Trypophobia, skin, and media

Keith D. Wagner, Julie A. Croley, Janice M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalDermatology online journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Cinema
  • Film
  • Trypophobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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