This Doctor Shares Her Amazing Blackhead Extractions On Instagram
Dr. Sandra Lee has the best job in the world. Warning: Gross videos ahead.
If you don't get an overwhelming feeling of calm from watching blackheads being popped, you might want to stop reading here.
If you do, there's some fun in store.
Thanks to Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, Instagram has been #blessed with scores of amazingly satisfying clips of pimples being banished.
Lee, a board-certified dermatologist based in Upland, California, is also a skin cancer specialist and cosmetic surgeon, but has grown a massive fan base thanks to her popping videos on Instagram and YouTube.
The clips, some of which have gotten millions of views, often feature the added bonus of Lee's soothing voice kindly reassuring her patients; she even makes conversation with the blemishes as she calmly works them out of her patients' skin.
"For many, I think there is an enormous feeling of satisfaction or resolution when they watch blackheads being extracted or pimples being popped," she told BuzzFeed News. "And who doesn’t want to feel good and relaxed?"
Because of this, Lee finds people often like to watch her clips right before bed to help them unwind.
When she first learned what "popping" was, the industrious Lee took to YouTube to share her own videos, and said she quickly learned there are "legions of 'popaholics' out there that can’t get enough of this stuff."
And though she said she used to dislike doing extractions, preferring surgeries, she's now become totally hooked.
"Sometimes, I even find myself watching my own blackhead extraction videos over and over, because somehow it has this hypnotizing quality," Lee told BuzzFeed News. "It kinda sucks you in. So I think I'm becoming a popaholic myself!"
Many of Lee's patients wanted to get ugly blackheads and cysts removed, but they weren't life-threatening and insurance wouldn't pay for the procedures. But then Lee had an idea.
The doctor offered to remove a patient's blackheads for free in exchange for allowing her to film the process and post it online.
"She jumped at the opportunity and when I posted it, it immediately got tons of likes," she said. That's when her physician assistant suggested she make an account exclusively for "popping pimples 24/7."
Lee believes people enjoy her clips so much because everyone has experienced having a pimple, and knows how good it feels when it's been popped.
"I think people get the same feeling when they've successfully solved a complex problem or give an excellent answer to a difficult question," she explained. "Satisfaction. Contentment."
Since starting the account four or five months ago, she's seen the followers grow "exponentially," she said. But not everyone is a fan.
"People who see my videos and pictures either love or hate what they see," she said. "Lucky for me, whether they are obsessed or disgusted, either way, they tag their friends!"
She even has regulars that her followers have gotten to know, like "Mr. Wilson" and his blackhead-filled schnoz.
Lee described Mr. Wilson:
He has a dermatologic condition called rhinophyma, which causes thickening of the skin on his nose, an increase in oil production, and dilated pores. This creates enormous almost never-ending blackheads on his nose. I filmed the entire blackhead extraction process, and my viewers immediately became obsessed and had to share with their friends.
Though many of the clips are pretty innocuous, some are more graphic — like this cyst being removed from an ear.
But her viewers don't discriminate!
All pops are good pops.
For those who want to do their own blackhead extractions, Lee recommends cleaning the skin and using a clean instrument — she likes the Schaumburg comedone extractor, which can be bought online, she said.
"Extractions soon after a hot shower is probably best, since steam helps to loosen up the debris within your pores, making extractions smoother and easier."
Her most important tip, she said, is to know when to stop and see a professional. "If you go too far, you run the risk of infection, persistent redness or darkening of the area, and possibly permanent scarring."
Ultimately, Lee's favorite part is that she's made her patients so much happier by having the opportunity to give free extractions in exchange for permission to anonymously film them.
"They couldn't do it themselves and they feel so much better about their appearance after the bumps are gone," she said.
Plus, she added, "all these people around the internet world sleep a little better watching me extract those [blackheads]. So in the end, its a win-win-win!"