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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Clots & Anticoagulants

Question: Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

 martyr4love - Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:56 pm

I was reading a book earlier today at the book store about some common questions most people are too embarrassed to ask their doctors and I cam across a question about whether or nor it was dangerous to pop zits. The answer was yes, that it could lead to some complications such as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Is this true? Is this serious? I went to the doctor earlier this week and she said that I might have a blood clot and I think she mentioned CST. I did some reading on CST and its symptoms. I've been having some big pimples lately and just a a couple weeks ago I had a fever. I was also spitting blood some days before having the fever. My vision seems normal. But I usually don't pop my pimples. Is there a connection? I'm really worried because from what I've read so far, CST is very dangerous. Thank you so much!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:27 am

User avatar Hello --

While it doesn't sound as though you have any symptoms of acute CST, your doctor must have had some reason for mentioning it, although the mention may have been cautionary rather than suggestive. You would normally have a lot of problems around the eye on the affected side as well as numerous other problems, and it doesn't sound like that's going on.

That being said, yes, CST is quite serious, and the popping of zits is a potentially very dangerous practice, especially when the pimple is located within the "deadly triangle", the area formed by drawing imaginary lines from the top of the bridge of your nose down each side to the corners of your mouth. The upper lip is considred the bottom line of the triangle. This is the area from which most blood and lymph is drained through the cavernous sinus. It is also an area which can lead to self-infection with meningitis if not CST, something else that has very clear symptomology. It doesn't sound like you've suffered either problem, but at least you've learned of the potential dangers association with pimple popping, allowing teeth to become abcessed, and, yes, even (and maybe especially) pulling out nostril hairs, something men are more likely to do. Any of these things can potentially lead to either meningitis or CST, but it is not a certain sequal to any of these, and most people do not actually suffer one of these life-threatening infections. Still, it's not worth the risk, either, so consider it a useful lesson. If your fever continues you should of course be cultured for bacterial infection and treated with antibiotics if needed, but coughing up blood is pretty common with deep sinus infections (not CST specifically, but the paranasal and ethmoid sinuses that give most people fits a at some time or another). Hopefully by now you're feeling better. If you still have any questions you probably should ask your doctor exactly what she meant. I suspect it was more a warning than a finding, as you'd be seriously ill by now.

Good luck to you. Please follow up with us here as necessary.

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