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We Talked to Dr. Pimple-Popper About Why Zit-Popping Videos Are So Damn Popular

There’s no getting around it—even in adulthood, acne is a force to be reckoned with. From poor diet and bad skincare habits to genetics, there are several reasons why you could get a flare-up (and there are several things you can do to prevent acne in the first place). 

But once the zit is actually there, how do you make sure it goes away? For some of us, the answer is simple: you pop it.

While pimple-popping isn’t necessarily a great idea, one thing is clear: people love watching it. A YouTube video of a huge zit being popped is viral gold. So as part of our Gross video series, Men’s Health Editor-In-Chief Matt Bean sat down with dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, AKA Dr. Pimple Popper, who has posted many of these videos on her YouTube channel. During the interview, Lee speculated as to why pimple-popping videos are so damn popular.

“Part of it is fascination,” Lee said. “For some reason, it makes a lot of people feel good.”

Lee also discussed how she’s been using her videos as a way to educate people about skincare. According to her, her YouTube channel helps to spread the gospel of pimple prevention. “It’s a way for me to sort of trick [people] into educating them, to have them learn about their skin,” she said. 

For the interview, Bean and Lee sat down to watch a few clips, including one popular video of a blackhead extraction. In the video, one of Lee’s patients has something called rhinophyma, or “rhino nose,” a large, red, bumpy nose with enlarged oil glands that can lead to clogged pores and blackheads.

“You never know what you’re going to get when blackheads pop out,” Dr. Pimple Popper says.

Lee’s videos feature several different skin conditions, so there’s plenty to see and learn. In one of them, she popping cysts around the eyes, which resemble “little pearls under the skin,” says Dr. Pimple Popper, and extracting a “dilated pore of winer,” which is a vast blackhead made of “dirt and skin and debris that gets stuck under [the skin].”

These procedures are pretty gross, but if you’re the type of person who derives tremendous satisfaction from gross-out viral videos, they can be wildly entertaining. So there’s no shame in checking out Dr. Pimple Popper for some pimple-popping magic.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US.

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