Dr Pimple Popper Explains Why People Love Her Gross Videos

If you're wondering why so many people suddenly find it appealing to watch gross videos of lumps being prodded and cysts getting squeezed, it's almost entirely down to Dr Pimple Popper - the nickname of dermatologist Dr Sandra Lee.

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The YouTuber has gained fame in recent years for helping people with their skin problems and has made the move to TV, first with a TLC special This is Zit and now a full-blown TLC series.

Speaking with us here at LADbible, Dr Lee explained just how her videos started taking off and how they have made people embrace the skin they're in.

"I started an Instagram page at the end of 2014, to show a 'window into my world' as a dermatologist, with intentions of showing all types of things dermatology related," Dr Lee told us.

"Early on, I happened to post a "pimple popping" video. I noticed it got a little jump in views. So I did it again, and it happened again.

"Then I put a blackhead extraction video on my YouTube channel and that got more and more attention, and it led me to discover that there was a whole community of people on the internet who just like to watch shared videos."

Credit: Instagram/Dr Pimple Popper
Credit: Instagram/Dr Pimple Popper

Dr Pimple Popper's work is extremely popular, having amassed almost two billion views on YouTube alone. Watching pus-filled pops may be gross but stomach-churning stuff like this is clearly in demand.

When we asked Dr Lee why she thinks people enjoy watching her work, she explained that some people find it genuinely therapeutic or fascinating. Well, if it works for some...

"Ultimately I think it really makes many people happy/content/relaxed," she told LADbible. "There's a sense of completion, of cleansing. It calms people with some obsessive compulsive tendencies.

"Many people actually watch my videos if they are having a panic attack, or to help them sleep! I also think it may give some people a little rush... similar to what a person may feel from riding a rollercoaster or watching a scary movie. And I think it's fascinating for many people to see what can come out of the skin of a regular, normal, healthy human.

"Also, people say that my voice has calming qualities, what people call ASMR. Believe it or not, my videos are bedtime lullabies to many."

Dr Lee also explained to the Daily Mail: "People were watching under a closet, almost like it was porn, and people are now embracing it."

Even though she deals with stomach-churning cases on a daily basis, Dr Lee is not invulnerable to the hazards of her industry, whether it's big squirts or bloody messes.

No matter what the situation though, she told us that she doesn't let it affect how she interacts with patients.

"Sure, things can gross me out but it's extremely important to me that I never react loudly or negatively to embarass or frighten a patient," she said.

"You can see in my videos that we act calm and don't ever comment if something may smell bad or be disturbing in any way. This is very important to me as a physician, because I want to make sure my patients feel safe and respected.

"It's a big deal to go and see a doctor about something that you are scared or embarassed about... you don't want to feel bad about yourself after a doctor's visit."

Dr Pimple Popper's fame has led her to be recognised out on the street - 'always when I'm wearing sweatpants with holes, mismatched clothes, and no makeup', she said - and even offer 'curbside consults' to people seeking help with their skin problems.

Dr Lee now has a big year in store with the TLC series greenlit for 12 episodes later this year, and a book coming out - all while continuing to do what she does best: popping pimples.

"This pimple popping phenomenon has caused people to travel from some pretty far distances to see me.. across state lines, from other countries, and even other continents! And now, I see some pretty big things that people want "popped"," she said.

"Some cases I certainly refer to other physicians and surgeons but there are some that I know that I can remove under local anesthesia and can be life-changing.

"This is what has been truly so wonderful about all this pimple popping. To be able to have this exposure and then use it to change strangers' lives hopefully for the better."

Featured Image Credit: Dr Pimple Popper

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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