‘Eggsplosions’ and eyes don’t mix

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The latest TikTok trend of microwaving hard-boiled eggs and slicing them, causing it to explode, could have ophthalmologists see an influx of injured patients.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/Aleksej)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/Aleksej)

Putting a hard-boiled egg in the microwave is making users popular on TikTok, but that fame could come with a hefty price and lead to a visit to an ophthalmologist’s office.

According to a Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan news release, the TikTok trend involves microwaving hard-boiled eggs and then slicing them, causing them to explode.

According to Grace Wang, MD, PhD, an ophthalmologist at Michigan Medicine, the explosion can prove dangerous as flying egg debris and steam can impact a large area, and possibly injure people in its vicinity.

“The hot steam and the hot egg along with the force of the explosion can really hit you in the face and cause burns, and not just to your skin. It can burn your eyes and cause injuries,” Wang said in the news release.

Moreover, the explosions usually result in thermal injury to the eyes, Wang says. This means damaged tissue, peeling skin and scars on the eyes, all of which can cause a lot of pain. It can also harm the cells that assist in repairing tissue on the front of the eye.

Sometimes, injuries can be severe enough to require medical treatments or put people at risk of further infection. In the worst cases, people can experience long-term vision issues from scarring. If the trend continues, it is possible that ophthalmologists could see an influx of patients injured by “eggsplosions.”

The ‘”eggsplosions” have been documented before the TikTok trend, and it isn’t exactly clear when the trend took off on the app, but Wang noted in the UM news release the prospect of social media fame may be part of the allure.

“I think a reason for doing it is partly curiosity about the sound it makes, plus it’s something you can challenge your friends to do,” Wang said in the news release. “These videos can get a lot of views or clicks online because the explosion is an exciting thing that happens.”

Wang says anyone who tries the trend, or those who accidentally microwave a hard-boiled egg without knowing it can explode, should seek medical attention if they are injured.

However, Wang said it is important for individuals to avoid any social media trends that can lead to eye injuries, regardless of any potential social media clout.

“Don't try it, because it's not worth it,” she said in the news release. “You can get a lot of painful injuries that could alter your face, your appearance and your vision.”

“I think it's good for families, if they find out about these trends, to talk about them with their children. Kids are often seeing these videos and how much attention they can get, but they're not necessarily seeing the consequences," said Wang.

This is not the first time a TikTok trend has caused harm to participants' eyes. Recently, the trend of “beezin’” was sending people to the ophthalmologist’s office.

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