Teenager So Terrified Of BUBBLES She Can't Do The Washing Up

Teenager Grace Kirby swears her unusual phobia is NOT an excuse to get out of the washing up.

For she is not only terrified of bubbles caused by soap suds – but ANY bubbles.

Just don't offer her an Aero! Grace, 19, from Exeter, suffers from trypophobia – the fear of bubbles or clusters of small holes.

She runs out of the room if they appear when she is cooking or watching TV. And fizzy drinks, lager and even frothy coffee make her anxious and so itchy she scratches herself until she bleeds.

The worst triggers are foods and drinks where she can feel as well as see the holes, such as crumpets – but even a patterned dress can make her head spin.

Grace said: "It sounds so silly but bubbles and all small holes make my skin crawl. I would run away screaming all the time if I could."

Student Grace has no idea where her phobia came from but has had it for as long as she can remember.

Trypophobia is yet to be officially recognised as a medical condition.

Dr Geoff Cole, from the University of Essex, suggests it has an evolutionary basis.

He said: "There may be an ancient part of the brain telling people they are looking at a poisonous animal."

In the meantime, Miss Kirkby has opted to study psychology at university to try to understand her condition.