There are those who understand the immense satisfaction of watching puss erupt out of a ripe whitehead once and for all, and those who do not. The former recognizes one woman as their queen, and her name is Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, a dermatologist-turned-influencer based in California.
In 2014, after the success of a pimple popping video she'd posted to YouTube a few years prior, Dr. Lee made an Instagram account dedicated to videos of her extractions, which she'd post with her patients' consent of course. Quickly, she began to gain hundreds of thousands of followers, people she now refers to as "popaholics." Today, with over three million followers on Instagram alone, and 4.8 million YouTube subscribers, Dr. Lee is a very busy woman.
In 2017, she created her own skincare line, SLMD Skincare Products, and the second season of her tv show Dr. Pimple Popper is currently airing every Thursday on TLC. In 2018, the same year she signed with TLC, Dr. Lee published her first book Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging.
No matter whether you're bewitched or repulsed by watching pimples get popped, no one can deny that Dr. Lee—who often shares educational dermatology facts on her social media—knows her stuff. And that's why when we learned that Dr. Pimple Popper herself would be visiting our office in Brooklyn, we couldn't wait to ask her the gross and specific questions we have about both her job and our own skin. Dr. Lee kindly answered questions from Broadly staff and our readers. Here's what she had to say—for more of her advice, watch the video of her visit!
@MARIAWCHIU: Where is the strangest place on a person's body that you've popped something?
DR. SANDRA LEE: I don't really do strange locations. If you want an example of something kind of strange, there are such things as scrotal cysts. The type of cysts I remove, you're going to see them in any hair-baring area, so you're going to see them in all the nooks and crannies. I say they're like snowflakes, because they're never the same.
@BANANIEGRAMS: Does anything ever splash on you and if it does, how do you handle that?
I'll tell you—when something splashes on you, it sticks with you, and you're aware of it. It's definitely shot up on the walls, shot up in the air. It feels like acid on you, but it's just part of the hazards of my life.
@ASIAJHAD: What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with acne or their own skin care?
They listen to their friends and take their advice. Everybody's skin is different!
@ANGIEJAIME: What is the best treatment for acne scarring?
If you are going to pop a pimple, you have to be patient. For people who are pickers, you have to know when to pop, and you have to know when to stop. You have to put your hands down.
LEILA ETTACHFINI: How do you know if a pimple is "ready" to pop, or when you should wait it out?
Like any dermatologist, I'm going to say don't pop your own pimples, but I know that you're going to, so I think the important thing to know is that the more trauma you create deeper in the skin, the more likely you are to create scarring or infection. So those deep ones under there that you know aren't ready to pop, if you squeeze them, you're just going to make them bigger.
ALLISON LAU: My mom has the skin of a teenager and she's almost 60. She's always telling me I should wash my face with banana peels and lemon and I'm kind of like, Is that a myth, or magic?
I'm not that keen on applying lemon juice to your skin. She might be thinking that that's like a bleaching agent because chemical acids can lighten the skin. I'm not sure what the banana peel is.