If we try to look at a bubble, it is merely round, aerated, and in some sense, mysterious. However, at least to some, bubbles are nauseating and are the stuff that nightmares are made of.

From foams in a hot coffee cup to tiny holes in a sponge, while the typical features may seem harmless, it has been recognized to trigger extremely anxious reactions. And that reaction is known as Trypophobia.

On the other hand, even though the term has been in practice since 2009, the psychological society still doesn’t recognize the irrational reaction, and it is because fear doesn’t indeed have the marks of a real phobia, partly in the sense of diagnostics.

What is Trypophobia?

The term Trypophobia is a feeling of disgust or fear of small clustered holes. It gives rise to an irrational reaction to few individuals when presented a harmless image of the group of objects, frequently holes.

For instance, even looking at a photo of patterns such as anthills, beehives, and others with closely-packed holes can make them feel in disgust.

The proposed phobia is not yet officially acknowledged. In addition to this, the studies on trypophobia are somehow limited, and that the study is inconclusive as to whether or not fear must become a part in the list official diseases.

What Triggers Trypophobia?

In most cases, particular images of irregular, and tiny holes triggers the people who experience signs of trypophobia, and these include things like:

  • Bubbles
  • Beehives
  • Sponges
  • Soap bubbles
  • Coral
  • Seed Pods
  • Sea sponges
  • Honeycomb
  • Water condensation
  • Clusters of eyes as found in insects
  • Pomegranates
  • Strawberries

Signs and Symptoms

As reported, the symptoms will set off when an individual sees a thing with tiny groups of shapes that look like holes. When seeing closely-packed holes, individuals with trypophobia respond with fear or disgust. Some of the signs include:

  • Feelings of discomfort, disgust, or fear
  • Skin crawling
  • Skin itching
  • Goosebumps
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

Is there a study on trypophobia?

Researchers don’t give consent to whether or not to categorize trypophobia as a true phobia. One of the earliest research on trypophobia, issued in 2013, indicated that the phobia might be a development of a natural fear of dangerous things.

The researchers discovered that high-contrast colors ia particular graphic pattern caused the symptoms.

Researchers theorized that individuals affected by trypophobia were correlating safe items like a honeycomb, with a dangerous animal, such as a rattlesnake whose visual presentation is quite similar.

However, a study done in April 2017 argues these conclusions. Researchers surveyed kids to determine whether the emotional fear upon seeing an image with tiny holes roots on fear of threatening animals or response to visual attributes.

Their conclusions indicate that people who have trypophobia don’t have a subconscious fear of deadly creatures. Instead, the fear is set off by the appearance of the creature.

Risk factors

There is not much information about the risk factors associated with trypophobia. But one study in 2017 discovered a potential link between major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and trypophobia.

According to researchers, individuals with trypophobia were more prone also to experience major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.


As there is no specific cure for trypophobia, there are few therapies available for people with phobias. Treatments may be composed of self-help treatments, medications, and therapy.

People can try self-help remedies by themselves or with the aid of a counselor or therapist. But, these approaches may or may not be successful in healing specific phobias and have different success rates. Some self-help treatments include:

Lifestyle Changes – These include proper exercise, eating healthy foods, excellent sleep hygiene, and keeping away from caffeine and other known stimulants.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Known as a talking treatment, done along with a counselor or therapist to examine how thoughts provoke emotions and responses. Therapists work together with patients, supporting them to establish and accomplish goals.

Exposure Therapy or Desensitization – This method is a treatment approach in which a therapist help expose the person to their phobia in small doses without the desire to induce any harm.


Trypophobia is not an officially accepted phobia. However, researchers have discovered proof that it exists in some form and has true symptoms that can influence a person’s daily life if exposed to triggers.

If you believe you may have trypophobia, then it is best to speak with your physician or therapist because they are capable of identifying the cause of your fear along with managing your symptoms.

Author’s Bio

Yassi Parrish is a freelance writer and a health enthusiast. At home, she likes to search for excellent health products in Deal Wiki. When available, Yassi writes articles about health to provide her readers with appropriate information.


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