OK, yes, we’re all guilty of picking at our skin despite the warnings we’ve heeded since puberty about the damaging effects of picking, popping, and scratching at our faces. And yet, if you’ve got a giant, cartoonish pimple on your forehead, we’re willing to bet you’re going to pop it. Which is exactly what one Reddit user’s fiancé did with a zit on his forehead, except instead of it quickly healing and fading away, that zit grew into a giant, benign tumor. Yup.
Reddit user spanktruck (hey, we don’t pick ’em), posted a PSA to the subReddit SkincareAddiction this week with the title, “From my fiancé’s forehead, a novel reason not to pick your zits: In very rare circumstances, they can turn into benign, bleeding, capillary tumors.” Ugh, yes, we know. The post goes on to explain that the user’s fiancé picked a zit on his forehead and it came back “angry as hell,” so he picked it again. It came back again, looking “very much like a blood blister mated with a mole,” and was protruding from his face, like a “tiny balloon stapled to his head.” (Don’t worry—we haven’t included pictures because we aren’t the worst people in the world, but click through above if you’ve got an iron-clad stomach).
After ruling out blood blisters but freaking out about possible skin cancer, the couple went to a dermatologist, who diagnosed the man with benign capillary tumor called a pyogenic granuloma, which can “form at the site of minor injuries due to overeager healing response,” wrote the user. “So the zit picking caused the ‘minor trauma’ needed; his body overreacted and over-produced vascular cells; a tumor formed. They can go away on their own but sometimes need to be surgically removed.”
Ugh ugh, ugh. Feel insanely disturbed? Us, too, as well as every user on Reddit. “Googled it whilst absentmindedly picking at a spot on my chin. And that was the end of that,” wrote one user; “I googled it. I am very sensitive to body horror. This was a mistake.” Of course, picking that little whitehead on your cheek won’t automatically lead you down tumor road, but it definitely won’t do anything beneficial for your skin. At the very least, you’re looking at a damaged, inflamed skin barrier; at the very worst, you’re looking at either a life-threatening infection or a giant tumor. Makes you want to sit on your hands, huh? Welp, if this is what gets you to stop picking then hey, what an effective PSA.