Three or four years ago, board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Sandra Lee, MD, decided to — on a whim — post a video of a blackhead extraction on her Instagram feed and, well, the rest is history. Today, Dr. Lee is known as Dr. Pimple Popper and has some 2.8 million Insta followers and 4 million YouTube subscribers in addition to her eponymous TLC series, SLMD Skincare line and board game. Yes, that’s right, a pimple popping board game!
“I really just wanted to empower and educate people,” Lee tells Us of how the Dr. Pimple Popper craze began. “It’s not just about popping.”
Even so, Dr. Lee is best known for recording and sharing her graphic dissections of lipomas and cysts (reality TV queen Kim Kardashian even admitted to being grossed — ahem, engrossed — with the doc’s videos in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians), so she has teamed up with the board game experts at Spin Master to create an Operation-like game called Pimple Pete.
Available via Amazon, Walmart and Target, aspiring-derms are tasked with extracting “pimples” from Pete’s face, but one wrong move will have you squirted with water when the “mega zit” on the nose explodes. It may sound gory but it’s nothing compared to what Dr. Lee faces in the real OR. “The game is meant to put you in the office with me,” she says. “But at least you are only dealing with a little bit of water and not actual pimple puss if you make a mistake.”
While she maintains a dermatology and cosmetic surgery practice in Upland, California, her Dr. Pimple Popper ventures, board game and all, are meant for those around the country and world who find themselves without access to a dermatologist. “The videos and skincare line aren’t for my patients,” Dr. Lee explains. “They can visit me when they have a problem. This is to educate and help those who may never see a dermatologist.”
Her skincare line contains condition-based products that are meant to bridge the gap between over-the-counter treatments and a trip to the doctor. In addition to acne-fighting cleansers, toners and moisturizers, the line will soon expand to contain products that address other skin concerns like keratosis pilaris (i.e. those pesky little bumps that appear on the arms, thighs and cheeks due to an overproduction of keratin that blocks the hair follicle). But it’s safe to say that, no matter how far and wide the line expands, she will always be Dr. Pimple Popper.
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