Trypophobia, skin, and media

Dermatol Online J. 2018 Nov 15;24(11):13030/qt2n54z5tw.


Trypophobia is the fear of patterns of clustered holes, bumps, or nodules. Trypophobia has a special relationship with dermatology because of its effects on individuals with skin disease, its relationship with disease avoiding behavior, and its utilization in many online skin disease hoaxes. Trypophobic patterns on skin and characters can be found in movies, TV shows, and videogames. Several popular horror villains take advantage of trypophobic patterns like Freddy Kreuger, Jason Vorhees, and Pinhead. Most recently, another blockbuster villain has joined their ranks - Killmonger. Public health messaging about these biases and the often noncontagious nature of skin disease is warranted to attenuate public stigma of skin disease perpetuated by media.

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix*
  • Humans
  • Motion Pictures*
  • Phobic Disorders*
  • Skin Diseases*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Television*

Supplementary concepts

  • Phobia, Specific