People can’t look away from the videos this woman posts of her indulging in her guilty pleasure of popping other people’s pimples.
Dr. Sandra Lee, also known as Doctor Pimple Popper, is a board-certified dermatologist based in Southern California. She is well known for her fascinating videos of her popping her patients’ pimples, cysts, blackheads and more.
Lee, also a skin cancer and cosmetic surgeon, has gained a loyal following both on her YouTube channel and her Instagram account.
Her videos allow her half-a-million YouTube subscribers to get a front-seat view into her world as a dermatologist treating a number of skin, hair and nail diseases.
Her YouTube videos on skin care, beauty and dermatology have received over 330 million views.
A video posted by Sandra Lee, MD Dermatology (@drpimplepopper) on Mar 12, 2016 at 9:03pm PST
Lee, who has nearly a million followers on her Instagram account, was raised in Upland, California, and attended the University of California Los Angeles for her undergraduate degree and the Hahnemann University School of Medicine for her medical degree.
Her intention of building her social media platform is to provide educational information on subjects such as blackheads, cysts, acne, warts, Botox, fillers and liposuction.
There’s no doubt that her devoted fans find her line of work intriguing. Lee told Cosmopolitan that she began her Instagram account near the end of 2014 by posting a video of blackheads.
She noticed that it caught the attention of users so she began to post more videos from her YouTube channel. A surprising number of people watch the videos. She told Cosmo:
“I hear people watch my videos before they go to sleep at night. People say during finals week they watch them before their test because it helps them relax and calm down. I think in the past there are people who have been watching this stuff privately, kind of like pornography.”
The video clips may appear gory and disgusting, but it’s hard to look away. Even as a dermatologist, Lee admits she gets grossed out at times too. She recalled:
“Two cases recently which were on the same day, actually, I had to come home at lunch and take a nap because it was too much for me. One of them was an abscess, which I don’t like, and the other one was a big cyst that was black — it was black on the inside. It was big. It was maybe the size of a kid’s fist.”
As a dermatologist who pops a lot of things everyday, it may not be surprising that Lee has her favorites and least favorites. She told Cosmo:
“I much prefer to pop cysts that are not inflamed or infected. In those kinds of cases, they have the texture of Brie cheese, a pasty type of texture. They smell because there is an infection there and if there is bacteria involved, that creates an odor. Those can smell disgusting, which is why I don’t like that stuff.”
Lee also revealed that there are some things that can ruin a dermatologist’s day. She said:
“I don’t show as many abscesses that can be popular with people who like popping. I don’t like to do that, especially because those kinds of things are very liquid-y and can squirt you. It ruins your day if you get it in your hair.”
Lee has received a number of comments and inquiries from fans about what it takes to become a dermatologist. In her video, she explained her path from her undergraduate years to medical school and dermatology residency.
It seems that her newfound social media fame has given her an opportunity to interact with hopeful future doctors. Her career has also allowed her to make an impact on her patients’ lives. Lee explained:
“I show a little bit of my patients [on social media] without sharing who they are. We talk during the visit, so I share a little bit of their story. There’s a patient I have who we’ve nicknamed Pops. He’s an older gentleman whose wife recently passed away. The first time I did this for him, he had skin cancer, and I realized he also had a lot of blackheads on his nose.”
“I asked him if I could extract them. We started talking about his wife and how recently she just passed away and how devastated he was. He was going through a lot of emotional and financial problems and because of that, all these people who watched my videos rallied behind him and they raised $12,000 for him. He was floored. It was really nice and memorable, and I can’t believe that happened from extracting blackheads.”