Trypophobia Causes and Treatments

Trypophobia causes and treatments

Although there are numerous phobias, trypophobia seems to be one of the most common phobias among children, young and older adults. This article explores Trypophobia causes and treatments.

Trypophobia is a phobia of holes that are often characterized by a dislike of groups of tiny holes. This article answers all the questions you may have about this phobia including its causes, symptoms and treatments.

Continue to read to learn how to treat trypophobia.

What Is Trypophobia?

It’s defined as intense fear or aversion to the sight of clusters of small holes. It is also known as the fear of spiders.

People who experience this often have a physical reaction, such as sweating, increased heart rate, and nausea. While the condition is not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, it’s estimated to affect between 16-18% of the population. 

It is a condition marked by a persisting and extreme fear of a scenario or an item that presents little to no real risk. Trypophobics may display revulsion or terror when viewing pictures or items with asymmetrical shapes, lumps, or clusters of holes, like a lotus seed pod.

In this article, we will explore the causes, treatment, and more surrounding trypophobia.

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Is Trypophobia A Mental Disorder?

Trypophobia is an intense fear of small holes or objects with small holes. This phobia can cause extreme anxiety, leading to panic attacks. 

While trypophobia is not currently recognized as a mental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), some experts believe it should be classified as a specific phobia.

Is Trypophobia A Real Phobia?

There is some debate over whether trypophobia is a real phobia or not. Some experts believe that it is a real phobia, while others believe that it is more of an aversion to certain stimuli.

Those who believe that trypophobia is a real phobia point to the fact that there are many people who experience intense fear and anxiety when they see images of objects with small holes or bumps. 

This fear can be so severe that it interferes with daily life. Additionally, those with trypophobia often report feeling physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and increased heart rate when they see these images.

Those who believe that trypophobia is not a real phobia argue that the fear is not specific enough to be classified as a true phobia. They also point out that many people who have trypophobia do not avoid all objects with small holes or bumps, but only certain ones. 

For example, someone with trypophobia might be fine looking at a honeycomb but feel disgusted and panicked when they see a lotus seed pod.

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What Causes Trypophobia?

Due to the paucity of available research, the precise causes of trypophobia are unknown.
Trypophobia has several different causes, including honeycombs, bubble wrap, and fruit seeds. Trypophobic responses can also be brought on by specific patterns, bumps, patterned animals, and images.

However, some potential causes of trypophobia include previous traumatic experiences involving holes, fear of contamination or illness, and a general aversion to odd or asymmetrical shapes. 

Some people may also be more sensitive to certain visual stimuli than others, which could play a role in the development of trypophobia.

How Do You Know If I Have Trypophobia?

There is no surefire way to know if you have trypophobia, as it is not currently recognized as an official diagnosable condition by the medical community. 

However, there are some common signs and symptoms associated with the phobia, which may help you to identify whether or not you are affected.

Generally, people with trypophobia experience extreme fear or disgust when confronted with images or objects that contain clusters of small holes or bumps. These can include things like: 

  • Honeycombs 
  • Beehives
  • Lotus seed pods 
  • Berries 
  • Sponges and 
  • Even certain types of skin diseases.

In some cases, simply seeing a picture of an object that contains clusters of small holes or bumps can trigger feelings of fear or disgust. 

In other cases, people may only feel these emotions when they are actually touching or looking at the object itself. For some people, even thinking about such objects can cause anxiety or discomfort.

What are the Symptoms of Trypophobia?

Symptoms of trypophobia can vary from person to person, but may include: 

  1. Sweating
  2. Increased heart rate 
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Nausea 
  5. Shaking and 
  6. Even panic attacks. 

If you find that you experience any of these symptoms in response to small clusters of holes or bumps, it is possible that you have trypophobia.

What Are The Triggers Of Trypophobia?

There are many potential triggers of trypophobia, as the condition can be triggered by a wide range of stimuli. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • Holes or clusters of holes in the skin, wood, or other surfaces
  • Bubbles or foam (especially if it is bubbling up from a hole)
  • Sponges or other porous materials
  • Coral or other honeycomb-like structures
  • Fruit with seeds or pits “such as strawberries”
  • Hair follicles or goosebumps

These are just some of the potential triggers of trypophobia in reality, almost anything with small holes or pores can potentially trigger a fear response in someone with trypophobia. If you think you may have trypophobia, it is important to talk to a mental health professional.

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How Is Trypophobia Treated?

There is no known cure for trypophobia, but there are some treatments that can help lessen the symptoms. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of treatment that has been shown to be helpful for people with trypophobia. In CBT, people learn to challenge and change their negative thoughts and beliefs about trypophobia triggers. 

Exposure therapy is another type of treatment that can help people with trypophobia. In exposure therapy, people are slowly and gradually exposed to trypophobic triggers in a safe and controlled environment. This can help people learn to manage their fear and anxiety around these triggers.

