The incredible niche success of Dr Pimple Popper says something about the internet.
It combines an intriguingly gross habit people enjoy in the comfort of their own homes, faces up close and person with their magnifying mirror, and broadcasts it on social media, for anyone and everyone to see.
For the unacquainted, Dr Pimple Popper (whose real name is Dr Sandra Lee) is a California-based dermatologist who rose to fame by creating extraction videos in which she removes her client’s blackheads, pimples and skin lumps and bumps.
It’s disgusting, you cannot look away, and somehow she has achieved a level of internet fame previously only reserved for felines, puppies and cute babies.
Her Instagram (@drpimplepopper) has 2.7 million followers has even spawned its own Youtube channel (with an even bigger following of 3.5 million subscribers). She also has a well rating TV show on US Channel TLC.
Speaking to Kelsey Castañon of Refinery 29, Dr Sandra says that the idea – to film her popping pimples and place it on the internet, first came to her after she came across amateur videos of people popping pimples in their backyards.
“I thought, I pop pimples all day. I’m a surgeon, so I can surgically excise things that pop out of the skin and try to video tape it. I could be their queen,” she said… and that’s exactly what happened.
PS, there’s a brand new NSFW skincare trend we need to talk about. Post continues after audio.
Despite this, not everyone was a fan. Dr Sandra noted that one of the initial difficulties she experienced was that her posts would get taken down and deemed “not appropriate” by Instagram and YouTube.