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Fatal face zones: Did popping a pimple really kill a teen?

It's a story that shook us to our core, and we bet it'll do the same for you. Before you dismiss this as just another skincare cautionary tale, stick around. This isn't your typical "don't pop that pimple" advice.

Source: Pexels

Have you ever stood in front of the mirror, spotted a pesky pimple, and felt the irresistible urge to pop it? We've all been there, right? But what if we told you that a simple act, something many of us do without a second thought, turned into a life-altering event for a young student named Dâmilly Beatriz da Graça? 

It's a story that shook us to our core, and we bet it'll do the same for you. Before you dismiss this as just another skincare cautionary tale, stick around. This isn't your typical "don't pop that pimple" advice. 

This is a real, heart-wrenching story that underscores the hidden dangers lurking on our skin. Trust us; you'll want to hear this.

The tragic tale of Dâmilly Beatriz da Graça

Dâmilly Beatriz da Graça, an 18-year-old bursting with life, just starting her journey in Biomedicine at the Universidade Regional de Blumenau. The thrill of new beginnings, the hustle of college life, and the dreams of making groundbreaking discoveries in the medical field.

Now, here's where things get a bit heavy. One day, Dâmilly, like many of us, faced a common enemy - a pimple. We've all been there, haven't we? A tiny bump, a slight annoyance, but nothing more. But for Dâmilly, this wasn't just any pimple. 

According to reports from G1 Globo and Diário do Nordeste, it became the gateway for the super bacteria strains of Staphylococcus aureus. In simpler terms, it's a nasty mutated bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and can turn life-threatening.

According to the CDC, this bacteria, usually harmless for most of us, spiralled out of control in Dâmilly's system. It led to a severe infection, and the aftermath was devastating. Multiple organ failure, ICU admissions, and in a tragic turn of events, the world lost a bright young soul. All of this, linked back to that one seemingly harmless pimple.

It's gut-wrenching, isn't it? Stories like Dâmilly's serve as a stark reminder of life's unpredictability and the mysteries of our own bodies. As we delve deeper into this topic, let's not forget the essence of Dâmilly's story and the profound impact it has had on raising awareness about everyday health risks.

Dâmilly Beatriz da Graça | Source: Instagram @damybeatriz

The "Triangle of Death": A dermatological danger zone

Alright, let's shift gears a bit and talk about something that sounds straight out of a thriller movie: the "Triangle of Death." No, it's not the title of the latest blockbuster, but a real, and somewhat terrifying, term in the world of dermatology. Ever heard of it? 

So, picture the area of your face that stretches from the corners of your mouth up to the bridge of your nose. That's the infamous "Triangle of Death." Sounds dramatic, right? But there's a good reason for the ominous name. 

According to experts and sources like Health.com, popping a pimple within this zone can lead to some seriously scary complications. We're talking about infections that don't just stay on the surface but can travel deep, even reaching the brain. 

This particular area is like a highway that connects directly to the brain. So, an infection here, like from the pimple, can hitch a ride straight to the brain. The worst-case scenario? A condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis (CST). It's as menacing as it sounds—a blood clot that can block blood flow from the brain. Not something you'd ever want to risk, trust us.

Now, we’re not saying this to scare you off from looking in the mirror. But it's essential to be aware and treat our skin with the respect it deserves. After all, a little knowledge can go a long way in keeping us safe and sound.

Source: Pixabay

The science behind pimple popping

Let's geek out for a moment and dive deep into the science of pimple popping. Ever wondered what's happening beneath the surface when that pesky pimple forms? Let's break it down.

Firstly, what is a pimple? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a pimple is essentially a clogged pore. Beneath our skin, we have these tiny hair follicles, and sometimes they can get blocked up with oil and dead skin cells.

Throw in some bacteria, specifically Propionibacterium acnes, and voilà, you've got yourself a pimple. It's like a mini volcano of oil, skin, and bacteria just waiting to erupt.

Now, when we pop a pimple, we might feel like we're doing our skin a favour, but here's the scientific truth: we might be causing more harm than good.

A study from Washington University School of Medicine found that squeezing a pimple can push bacteria and debris deeper into the skin layers. This can lead to inflammation, redness, and even more breakouts. Not exactly the clear-skin dream we were aiming for, right?

And remember our chat about the "Triangle of Death"? Well, when you combine the act of popping with that high-risk area, things can get dicey. Bacteria, especially the notorious Staphylococcus aureus, can enter the bloodstream and potentially travel to the brain, as highlighted in Dâmilly's tragic story.

But here's the silver lining. If you're ever tempted to pop, and let's be honest, we've all been there, ensure you're doing it safely. Cleanse the area, use sterilised tools, and always follow up with an antiseptic. And, as always, when in doubt, consult a dermatologist. They're the real MVPs when it comes to understanding our skin.

Source: Pexels

6 preventive measures and safe skincare practices

Now that we've delved into the "what not to do" territory, let's flip the script and chat about the "what to do" side of things. Because, let's face it, we all want that radiant, pimple-free glow, and there are safer ways to achieve it than going on a pimple-popping spree.

1. Establishing a solid skincare routine

Every journey starts with a solid foundation, and skincare is no different. Begin and end your day by cleansing away the impurities, giving your skin a fresh start. Follow up with a toner to balance your skin's pH and prepare it for moisturising. 

Speaking of which, hydration is key! Moisturise diligently, and here's a golden rule: never, ever go to bed with makeup on. It's like inviting trouble to camp out on your face.

2. Sunscreen is non-negotiable

The sun might feel great, but those UV rays? Not so much. They're sneaky, causing damage even on cloudy days. So, make sunscreen a daily ritual. It not only protects against harmful rays but also prevents those dark spots that love to linger long after a pimple has healed.

3. Arm yourself with acne-fighting products

The world of skincare products is vast, but a few ingredients stand out when it comes to fighting acne. Look for treatments with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Think of them as the knights in shining armour, always ready to defend your skin against unwanted invaders.

4. Watch what you eat

Our skin often mirrors what's happening inside our bodies. Drinking plenty of water keeps it hydrated, while limiting sugary and greasy foods can prevent breakouts. And don't forget to load up on veggies; they're packed with skin-loving nutrients.

5. Seek expert advice

If you feel like you're fighting a losing battle with persistent acne, it might be time to bring in the big guns. Dermatologists are the seasoned generals of the skincare world, armed with knowledge, tools, and strategies to help you achieve clear skin.

6. Listen to your skin

Remember, skincare isn't one-size-fits-all. Everyone's skin is unique, with its quirks and preferences. Pay attention, listen to its needs, and adjust your routine accordingly.


Our skin is more than just an outer layer; it's a reflection of our health, our choices, and even our stories. Like Dâmilly's tale, which serves as a poignant reminder of the unexpected twists life can throw our way.

Now, don’t pretend that we'll all suddenly resist the urge to pop that annoying pimple. We're only human, after all. But armed with knowledge, maybe, just maybe, we'll think twice. Maybe we'll remember the "Triangle of Death," the potential dangers lurking beneath the surface, and choose a safer path.

So, as we wrap up this skincare saga, here's the parting thought: Treat your skin with kindness. Listen to it, nurture it, and most importantly, respect it. After all, it's with us through life's ups and downs, bearing witness to our joys, sorrows, and everything in between. Here's to a future filled with informed choices, radiant glows, and, of course, pimple-free days!


Friska 🐨

Read next: 5 powerful anti-aging herbs for radiant skin

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