Have you ever noticed some people getting sick or acting weird on seeing aggregates of small holes, weird patterns, or small holes? Yes, it does happen. There is a specific term given to such fear or irritation named Trypophobia.

If you too face a sudden irritation on seeing holes or small insects stuck together then do not worry. It is normal.

Let us now give you the details of Trypophobia 

  • What is trypophobia?
  • Causes of trypophobia
  • Symptoms of trypophobia
  • Diagnosis or treatment of trypophobia
  • Some FAQs on trypophobia

What is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is described as a phenomenon in which an individual fear holes mainly however in some cases this phobia also includes fear of lumps and few weird patterns stuck together forming a cluster.

Eg.- Fear of honeycombs, sponges, etc.

The word trypophobia has been taken from the Greek word “Trypta” meaning holes and,  “Phobos” meaning fear.

Is Trypophobia a real phobia?

Trypophobia is the fear of holes or clusters or any unusual pattern. Currently, trypophobia is given the tag of a Phobia but has not been recognized by The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Common Triggers of Trypophobia include –

  • Holes in any surface like stones, pieces of bread, fungi, etc.
  • Cake frosting and other irregular patterns.
  • Scars, pimples, etc. Skin diseases.
  • Traffic light LEDs.
  • Head of showers.
  • A cluster of insects.


How to know that you have trypophobia?

The symptoms of trypophobia are somewhere the same as the symptoms of other phobias. There might be one or two unique symptoms

  • Emotional instability.
  • Anxiousness and fear.
  • Feeling of disgust.
  • A weird type of goosebumps.
  • Nausea.
  • Increase in breathing rate.
  • Sudden shivering of hands and legs.
  • Sweating and weird kind of stress.

Some people even start crying on seeing the triggers of trypophobia.
Trypophobia can only be considered as a mental abnormality when a person, in reality, fear holes and patterns whereas if there is only disgust and no fear then it is not right to note trypophobia under the loss of specific phobias.


Due to limited research on the phobia, the causes are limited-

1-Evolutionary Causes
As per popular theories, trypophobia is considered to be an evolutionary response to diseases or danger. Eg- skin diseases like holes or bumps, etc.

This theory says that trypophobia is evolutionary and, people suffering from it can experience higher disgust than the normal amount that works as a trigger object.

2-Relation with Dangerous Animals
The second theory explains that concentrated holes are similar to skin textures on the body of a few venomous animals. People may get scared of those patterns. Research shows that people having trypophobia will non-consciously start thinking about dangerous creatures after seeing a honeycomb whereas normal people will create the sight of honeybees or honey.

However, Trypophobic people are not aware of the relationships they make with honeycomb and dangerous creatures.

3-Connection with other disorders
Research shows that people suffering from Trypophobia are experienced with some type of other mental disorders too like anxiety, panic attacks, etc.

The signs of Trypophobia were observed to be consistent resulting in functional disorders in day-to-day

How it can be Diagnosed?

To diagnose your phobias, a set of questions are asked by the doctor based on your symptoms, the medical, social, and psychiatric history is also checked.

However, Trypophobia is not an easily diagnosed or at all diagnosed phobia as it is not officially titled by the mental and medical associations.


Treatments of Trypophobia

Some common therapies to treat this phobia are –

1-Theory of Exposure(The Exposure Therapy)

This therapy focuses on distracting your mind and attention from situations and objects creating panic and fear.

2-CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT is a combination of exposure therapy and some other techniques to make your mind and body away from fears and anxiety

Some more treatments include –

  • A random talk session with your psychiatrist or counselor.
  • Meditation, yoga, and other relaxing activities.
  • Beta-blockers, sedatives, and other medications to decrease the sign of panic and anxiety.
  • Taking a balanced diet.
  • Prevention of caffeine intake.
  • Joining a social group.

Common questions on Trypophobia (FAQs)

Ques 1- What triggers a Trypophobia reaction?
Ans- According to the researches, a person who is triggered by a certain graphic arrangement of high contrast colors is affected by Trypophobia. Some examples can be-

  • Four diseased skin
  • Parasites
  • Holes
  • bumps
  • Bubble wrap
  • Fruits seeds
  • Coral
  • Condensation

The things discussed above trigger the patients. It’s not a mental disorder but, it can be a phobia if the person’s fears are excessive. The aversion to the sight of irregular patterns can make a person uncomfortable if he/she is suffering from Trypophobia.

Ques 2- Is Trypophobia a skin disease?
Ans- No, Trypophobia is not a skin disease. It a phobia of reaction towards certain types of images of skin diseases. Watching parasites with a certain type of pattern, holes, bumps are the symptoms of Trypophobia.

Ques 3- Is there a cure for Trypophobia?
Ans- No, there’s no cure for Trypophobia because the search has not to be done for one. It’s a type of anxiety that can be treated by consuming drugs but there are some simple steps that you can follow to overcome Trypophobia:-

  • Understand Trypophobia
  • Know the evolutionary basis of Trypophobia.
  • Identify your triggers
  • Know the causes of your fear
  • Educate yourself
  • take therapy
  • Confront your fears
  • practice yoga, meditation
  • Take care of yourself

Ques 4- How common is Trypophobia?
Ans- According to the researches Trypophobia is rare as compared to other phobias. Hence the researches are not done therefore no exact data can be told.

Ques 5- Does everyone Have Trypophobia?
Ans- No, not everyone has Trypophobia. Different people have different reactions to some kinds of things. Some phobias are common some are rare. Trypophobia is a rare phobia.

Ques 6- What are the signs of Trypophobia?
Ans- The symptoms of Trypophobia is similar to symptoms of other phobias. After seeing the triggered things people with this phobia experience:

  • Goosebumps
  • Emotional distress
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweating

Ques 7- How can Trypophobia be tested?
Ans- There’s a certain type of test done to find out whether you are suffering from trypophobia or not. Images with a certain type of holes and shape are presented to a person for 1-8 seconds. And after the image is displayed the person is asked that how long the image is shown to him/her. This shows the accuracy of the felt durations will be distorted when overwhelmed with disgust. It takes 5-7 minutes to find out the results.

Ques 8- Why is Trypophobia so scary?
Ans- Certain images of holes, bumps, bubble wraps, or patterns stimulate a primitive part of the brain of the patient, which is scary for the patient to look at the pictures with triggered images.

Ques 9- What type of feelings develop when you have a Trypophobia infection?
Ans- A person suffering from trypophobia will start feeling disgusted and completely out of his/her senses as soon as the sight of holes or irregular patterns comes.

These feelings are not permanent, every time you get to experience some new kind of feelings, some of which include crawling in the skin, vomiting, goosebumps, etc.

Ques 10- What should be done if my Trypophobia is becoming worse?
Ans- Regular use of the therapies discussed above as Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and exposure therapy will help you in controlling your trypophobia fears. You can also start doing yoga and some other mind engaging activities.

Ques 11- Is there a chance of everyone suffering from Trypophobia?
Ans- It is common for people to react and feel uncomfortable seeing irregular patterns and holes on a surface and, it is a part of trypophobia.
So yes, there is a chance of everyone suffering from trypophobia.

So this was all about Trypophobia.

We hope you cleared all your confusion on this phobia, to know more about such phobia’s check our other articles, and if you want us to write on some specific topics then please do comment down below.


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