Trypophobia test (+3 key insights)

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In this article we will discuss some self assessment tools that can help you determine if you have trypophobia.

We will also explore what it is and what are some treatment options for this phobia.

What is a trypophobia test?

Trypophobia tests are self-assessment tools that can help people evaluate their symptoms and determine whether they are affected by the condition. 

These assessments can also be used as a guide to help them recognize their own conditions and get the help they need. 

It is important to mention that these tools of assessment do not substitute or should not be used in place of an official clinical diagnosis done by a clinical professional and oftentimes these assessments are not recognised by the clinical field.

The test created by us is developed to screen an individual for trypophobia. The test will take 3 mins to complete and involves looking at various trigger photos that may be gross or bizarre. You will have to answer how long you perceived the pictures to last.

Please make sure not to count seconds and give your guess about the seconds and remember that this is not a diagnostic tool.

You can access this test here.

What is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is a fear or phobia of small holes, bumps, and patterns. On coming in contact with these patterns, and clusters of holes and bumps a person might experience disgust, fear, discomfort, and in extreme cases a panic attack. 

While initially it was thought to be a fear of small holes, research has found that it is not just hopes by clusters of patterns either bumps or holes that instill this fear. 

This particular phobia is found to be quite common as research has estimated that around 16% of the sample population were found to have experienced disgust, discomfort and other symptoms of the phobia when looking at a seed pod of a lotus with holes. 

What are the diagnostic criteria for Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is not recognised as a diagnosable disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders nor by any other medical fields so there is no agreed upon diagnostic criteria for the phobia.

However, research has found that there are three types of symptoms that arise in people with this phobia:

  • Cognitive symptoms like feel uncomfortable or uneasy
  • Skin-related symptoms like itchiness, goosebumps, skin crawling feeling
  • Physiological symptoms of anxiety like heart palpitations, trouble breathing etc. 

In some server cases, this phobia and exposure to the triggers also lead to vomiting and panic attacks. 

Some triggers of this phobia include:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Coral
  • Holes in diseased or decaying flesh
  • Holes or bumps on flesh
  • Honeycombs
  • Insect eyes
  • Lotus seed pods
  • Sponges
  • Strawberries

Why do people develop trypophobia?

Research on trypophobia is suspects that people develop trypophobia for the following reasons:

One theory suggests that trypophobia is an evolutionary response to disease or danger- that people react in fear and aversion because it resembles diseased skin and other infectious conditions which could be a threat to survival. 

Another theory suggests that the patterns- holes and bumps share a resemblance to dangerous animals- especially venomous ones thus people react in fear due to unconscious association with them. 

Studies also found that this fear or aversion could be because of the tendency of people to associate these holes and patterns with skin-transmitted pathogens and believe aversion to these patterns to be an overgeneralized and exaggerated form of response to avoid danger and threats and survive.

Another form of understanding the cause of trypophobia is that people might feel discomfort with the visual characteristics of the patterns and not really associate it to threats and dangers but it is rather a natural response to certain stimuli. 

What are the treatment options for Trypophobia?

Decrease trypophobia is a recognised mental and medical condition there are No specific treatment that has been developed and approved for the use of treatment. 

However, some treatment options for this condition include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which would involve discussing unrealistic thoughts, gradual exposure, cognitive restructuring etc. 
  • Another behavioral therapy and techniques used to treat phobias include systematic desensitization where there is a gradua; process of desensitizing the person to the trigger by gradual exposure and engagement. 
  • Relaxation Techniques can also be used in tandem with CBT or other behavioural therapies to reduce feelings of discomfort, fear, panic etc. these techniques can include visualization, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.

What are some Trypophobia tests?

Here are some trypophobia tests that have been created or are in the process of creation to be used for people to assess themselves for possible trypophobia. 

Le-An and Geoff Assessment of trypophobia

Two researchers Le-An and Geoff from the Department of Psychology, University of Essex, in the year 2015, tested their assessment tool for trypophobia.

The scale involved the process of viewing images that appeared on a trypophobia website which were rated according to the extent of the reaction on a five point scale. 

The test was able to predict individual differences in discomfort and distress for people with trypophobia. However as of today this research has not given rise to the publication of a fully fledged scale for assessment however,  You can access the initial work done for this assessment here

Implicit Trypophobia Measure 0.5a.

This particular test involves participants looking at various pictures that can instil aversion and disgust in people with trypophobia. 

This test is provided for educational uses only and does not guarantee diagnosis or is not a professional diagnostic tool. It is only to be used for self-information and also research purposes. 

You can access this test here

QuizExpo Trypophobia Test

The Trypophobia test by quizeexpo is a 20 item test that assesses whether or not you have a fear of holes or patterns. It can also evaluate the intensity of your phobia. 

However, it is not a diagnostic tool and only to be used for educational and self-assessment purposes. 

You can access this test here


In this article we discussed some self assessment tools that can help you determine if you have trypophobia. We also explored what it is and what are some treatment options for this phobia.


Cherry.K. Trypophobia or the Fear of Holes. Verywell Mind. 16th August, 2021. Retrieved on 23rd November 2021

Cole, G. G., & Wilkins, A. J. (2013). Fear of Holes. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1980–1985.

Le AT, Cole GG, Wilkins AJ. Assessment of trypophobia and an analysis of its visual precipitation. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2015;68(11):2304-22. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1013970. Epub 2015 Mar 11. PMID: 25635930.

FAQ related to Trypophobia

Is trypophobia on skin real?

Trypophobia skin is not a real skin disease, the pictures are usually edited. The condition of trypophobia is also not a diagnosable mental disorder. However, this phobia does affect some percept of the general population.

Why is trypophobia so scary?

The reason why this is so scary is because trypophobia triggers a fear of danger. The holes, or images of holes, causes the brain to associate the image with something dangerous like a dangerous animal, a parasite, a disease which makes our evolutionary brain fearful. 

Why does my skin crawl when I see holes?

The reason why you feel discomfort and aversive to holes or a cluster of holes is because of trypophobia – the irrational fear of holes.

Is trypophobia a mental disorder?

Trypophobia is not classified nor a diagnosable mental disorder. It is simply a phobia which is an intense and disproportionate fear towards repetitive or clustered patterns of holes, and bumps. 

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