Dr Sandra Lee from TLC's "Dr. Pimple Popper".
Picture: Supplied
Dr Sandra Lee from TLC's "Dr. Pimple Popper". Picture: Supplied

Find out what's popping in the new season of TLC's 'Dr Pimple Popper'

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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Watching pus ooze out of someone’s skin isn’t a pretty sight. In fact, most of the cases Dr Sandra Lee encounters in TLC's "Dr. Pimple Popper" are so gross, it activates the gag reflex. 

But for Dr Lee, a board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic surgeon, it’s just another day at the office.

She explains, “Well, I think the main thing that I am concerned about is when something is not even really a pimple or a cyst.  A lot of these growths are under the skin. And, there are certain clues that tell me that something is not life-threatening. Sometimes there are things that are life-threatening and that's something that is always scary.  

"I mean, I have patients that come to see me that travel from far because they feel like I can help them. But it's something that is well beyond me or something that I know immediately upon seeing it that this is not a good situation. And, those are the sad things that we see. And it's just part, I suppose, of the job.”

She adds, “And I think that's the other thing that makes our show really great, too, is that  even though we're helping these people and we're changing their life - but I'm glad to say that, for the most part, it's not a life or death situation.  

"Because in that case, no matter what, even if you remove that bump, it might lead to their death, you know. So that would be a terrible, really depressing show. So, at least we can give people a new lease on life, you know.”

Dr Sandra Lee from TLC's "Dr. Pimple Popper". Picture: Supplied

On finding small screen fame through her social media video posts, she shares, “Well, it came as an accident. I started Instagram just to show a little window into my world. And then I happened to post like a blackhead extraction, which is not something that we do commonly as dermatologists.  

"We know how to do it. But, we don't because it's not a medical necessity to do that. And it just caught the interest of people. And I noticed that this was something that people were interested in. So, I just started building on it and it just got really big. 

“And then I had videos that went viral and it was just this fun ride. And then it just grew out of control. And now here I am. It's wonderful that people are watching the show and loving it.  

"It's so interesting how it translates so well, obviously, to other countries, other languages. It's like this universal thing that people feel the same way all around the world about it  – so I'm very lucky about that.”

As for whether she watches similar videos, she admits, “I do not. I have kids. I have my one - my 15-year-old boy. He has a blackhead in his left ear. And I drive him to school many days, and when I look over at him, my eyes directly go to that ear and I see that all the time. And every now and then I mention it. 

"And I just say you've got to take care of it. But I don't – it doesn't bother him. I don't think other people really notice it, but I notice it. But I'm not compelled to pop it. I've never been really compelled to pop pimples on my patients either. But now I am because it's different, because I know that if I see a really good one, that I know other people are going to love this. So, then I get excited about it.”

As this is a reality TV series, there’s plenty of drama to be captured on camera as frustrations get the better of patients, especially when they face the full brunt of some mean-spirited individuals.

On what fans can expect to see in the new season, she smiles, “More pop, bigger pop. Wonderful stories. I don't know, it doesn't get old I think because it's always a little bit different and you hear it's like watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster. There are things about it that are scary that might frighten people, that is concerning.  

"And then there's a resolution in the end. You get that feeling of a little bit of euphoria, that happy feeling in the end, which makes it all worth it. So, just get ready to go on a ride. That's all.”

"Dr. Pimple Popper" airs on TLC (DStv channel 135) on Saturday, April 18, at 8pm.

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