I’m going to start this post out with a warning: We are going to get a little nasty here. Anything having to do with Dr. Pimple Popper tends to lean that way. So if you are not the kind of person who can even stomach the idea of popping your own zit, let alone watching another person’s zit being popped, you might want to stop reading now. But if you are curious what this Dr. Pimple Popper craze is all about, then please keep reading.
Wait for people to leave the room.
Sandra Lee, M.D., aka Dr. Pimple Popper, is a board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic surgeon who has a very popular YouTube channel with over 2 million subscribers. She’s kind of a new craze.
This is how she describes her channel:
“Hopefully this channel will show you a ‘window into my world’ as a dermatologist. I’d like to educate you about different diseases of the skin, hair, and nails, and give you some skin care advice as well. Along the way, you will still see your favorites, what has become my ‘bread and butter’ so to speak: pimples popped, blackheads extracted, cysts and lipomas excised.”
More or less, she posts close-up videos of her popping blackheads, zits, cysts, and really anything else on the human body that is in need of popping.
To give you an idea of what we are working with, here are a few headings that come up if you Goggle, “Dr. Pimple Popper.”
“Dr. Pimple Popper squeezes pure ivory goodness from a cyst,” “Dr. Pimple Popper pops out a young woman’s dug-in lipoma,” and “Dr. Pimple Popper: Giant cyst on man’s BACKSIDE is drained.”
I felt a little queasy just reading those titles, so I can understand if you think I’m crazy for watching these videos, because on the surface, it’s just nasty. But the problem is, these suckers are so pervasive, it’s difficult to avoid them.
And trust me, I tried. I tried not to take the clickbait. I tried so hard to turn away every time a friend shared a closeup video of some lumpy mass just underneath an elderly man’s skin, ready to be popped. But eventually I caved, and a good hour later I’d watched 20 or so pimple-extraction videos and realized just how satisfying it is to see greenish-white goop pushed out from beneath a stranger’s skin.
And the craziest thing about it, I learned a lot about dermatology while watching. Not that I’ve even had the desire to be a dermatologist, because I haven’t. But watching Dr. Pimple Popper work over some random cyst on the back of someone’s head felt about as satisfying as reading a Dan Brown novel. I was entertained and informed all at the same time, and I honestly believe that’s the real appeal of these damn things.
And you know what, that’s probably the hardest thing about Dr. Pimple Popper videos. It’s trying to explain to someone who hasn’t watched them why they are so fascinating, because they really shouldn’t be. They seem like something that should be shoved down in the depths of the internet, on some blacklisted website that can’t be found via Goggle. Furthermore, popping someone else’s pimple seems like a duty that deserves extra compensation because of how nasty it is, rather than have an audience of millions, but clearly that isn’t the case.
I found this out the hard way. It was around 10 p.m. The kids were in bed, and I was in the living room watching a massive cyst being removed from someone’s lower leg when my wife sat down next to me with a bowl of ice cream. “What are you watching?” she asked.
I didn’t respond because I was so engrossed in the damn thing. That’s the crazy part about these videos. They are almost as hypnotic as a lava lamp, but at the same time there is something almost dirty about them that feels sinful and strange and makes your heart pound.
She asked again, and so I told her about Dr. Pimple Popper. I told her about how interesting I found them. I told her that I now know what a lipoma is, a lumpy pocket of fat.
Mel and I had been married for 12 years. We had three kids, a house, and a cat, and for the first time in our marriage, she looked at me like I was the nastiest person she’d ever met. Keep in mind that we were well past the fart barrier.
I struggled to justify myself. I told her about the Dan Brown analogy. But instead of buying in and watching with me, she stood, went into the kitchen, shaking her head, and finished her bowl of ice cream.
I suppose I should be happy that she didn’t completely lose her appetite. And I’m thrilled that she didn’t divorce me. Dr. Pimple Popper obviously isn’t for everyone. I will say this with a warning though: These videos can become habit-forming, but the long-term effects are yet to be determined.
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