Trypophobia: Fear of Holes and Regular Patterns

The term trypophobia was coined in 2005 by Internet users who merged the Greek words “ tripo ” and “ phobia ”…. “Hole and fear”, and this fear was incorporated into the list of rare and strange phobias  but, since then, many of those who suffer from it have manifested themselves openly.

It sounds ridiculous, but I can’t even look at the small holes, it makes me anxious.

Who knows what is in there? “

What is trypophobia and what are the symptoms?

While it has not yet been officially defined as a phobia, a Psychological study has estimated that trypophobia is present in 16% of people.

The academic article explains that the condition causes an intense reaction, although “the stimuli are usually groups of holes of any variety, which are almost always innocuous and apparently do not pose any threat.”

The severity of the fear varies from case to case.

While some discover that the phobia of holes, gaps, circles, small holes, points, etc … make them feel nervous, others have recognized that the visualization of images with these patterns causes them pictures of extreme anxiety, although the main symptom.

  • Feelings of revulsion
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Goosebumps
  • Fast breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Itch
  • Vomiting
  • Panic attacks
  • Temblor
  • Emotional distress

Trypophobia can lead to symptoms related to fear, disgust, or both, although research suggests that people report feeling more disgust rather than fear.

What is the cause of trypophobia?

Some believe that this fear is innate, but others claim that the condition only appears as a result of education and personal experiences.

Although the research on this condition is still “in its infancy”, some experts believe that it is the human DNA that feels repelled by the repeated patterns , that could be the meaning of this disorder .

Wilkins and Cole presented their theory in a study from 2013.

They argued that it is instinctive to associate shapes with danger, since the brain naturally associates them with disease or injury.

Professor Matthews has advanced another theory, stating that people are likely to be afraid of images due to preparation and conditioning.

Triggers and Common Triggers

Research on trypophobia is still relatively rare, but some of the triggers that have been observed include:

  • Honeycombs
  • Strawberries
  • Lotus seed pods
  • Grenades
  • Condensation
  • Bubbles
  • Holes or bumps in the meat
  • Insect eyes
  • Coral
  • Holes in diseased or decaying meat
  • Bubble wrap
  • Fruit seeds
  • Sea sponges

Man-made patterns, as well as animals that have stained or stamped coats, can also cause a phobic reaction.

Treatment and Healing of this fear

Psychological ways can be adopted to bring down fear in the person, reassuring the person with some image that does not make the person fear and then showing another image of clustered patterns.

  • In this way, the brain can be conditioned to reduce the obsession of the person. This is known as exposure therapy .
  • You can also adopt Morita therapy , which teaches you to go with the flow; Sedatives may be prescribed to control rashes that may appear due to fear.

You must have constant attention, and try not to medicate to reach a state of calm.

Ways to deal with the problem

Although counseling is recommended to cope with trypophobia, self-care (with counseling), hypnosis, and neurolinguistic program therapy ( NLP ) is also possible.

CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ), counseling, and hypnosis have been used as methods of coping with debilitating phobia… As with other phobias, curing this irrational fear is often tricky.

This therapy is used to help patients modify their negative attitude and behavior patterns.

This helps them differentiate imagination from reality.

Lifestyle changes for the patient

Going with the flow ‘is the best way to handle the fear of holes. Facing the fear of overcoming it is, therefore, the most appropriate way to treat the phobia.

Are There Home Remedies?

Infections and holes in the skin such as acne or holes in the skin (on the face, hands and the rest of the body) can be avoided by eating a healthy diet and it is a good home remedy for this fear. Take care of your body to avoid any type of infectious growth or “hole” in the dermis, (maintain a healthy diet).

Recovery period

The prognosis and prognosis is good; Usually 3 to 8 months may be clinically necessary to treat the patient with psychological care.

The time you need depends on the treatment you have chosen. The recovery period / healing time will be faster if you get help in the early stage of this disorder.

Some very strong images of hands with holes, skin with holes, …


Taking care of fear before it manifests itself is the best way to prevent tripofovia from affecting us, exercising daily, and working with objects that raise this problem to a small extent, so that you can gradually overcome it.

To think that it is relatively difficult for objects or insects to cause “pits” on the skin, and that skin diseases have effective treatments in our current science.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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