Sandra Lee, MD, is an unlikely internet star. Sure, she’s beautiful and accomplished, but it's her pimple popping skills that have garnered the attention — and the name Dr. Pimple Popper. And by attention, we mean nearly half-a-million subscribers obsessively refreshing her Instagram and checking her YouTube feed. You can't say that for many dermatologists, can you?
Dr. Lee’s fans are logging on day and night, waiting impatiently for this raven-haired Southern California-based doctor to post a new video to feed their insatiable need. Sure, watching her extract an enormous blackhead, remove an inflamed cyst from someone’s neck, or delicately excise a glistening blob of extraneous fat (a.k.a. lipoma) from a forearm is, well, nasty. Yet, for Dr. Lee’s thousands and thousands of fans, these videos are the first thing they want to see in the morning and the last thing they watch before bed.
I should know: I am one of those fans. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time watching Dr. Lee’s videos, as well as the scads of poorly lit, super-shaky, at-home extractions uploaded by less-professional people every day to YouTube — which often feature a girlfriend eagerly doing the squeezing on a guy, beer cans scattered in the background, a dog scuttling underfoot, and an ear-splitting squeal when something explodes. Regardless of how grainy or gross the video, when it comes to pimples, blackheads, cysts, and any and all enlarged, clogged, or otherwise deranged pore, I'll watch. I’m a “popaholic,” the term Dr. Lee has affectionately labeled fans of the genre. Ahead, I chat with Dr. Pimple Popper, take a closer look at why popaholics are so fascinated, and let you watch my top 10 favorite videos — if you dare.