Confessions Of Dr. Pimple Popper's Husband

Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Rebish.
Ever since Dr. Pimple Popper hit our Thursday-night watch lists, people have been dying to know more about Dr. Sandra Lee, the chipper dermatologist in bright pink scrubs who takes down six-pound lipomas and pores of Winer like she was born to do it. Where did she come from? What's her backstory? And just how has Dr. Pimple Popper managed to become a household name over two decades working in the industry?
We decided to take our questions to the person who knows her best: her husband and fellow dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Rebish. Here, he opens up to Refinery29 about life pre-TLC fame, the behind-the-scenes secrets we don't see on TV, and what it's really like to be married to Dr. Pimple Popper. The following interview was told to Megan Decker and edited for length and clarity.
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It Started With A Med School Meet-Cute
"We were both at medical school in Philadelphia to become dermatologists. Sandra walked into the room on orientation day, and I knew right away that she was the one. We dated through school, and when we both had our degrees, we moved out to California, where Sandra grew up and her dad owned a dermatology practice. Together we took over that practice, and we've been working in our office in Upland — running the business as partners, while raising a family — ever since.
On the day-to-day, we're both dermatologists, but we have very different roles in the office. I'm definitely not a 'pimple popper.' I'm the business guy, more behind-the scenes. I handle the administrative side of the practice, while also seeing my own patients. But Sandra handles the cosmetic side of things — Botox and fillers, liposuction and eye lifts, and the more complex surgeries you see on TV. It's not what I like to do, but those more theatrical surgeries have always been her speciality."
Sandra's Secret Side Hustle
"For as long as I can remember, Sandra has been the kind of person who can't sleep through the night. We'll be in bed, and she's up on her phone. About four years ago, she was regularly up pretty late — I thought she was playing video games or something. Come to find out, she was actually posting these videos of her surgeries to YouTube under this alias she created called Dr. Pimple Popper.
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She actually didn't even tell me what was going on until she had a serious following. Once YouTube was paying her and the videos were actually bringing in money, she filled me in. I didn't know what to make of it, because at that point, the Dr. Pimple Popper following was there, but still modest — probably about 5,000 subscribers, or so. Then, the craziest thing happened: Some media outlet found her page and reposted one of her videos. After the news was out there, it was wildfire. Sandra went from something like 5,000 to over 80,000 subscribers within a week, and we were fielding calls from a handful of production companies who wanted to put her on TV."
Embracing Mr. Dr. Pimple Popper
"Before Dr. Pimple Popper, Sandra and I divided our workload equitably, between our practice and taking care of our two sons, who are now twelve and fourteen. But since she's kind of blown up — with a TLC show and a legitimate retail business, SLMD Skincare — things are different.
Sandra has to give a lot of time to Dr. Pimple Popper, and between filming and promotional events, she's very, very busy. It's her baby, so I pick up slack where she might've been more of a presence if it weren't for the show. Sometimes that's taking care of the boys, or handling her contracts. The fandom is crazy, and we'll probably have to continue to figure things out as Dr. Pimple Popper grows and evolves. Ultimately, I'll always be involved any way Sandra needs me to be, because we're a team."
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A Family Of Non-Fans
"As a married couple and business partners, we definitely discuss work at home. Especially if Sandra's worried about a patient's outcome — if there's a big surgery with a risk of bleeding, for instance, that definitely weighs on her. She's actually had to cancel plans with our friends because of the emotional toll a particular surgery took on her. And sometimes people will recognize her on the street, which is pretty fun. But besides those occasions, Dr. Pimple Popper is pretty separate from Sandra as a wife and mother at home.
To be completely honest, I don't really watch the show, or any of her videos. Not because I'm not supportive; I'd just rather not see that stuff outside of the office. Funnily enough, our boys don't watch it either — they actually get mad if we turn it on at dinner. Even Sandra will tell you she's not a popaholic. I mean, she's never popped anything on my skin, which might be a little disappointing to her fans — because a husband-wife surgery would certainly make for good TV."
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