm compress on the area for 10-15 minutes, using a pimple patch to soak up some of the drainage, and, of course, seeing a dermatologist.