Meet the Doc Who Pops Pimples for the Internet's Enjoyment

Millions of 'popaholics' want to watch Dr. Lee do her thing
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2016 5:46 PM CST
Meet the Doc Who Pops Pimples for the Internet's Enjoyment

Warning: This story is not for the squeamish. We mean it. New York Magazine has a fascinating—if occasionally far too descriptive—profile on Dr. Sandra Lee, better known among so-called "popaholics" on the Internet as Dr. Pimple Popper. Lee, an otherwise typical Southern California dermatologist, accidentally stumbled upon a culture of people who enjoy watching pimples, blackheads, and other fluid-filled things pop when she started an Instagram account two years ago. Now, thanks to her dedicated popaholics, she's topping 900,000 followers on Instagram and 850,000 subscribers on YouTube. Lee says her viewers get satisfaction out of the unpredictable payoff of a good pop. "It’s like gambling,” she says. “You never know when you’re going to hit a big one.”

So what compels nearly 7 million people to watch Lee remove a whole mess of blackheads from an 80-year-old man's nose? "Some fans reported that their mouths inexplicably watered when they saw a particularly juicy pop; others claimed that they found the videos so soothing that they used them as a sleep aid," New York Magazine explains. Whatever the reasons, it's become a lucrative side gig for Lee. She's selling Dr. Pimple Popper merchandise and could potentially make hundreds of thousands off her YouTube page this year. Lee is even starting to cater to the "hardcore" popaholics, moving beyond pimples to "cysts, abscesses, and fatty tumors." Though there is one part of the extraction experience she'll never be able to replicate for them: the "pungent cheese" smell. Read the full story here, if your stomach can handle it. (More pimples stories.)

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