Trypophobia Symptoms

Trypophobia, also known as the fear of holes, is a specific phobia characterized by a fear of objects with small holes. People with trypophobia often describe feeling fear, disgust, or even pain when they see or touch objects with small holes.

There are many different symptoms of trypophobia, and they can vary from person to person. Some people may only feel discomfort when they see images of objects with small holes, 

while others may feel actual pain when they come in contact with such objects. Many people also report feeling nauseous or having anxiety attacks when confronted with objects that trigger their trypophobia.

Most people who suffer from trypophobia are not aware of the condition until they encounter an object that triggers their symptoms. Once they realize that they have this phobia, they often become extremely anxious about encountering similar objects in the future. 

This can lead to avoidance behaviors, such as refusing to go outside or wearing certain types of clothing. In severe cases, trypophobia can cause Agoraphobia fear of leaving one’s home, or social anxiety disorder.

How Do I Stop Phobia Of Needles?

If you have trypophobia, even thinking about needles can make your skin crawl. Here are the treatments that can help.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for phobias. CBT helps you to understand and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your fear.

Exposure therapy is another treatment option. This type of therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the thing you are afraid of. 

Over time, this can help you to overcome your fear. If your fear is severe, your doctor may also prescribe medication to help you manage it. Some people find that anti-anxiety medication can be helpful in managing their phobia.

There are also some things you can do on your own to manage your fear of needles. Avoiding triggers, such as pictures or videos of needles, can be helpful. You can also practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help reduce your anxiety.

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How Do I Overcome Trypophobia?

Trypanophobia or the fear of needles is a common phobia that can be extremely debilitating. If you suffer from trypanophobia, even the thought of getting shots can send you into a panic. 

The good news is that there are treatment options available that can help you overcome your fear.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for trypanophobia. During therapy, you will work with a therapist to gradually expose yourself to needles in a safe and controlled environment.  This will help you to learn that needles are not as dangerous as you think they are and that you can cope with getting a shot.
  • Medication may also be used in conjunction with therapy to help treat your trypanophobia. Anti-anxiety medications can help to reduce the anxiety and panic that you feel when faced with needles.  Beta-blockers can also be helpful in reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as heart palpitations and sweating.

What Are The 3 Types Of Injections?

There are three types of injections: subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous.

  • Subcutaneous injections are given just below the skin. They are often used for vaccines. 
  • Intramuscular injections are given into the muscle. They are used for some vaccines, as well as for drugs that can’t be taken by mouth. 
  • Intravenous injections are given into a vein. They are used for fluids and medications that need to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

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Does Trypophobia Make you Itch?

However, some people who have trypophobia may experience itching or other skin sensations when they see images of objects with small holes or bumps. 

It is unclear why this occurs, but it may be a result of the body’s natural response to potential threats.


Trypophobia is a condition that can be difficult to deal with, but with the treatments available it can help you. 

If you think you might have trypophobia, it’s important to see a doctor or mental health professional so they can properly diagnose and treat the condition. 

There are also some things you can do on your own to manage trypophobia, like avoiding triggers and practicing relaxation techniques. With the right help, you can overcome trypophobia and live a normal, healthy life.

FAQs – Trypophobia Causes and Treatments

What is the treatment of trypophobia?

Trypophobia Treatment

Trypophobia is not a real condition, hence there is no established course of therapy.
According to certain research, combining antidepressants such as sertraline (Zoloft) with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be beneficial. CBT aims to alter the unfavorable thoughts that fuel stress or anxiety.

What are the side effects of trypophobia?

Trypophobia is a condition when a person reacts to groups of tiny holes by feeling dread, revulsion, anxiety, chills, and panic. Some studies hypothesize that this could happen as a result of identifying the patterns as a threat, while others believe it simply results from feeling distaste toward the pattern.

What is the main cause of trypophobia?

Due to the paucity of available research, the precise causes of trypophobia is unknown.
Trypophobia has several different causes, including honeycombs, bubble wrap, and fruit seeds. Trypophobic responses can also be brought on by specific patterns, bumps, patterned animals, and images.

Can trypophobia go away?

Is there a cure for trypophobia?

If trypophobia is a kind of anxiety, then medications used to treat anxiety may be able to assist. However, there is no treatment for it, and little study has been done to find one. It could be beneficial to use exposure therapy, in which patients are progressively exposed to upsetting sights or sounds.

Why do holes bother me?

According to Shots, the holes or pictures of holes trigger “a primitive part of the brain that links the visual with anything frightening.” The majority of individuals have evolved to be able to perceive that there is no threat, but trypophobes are unable to regulate their unconscious instinctive reaction.

How many phobias are there?

There are almost 400 different phobias. There are approximately 400 recognized phobias, yet you may be afraid of pretty much anything! But some are far more typical than others.


  1. popsci.comIs Trypophobia a Real Phobia?
  2. buzzfeed.comTrypophobia Makes Your Skin Crawl 

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