What is trypophobia? Learn about the symptoms, causes, cure and more

Have you ever had a disgusted reaction to a surface full of holes? If yes, there are chances that you have developed Tryophobia.

Many netizens complained and took to Twitter to express their tripophobia triggers provoked by Doja Cat’s red look at Paris Fashion Week.

But why wasn’t this look so kind to the eyes of trypophobes? What are the causes and symptoms of this condition and is there a cure? Find out here!


  • Trypophobia leads to feelings of disgust or fear when seeing patterns with lots of holes.
  • Some triggers for trypophobia can be sunflowers, honeycombs, sponges and fruit with seeds.
  • Trypophobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
  • It is very common and most people are not afraid of holes.
  • Exposure therapy can help control pattern repulsions.

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Trypophobia: what is it?

  • The aversion or revulsion towards objects such as honeycombs and sponges that have repetitive patterns or clusters of small holes is known as trypophobia.
  • Trypophobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
  • People suffering from trypophobia are disgusted by the pattern of holes, although they are not necessarily afraid of holes.

trypophobia: triggers

One may have an adverse reaction to objects or images with a punctured surface. The closer they are, the worse it gets.

Tripophobia triggers can include:

  • Bread and bagels with seeds.
  • Cheese with holes.
  • Fruits with small seeds like strawberry, raspberry, papaya and kiwi.
  • honeycombs,
  • sunflowers
  • lotus seed pods.
  • Insects and bees.
  • The skin of snakes, lizards, frogs and other reptiles.
  • Shoe soles.
  • sponges

Trypophobia: symptoms and causes

While experts still haven’t figured out the exact reason why some people develop trypophobia, one theory is that the brain associates clusters of holes with danger.

The human brain might associate a pattern of tiny holes with the skin of a venomous snake or the eyes of a tarantula. These holes might remind you of one of your skin conditions or rashes as well.

Additionally, there is another theory that suggests your brain uses more energy and oxygen to process empty patterns that lead to triggering feelings of distress.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) could be another reason.

Trypophobia: How Do You Get It?

Studies show that trypophobia affects more women than men.

You may be more prone to trypophobia if you have:

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Trypophobia: symptoms

Trypophobia can cause:

  • Goosebumps.
  • Choking or dry mouth.
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate.
  • An intense feeling of disgust or terror.
  • Pale skin.
  • Profuse sweating (hyperhidrosis).
  • Nausea.
  • Trembling or trembling.

Trypophobia: Diagnosis and testing

Diagnosis of trypophobia:

Trypophobia is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The reason behind this could be that the condition is usually more uncomfortable than debilitating.

As it is not recognized as a disorder, there are no established criteria for diagnosis, although a trypophobia test does exist.

Completing the online trypophobia test (which is for research purposes only) can help determine if you have this aversion.

Trypophobia Test:

  • The test displays images of one to eight seconds each.
  • Some of the images may have patterns or clusters of holes, while others may not.
  • The test will ask you to estimate how long you viewed each image.
  • It will compare its estimates for viewing trypophobic images and neutral images (those without holes)
  • At the end of the test, it will give you a ratio. If it is greater than two, it could indicate that you have trypophobia.
  • Before making any decisions, it’s very important to talk to a mental health professional like a psychologist about this.

Trypophobia: Cure

  • exposure therapy it may help if trypophobia affects your ability to engage in certain activities or enjoy life.
  • It gradually exposes you to trypophobia triggers and helps you manage your reactions.
  • psychotherapy or psychotherapy helps up to nine out of 10 people overcome specific phobic disorders.

Trypophobia: Complications

In extreme situations, trypophobia can affect your ability to work, go to school, or socialize. You can try:

  • Depression.
  • Increased stress and irritability.
  • Insomnia or sleep problems.
  • Panic attacks.

How common is trypophobia?

Trypophobia was first named in 2005 and is a relatively new disorder, with up to 17% of children and adults (about one in six people) having some degree of trypophobia.

People became more aware of trypophobia after news broke about people’s reaction to clusters of tiny camera lenses on certain smartphones.

Fan favorite TV show “American Horror Story: Cult” also featured a character who had trypophobia.

The triggering of images on the show has repulsed some viewers and raised awareness of the phobia.


Currently, trypophobia is gaining recognition as an anxiety problem, as trigger groups can be detected very easily in people’s environments, which can affect their quality of life. You shouldn’t be shy about talking to your doctor if you have symptoms of trypophobia.

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What is trypophobia? Learn about the symptoms, causes, cure and more

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