Known to us all as Dr Pimple Popper, Sandra Lee has become the face of all things pimples over the years, famous for her viral videos and TV series where she squeezes blackheads, slices cysts, removes lipomas, and, well, transforms lives.
However, there’s one thing she wants you to know – she’s not a popaholic!
The American dermatologist has been conquering pimples for years but quickly gained popularity in 2015 when she began sharing her skin extractions on Instagram – because we clearly can’t get enough.
Fast forward to 2018 and she signed with TLC to front her own Dr Pimple Popper TV series, which has gone on to win her awards and garner millions of online followers.
Chatting exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Dr Lee debunks the misconceptions about her, explaining why she has no desire to check her DMs and, honestly? We can’t blame her.
‘People think that I love pops, so they’ll send me, like, horse abscesses, or animal abscesses, and I cannot even look at that,’ she shares (do not Google it).
‘It gets me sweating just thinking about it. I don’t like to see stuff like that.’
‘I do it if I’m there and I have my mask on and my gloves…’ she adds, before quickly backtracking: ‘No, I couldn’t do a horse or something – the horse would kick me! That’s not my world.
‘A person with an abscess the size a horse would, I could definitely tackle, I guess I’m not a natural popaholic, actually.
‘I didn’t chase my kids around the house if they had a blackhead that looks ripe and juicy, that’s just not in my nature.’
She prefers to call herself a ‘born-again popaholic’, totally on board with why people are so intrigued by pimple squeezing.
‘It’s interesting and amazing and fascinating to me that people really love this stuff and it makes them happy. That’s probably a misconception because people think that I automatically love it and they show me things and I’m like, no! I don’t want to see that!’
Dr Lee would much rather be in a setting where she’s the one in ‘control’, adding that her DMs are a no-go.
In fact, some pops are actually ‘too wild’ for her TV show, which has aired for eight seasons and 70+ episodes.
‘There are a lot of things they don’t show on television because it might be something that is considered more shocking, but I love that they try to show as much as they can and that people learn from it,’ Dr Lee explains, although she gets ‘mad’ when her content is blocked online for being graphic.
‘It’s not like I’m doing this to be gross,’ she insists. ‘We’re doing this because this is life, this is education, to know that you can do these things very safely and very comfortably and painlessly, and make people’s lives better in that way.’
Even Dr Lee had her reservations initially, though, and didn’t tell her own father or husband – who are also dermatologists – that she was uploading her procedures to the internet, out of fear of ’embarrassing’ her profession.
But, as we know, things really took off for her, and the TV star and pimple master is ‘very proud’ of what she’s created, admitting all her patients leave ‘an impression’ on her, long after they leave her office.
‘Sometimes people ask if I mind being called Dr Pimple Popper, but I made up the name! I’m fine with it!’, she says with a smile.
‘I’m really proud of what this has become, it is so much more than just pimples and we, as dermatologists, are so much more than pimple popping.’
Dr Pimple Popper airs 10pm Wednesdays on Really, also available to stream on discovery+.
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