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This woman’s scary pimple-popping story will keep your hands off your face forever


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Photo: Stockst/Studio Firma

Maybe you love that feeling of satisfaction when you squeeze a bit of white gunk out of your pores, or maybe you’re prone to picking at your face when you get anxious. (You can’t help it! No judgments.) Or perhaps you secretly aspire to a second career as the next Dr. Pimple Popper.

But maybe, just maybe, this one woman’s scary story, which has quickly gone viral, will be enough to keep your fingers away from your face the next time you’re tempted to pop.

“Since it was on my face, there was a huge risk of it spreading to my brain or my eyes, causing me to go blind.”

A few months ago, Katie Wright started picking at a painful, under-the-skin pimple between her eyebrows. But things got pretty serious—pretty fast. “Within an hour my entire face swelled up and hurt,” Wright shared on Twitter. “It felt like something was going to burst out of my skin.”

Wright went to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with an extreme case of cellulitis, which is like a staph infection—”but instead of having a head like staph, it affects the deep cellular tissues with no main source to attack,” Wright says. “Since it was on my face, there was a huge risk of it spreading to my brain or my eyes, causing me to go blind.”

Fortunately, Wright and her doctors caught the case before it got too serious and treated her with intravenous antibiotics, but she says the infection was most likely caused by bacteria getting on her eyebrow pencil brush. “I’m super strict on washing my face, Beautyblender, brushes, but I never thought to disinfect my eyebrow spoolie,” she writes.

Bottom line: Picking and popping is just not worth it—and cleaning your makeup brushes on the reg is an important health habit. And uh, consider clicking on a cute dog video instead of those blackhead-squeezing compilations. Your skin (and let’s face it, your eyes) will thank you.

Originally published on August 9, 2017; updated July 19, 2018.

The next time you wake up with a huge zit, here’s exactly what to do. And consider lathering up with these natural acne-fighting oils

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