“I wasn’t actually seeing her [as a patient]. She drove over [to my office] to say ‘hello’ to me and she said she was obsessed with [my show],” Lee, 50, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, December 22, while discussing her TLC series’ new season. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. This is crazy.’”
“There’s Gwyneth Paltrow, there’s Selena Gomez, there’s Ashley Graham. There’s so many people that are [fans]. It’s amazing for me to see,” she explained. “It’s really special, actually, because obviously everybody knows them. And for them to actually recognize or maybe even tell you that — you know, stop and tell you that they really like what you’re doing — I mean, that’s just a crazy action.”
Lee gained recognition after posting videos to social media of herself squeezing giant pimples, abscesses, lipomas and other lumps on various clients. From there, she landed her own TLC reality series, Dr. Pimple Popper, in 2018.
The California native has come across plenty of unsettling skin issues during her many years as a dermatologist. While she isn’t bothered by what her patients confront her with, there is one particular item that makes her uncomfortable.
“I’m grossed out by raw chicken and meat,” she admitted to Us. “Like, I can’t touch that with my bare hands. As long as I wear gloves, I’m good. So, it’s the same kind of thing in my mind [as surgery] and I feel like we’ve also trained ourselves to not react in a negative way and in a way that also helps you to not feel negatively because you don’t want to embarrass people or make them feel bad about what they have.”
New episodes of Dr. Pimple Popper are just around the corner. Fans will see how Lee reopened her Los Angeles office with new safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the start of the global lockdown, the doctor saw patients through virtual appointments.
“[The virus] definitely has affected business because we’re seeing patients and we had to close down for a while. When we started back, it’s definitely a lot more rules,” she explained to Us. “We wear masks all the time to protect our staff and to protect the patients and everybody. So when we filmed during that time, which we did, it was all zoom calls.”
The SLMD Skincare founder noted that filming the show amid the outbreak resulted in the series not including the “most important” aspect of the story, being “actually resolving an issue” for her clients. “We’re just talking about this issue, so [we were] building up all this tension and now we get to release it,” she added.
Dr. Pimple Popper returns to TLC on Monday, December 28, at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi