Dr. Sandra Lee aka Dr. Pimple Popper can’t watch horror movies

Dr. Pimple Popper episode 1 as seen on TLC.
Over the holiday break my mom and I watched Dr. Pimple Popper on TLC together. We saw the on screen listing, were like “what the hell, we may as well” and then got alternately mesmerized and disgusted. I’d seen her YouTube videos but my mom had never heard of her. My mom even watched a few more episodes on her own! The best part is Dr. Sandra Lee’s easy rapport with her patients. She has a reassuring way of chatting that makes you think she’s the best doctor ever. For the uninitiated, Dr. Lee is a dermatologist who removes cysts, giant blackheads and massive pimples. She got famous with YouTube videos of extractions, which can be hard to watch and hard to stop watching. Dr. Lee doesn’t charge her patients if their insurance doesn’t cover it and they’re willing to be featured on video. (She doesn’t show their faces on YouTube in most cases.)

Rich Juzwiak from Jezebel got to interview her! He said she’s just as charming outside the office and he delightfully called her “humble as a curly fry.” I love that line! His piece was so fun to read. Dr. Lee has a new book she’s promoting called Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging. She also has a skincare line and a line of extraction tools. (I got my teenager this extraction set off Amazon for much cheaper and they work well. You just have to remember to sterilize them. I learned about these extraction tools from Dr. Lee’s videos)

On her rapport with her patients
“That’s how I speak to my patients and I think that’s part of what’s endearing, that I don’t talk down to them,” said Dr. Lee. “I speak to them like I’m their girlfriend or their family member and that’s part of the trust I think that’s generated there.”

She was told her extractions are like watching horror movies
“I hate horror movies,” she responded. “I cannot watch any of them. My husband has been pissed at me before because he’ll rent a movie and it ends up being somewhat scary and I’m like, ‘Ah, I cannot watch it, we have to turn it off!’ Flowers in the Attic, that kind of thing, I feel like that could really happen. Someone could live up there and torment me. I don’t like to be scared.”

On if she considers her videos art
She told me early on as she was editing a video of “a gentleman who had [clogged pores] within the creases of his forehead and you just take them out and they’re lined up like little ants almost,” she found herself mesmerized and kept rewatching a certain sequence of frames. She finally concluded that what sucked her in was the very beauty of the human body, or that particular part of that particular body that she then effectively squeezed the beauty out of.

On if she makes the videos for shock value
“It’s people’s lives,” she said, refuting the notion that she’s out to shock. “If you have a cyst, that’s you’re life and a lot of us have it. I normalize it. People understand that it’s okay, that you’re a normal person with these sorts of things. The show has really made me… what has been so worthwhile about it is that it’s really shown me what kind of effect I can have on people. Maybe it’s the show being all fluffy, like, ‘She’s changed my life,’ but I don’t really see that. I just send people home. If they have sutures maybe they come back for like five minutes.”

[From Jezebel]

Dr. Lee clearly enjoys getting all the puss out, which is disgusting to explain like that, but it’s true. There are people who don’t mind gore and things some of us consider disgusting, but who hate being scared. Kaiser is like that! She is ok with those CSI and true crime type stories but hates horror movies. I’m the opposite. I’d rather be scared and see fake zombie or violence gore than real medical gore. I can still watch it, it just grosses me out. The main thing I learned from this interview is that Dr. Lee is the real deal and that she’s just as relatable and nice to journalists as she is to her patients. Also that she has a husband, a dermatologist who works with her at her practice. I haven’t seen him on the show or in her videos and it turns out that he’s camera shy and doesn’t even watch her videos at all. It’s probably a good thing that he’s not on the show as reality shows can really strain a relationship.

Dr. Pimple Popper episode 1 as seen on TLC.

Dr. Pimple Popper episode 1 as seen on TLC.

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16 Responses to “Dr. Sandra Lee aka Dr. Pimple Popper can’t watch horror movies”

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  1. Snowflake says:

    I swore I wasnt going to watch this show, but I did. I got into it. One guy was very upset, he had a cyst by his eye on the bridge of his nose and people kept asking him about it. It makes you self conscious. She actually seems really genuine.

  2. kristen says:

    I also watched this show over the holidays, at my friend’s urging.
    I could feel my stomach drop when she’d do the extractions.
    It’s definitely not for everyone!

  3. Mle428 says:

    I used to work in a clinic where we would pack and irrigate the wounds for people who had massive cysts drained or extracted (wound care in general, but we saw a lot of these cases). You really do have to just normalize the whole experience (because we saw a TON of these cases). People are very embarrassed by having to go through this, and it’s really quite common. We loved getting the pus out, and sometimes we’d team up if we knew we had a really gnarly one coming in. I was pregnant while working there, and apparently have an iron stomach!

  4. Ann says:

    I love her! And I love watching zit/cyst popping videos. The more puss the better. I also HATE scary movies. I don’t like being scared either! She really is an amazing doctor. Bedside manner is so important and she has it in spades.

  5. Dragonlady Sakura says:

    I freaking love this show, gross as it is. The human body fascinates me and Dr. Lee is very caring to her patients. Although, I don’t deal with raw chicken anymore after a few episodes.

  6. Renee2 says:

    I think that her fame is going to place a strain on her marriage but I don’t see her getting divorced.

  7. koko says:

    Her husband appeared briefly in the Christmas Countdown special, they’re cute together. I’m the odd one, love this show, love horror movies.

    • Anuschka says:

      I love both too – the show and horror movies (more on the movie side though). If I get distusted through the show I close my eyes – don’t have to watch every second.

      I really like it for making people realize nothing is wrong with having cysts or other skin problems and there is help around the corner.

  8. Spicecake38 says:

    I used to work in this area of medicine.It never made me squeamish,now certain things gross me out at different times.My daughter and I watch her show,my daughter loves watching extractions and pus and blood drained from wounds.Go to you yube and look up MRSA videos if you want to see gross.

  9. Martha says:

    I enjoy this show. It’s very satisfying to watch her clear out a lipoma or cysts and flatten everything out. And it can be like changing for the patient!

    She has a great bedside manner and definitely puts people at ease. She’s great.

  10. incognito08 says:

    I am always entranced by her YouTube videos – the more puss and gore, the better. I love watching her stitch the patients up at the close of their procedures. The swift, elegant way she manipulates the thread and surgical tools is fascinating to me.

  11. tai says:

    I like watching her Youtube videos. I started because I had a small cyst removed from my back but of course I couldn’t see what the doctor did and I was curious. So I searched online and stumbled on her videos. There are amature videos done by regular people who yell a lot and have terrible camera angles and its not sterile. I like her clinical approach, the way she explains what she is doing, her obvious affection for her patients and the whole thing is very cleansing. And now I know what happened to my cyst (and it never came back, heheh)

    • Cee says:

      I love it when Dr Lee explains she HAS TO remove the cyst’s sac to prevent it from forming again. And her digging around for it lol

  12. Cee says:

    I adore her YT channel and watch almost everything she uploads. I need to figure out a way to watch her show w/o cable.

  13. polionna says:

    Her husband Dr Rebish is on the show and has done at least one video. I remember he did the video where he pulled out an entire nail because there was a growth underneath it. That was definitely one of the gnarliest things that was posted in her channel!

  14. Raina says:

    If Dr. Pimple popper couldn’t watch horror movies, thank GOD she didn’t see my face when I was 15. Yikes. I made Freddie Kruger look runway ready.

    Also, I love me some horror movies. Ever since I could remember. My kid, too.