Why Do We Love Watching Pimple Popping Videos?

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Dr Pimple Popper on TV is a testimony to our obsession with gross popping videos. But what is it that makes them click? We find out.

Thanks to her oozingly addictive videos, Dr Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper has already amassed a massive social media fanbase. Dr. Pimple Popper's YouTube channel has over 3.4 million subscribers and you can be sure to enjoy some popping content there.

But now she's ready to take over television sets as well. 

YouTube's famous dermatologist who is known to help her patients clear out their pesky acne and cysts has landed herself a sweet deal with TLC. The series eponymously titled Dr. Pimple Popper and started July 11, showcases the dermat examining and oozing all sorts of poppers. 

But let us warn you beforehand that Dr Pimple Popper's videos are not for the faint-hearted and in true style not without pus--and lots of it.  

Ooze Control: Dr Pimple Popper On TV

The show reportedly consists of six hour-long episodes. Each installment takes a look at behind-the-scenes workings of Dr Lee's crazy ass cases. So you'll see Lee "poke, prod, and squeeze in order to resolve some unusual dermatological cases, as well as transform the lives of her patients," according to the TLC release.

"First you meet the patients in their hometown and see how their skin condition affects their life and the people around them. You understand how devastating their condition really is, how it affects their everyday life and how they interact with others and the world," Dr. Lee told Us Weekly in an official statement.

"I evaluate every patient and decide on a treatment course to help their skin conditions — and afterward, we see how we have really transformed their lives!" she added. 

Some of the instances that you're likely to see on this show includes elephant-like skin condition, protruding veins, and even noticeable cysts and tumors.

Interestingly, the show is looking for cast members, which means if you got a zit to pop, head over to the TLC website to apply for a treatment by Dr Pimple Popper herself. 

If you want to watch the show, you can even go online to the TLC website and check out the episodes. But remember to watch before dinner because we're not going to be responsible for any uneasy squirms. 

Which brings us to why somebody would watch such videos.

Well, why not? In this age of ASMR, and strangely addictive fashion influencer posts and all those dog and cat videos, there is also a place for pimple popping videos.

As it turns out our brain enjoys such videos. Yes, you read that right!

But Why Are We Obsessed With Pimple Popping Videos?

The current gross-out craze of pimple popping videos is driven by two kinds of people. The first kind are those that are genuinely interested to see pus-filled zits and cysts being popped. The other kind are trying to understand why the first kind watches them. 

And while we may not spend that much time popping our own zits, it's often  difficult to pass on a video titled "CRAZY ZITS GETTING SQUEEZED SO GROSS BUT SATISFYING." To then say that such videos are addictive would be a gross understatement. 

So when you see Dr Pimple Popper on TV or on YouTube you add to the billions of views she already has on videos when she pops zits and cysts. Similarly, UK audiologist Neel Raithatha gets over 24 million videos on his videos where he performs ear cleaning and wax extractions. 

In fact, there is a subreddit called /r/popping that is dedicated to “pictures, videos, and stories about cysts and pimples.” If you love watching such videos then you won't be surprised to know that this subreddit has over 115,000 subscribers. 

So what's so special about these seemingly gross videos?

Why Does Our Brain Like Pimple Popping Videos? 

Simply put, they make your brain feel good. Yes! That's correct. 

When you pop your own pimples, your brain releases dopamine, the happy neurotransmitter. You basically feel a combination of physically and mental relief, even though you're not supposed to pop a zit. Similar thing happens when you watch somebody else pop their zit. 

The exhilaration that one gets from popping zits is like witnessing a suspense filled event. And then, experiencing a satisfying end.

As Diana Fleischman, clinical sexologist and senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, US, told The Cut, “We evolved in an environment where there were tons of ectoparasites like flies, lice, and tics, which would all transmit disease...Humans have evolved to groom each other to avoid these ectoparasites."

She added that picking zits also gives us a similar sense of pleasure.

But let's be honest. The main reason we are attracted to these videos is because we love gross things (sometimes).  

As psychologist Nina Strohminger wrote in a dissertation titled The Hedonics of Disgust, “I don't think there's anything straightforwardly masochistic about it. Rather, negative sensations are interesting, particularly when you're in a context where they can't hurt you. You're probably not going to step in dog shit just for the experience. But maybe you'd click on a link to watch someone else doing it.”

So watch away, but don't scare others! 

Source: TLC

(Feature & lead image courtesy: Instagram/Dr Pimple Popper)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj