“Triangle of Death,” is a health hazard that lives on your face. Dr. Oz coined the term when he covered this health hazard on his show. The triangle includes the areas of your face extending from the corners of your mouth to the bridge of your nose.
What makes the area so dangerous is that the blood vessels there drain to the back of the head and connect to the veins at the base of the brain, which pumps that blood throughout the rest of the body. Any damage that breaks the skin in the triangle exposes the body to bacteria and infections, which can cause headaches, blindness, paralysis, and even death.
Maybe you should think twice before you pop that zit or try to get the crust out of your nose after a cold. Don’t believe me? Did you know the following 9 health habits could kill you?
1. Taking a Shower
Your body has to maintain a certain temperature – neither too hot nor too cold – in order to function properly, but depending on how you like to take your showers, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Extreme and sudden exposure to both heat and cold can actually kill you, as it did a 62-year-old man when he was made to take a freezing-cold shower in a Chinese labor camp in 2008. Of course, the younger and more fit you are, the easier it is for your body to maintain the right internal temperature, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the risk.
2. Your Shampoo
If your shampoo has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in it, you might consider switching to a different brand. SLS is responsible for the foamy consistency of the shampoo’s lather, but it can also cause severe liver abnormalities and kidney damage that can be fatal.
Like most potentially dangerous chemicals, however, you’d have to ingest a LOT of shampoo in order to incur any serious damage, so don’t chuck your favorite herbal scrub just yet.
3. Cleaning Your Ears
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t put anything in your ear that’s smaller than your thumb, but almost all of us violate that rule when we clean our ears with cotton swabs. The eardrum inside the ear (through that hole you’re not supposed to poke around in!) is very fragile, and if you puncture it during a vigorous cleaning, you allow bacteria to slip past the broken tissue into your inner ear.
A man in Montreal died three years ago when he contracted meningitis from bacteria that entered through the eardrum, which he’d punctured from excessive and rigorous cleaning. Doctors even suggested that he had probably caused the initial bacterial infection expressly because he cleaned his ears too often.
Let that be a lesson to you: keep those swabs out of your ears!
4. Plucking Your Nose Hair
When you pluck those bristly strands out of your nose, you tear the skin around it, which allows bacteria to find its way into your body. Of course, this not only includes bacteria inside your nose that those hairs have been filtering out, but also anything you’ve stuffed up there from whatever you’ve touched before you went prospecting in your nasal cavities.
Once that bacteria creeps into your body from that ominous “Triangle of Death,” you could find yourself with a host of health problems, including potentially fatal conditions. Using an electronic nose hair trimmer is much less risky and won’t cause the same kind of pain and irritation that plucking does.
5. Cleaning Your Teeth
Okay, so we’re not talking about brushing or flossing your teeth. Please, continue to do both! But be careful the next time you take a toothpick to drive your lunch leftovers out of the spaces between your teeth.
Toothpicks are sharp, and if you break a piece of the toothpick off, that pointy little end could cause one mountain of trouble inside your body. If it gets stuck in your throat, your body will swell around the irritant that can block your esophagus and prevent you from breathing.
It can also pierce or tear your intestinal tract, which would spill bacteria and digestive juices into the rest of your body and cause sepsis, which can and often does kill you. Yikes.
6. Popping a Zit
That Triangle of Death we talked about? Popping zits in this area is a huge risk factor for your health. Zits are filled with bacteria and puss, and when you pop a zit in “the triangle” you break the skin and allow that bacteria to creep into your body. Infections can cause headaches, blurred vision and blindness, paralysis, and even death.
Popping zits also causes scarring, so if your overall livelihood isn’t motivation enough, the fact that your perfect visage will be marred from all that pimple pressing hopefully will.
7. Drinking Water Excessively
Yep, it’s true. Water is great for your body, and you need to drink water throughout the day to rehydrate, but if you drink too much water for the kidneys to process – for adults, roughly 15 liters over the course of a day – you could risk water overdose.
Excess water that the kidneys can’t process flows into salt-rich areas in the body, specifically the cells. Because there is a finite amount of space inside the brain, water-logged brain cells will cause the brain to swell with no room for relief. According to Scientific American, this condition can result in seizures, coma, respiratory arrest, brain stem herniation, and death.
Early symptoms include headache and vomiting.
8. Eating Vegetables
If you’re a big fan of spuds, you’d better double-check the skin before you settle on baked potatoes for dinner.
Solanine is a naturally occurring toxin that forms when potatoes are exposed to too much light. If the color of the potato just under the skin is green, it’s a good indicator that Solanine has built up in the potato. If ingested, symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, and intestinal issues.
Don’t chuck tonight’s dinner plans if you find your potatoes look a little green, though. Just make sure you cut away the green portions of the skin before you cook and eat them.
9. Eating Fruits
Apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, and apricots all have one thing in common: they contain a chemical called amygdalin, which in large amounts can turn into hydrogen cyanide.
Amygdalin is found in the seeds, pits, and kernels of these fruits, and in (very) large quantities can be fatal. So you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to skip healthy fruits altogether, but it’s a good case for consuming foods in moderation.