The best pimple-popping videos of 2020 (2024)

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Julia Naftulin

The best pimple-popping videos of 2020 (1)

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  • The coronavirus pandemic closed doctor's offices at the beginning of the year, but Dr. Pimple Popper was able to see her patients again in May and resumed sharing videos of her procedures.
  • The best pimple-popping videos of 2020 include a "bubble-wrap" lipoma, "potato salad" back cyst, and a man with a "mask" of blackheads around his nose, cheeks, and eyes.
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The best pimple-popping videos of 2020 (2)


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Despite pandemic restrictions that left many doctor's offices closed for part of the year, Dr. Pimple Popper delivered a steady stream of blackhead-popping, cyst-squeezing, and lipoma-treating videos to her fans.

On Instagram and YouTube, Dr. Pimple Popper, whose real name is dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, gave up-close looks at some of her most invasive and skillful treatments, including when she removed a cyst from underneath a woman's tattoo and stitched it shut seamlessly.

She also debuted "Dr. Pimple Popper: Before the Pop," a pandemic spin-off of her TLC show "Dr. Pimple Popper" which featured her skincare advice offered via webcam.

And in true Dr. Pimple Popper fashion, there was no shortage of food metaphors and puns to describe the growths she treated throughout 2020. Here are the best ones.


After Dr. Pimple Popper's California office reopened in May, she made her pimple-popping video return treating a man's 'mask' of blackheads on his temples, cheeks, and eyes.

The video ended up being a multi-part series due to the amount of blackheads the man had.

After speaking with the patient, Dr. Pimple Popper learned he had so many clogged pores because of his decades-long job in the air freight business, where he was exposed to jet fuel daily.

According to Lee, the jet fuel and other substances in the air can clog pores and cause a buildup of blackheads over time.

"Sometimes when I see ones like this, the occupation that people have had has been a fireman — or something like that — where they're in soot a lot," Lee said in the video. "You weren't a fireman but you were in air freight so often you had jet fuel or exhaust on your face."


The following month, Lee squeezed a golf ball-sized cyst on a man's jawline.

According to Lee, the golfball-sized lump was an epidermoid cyst, which is a growth that slowly forms when skin cells burrow into the skinrather than shedding off the surface like they're supposed to do.

Epidermoid cysts often occur when a hair follicle or injured part of the skin gets clogged with the skin cells, and that's exactly what happened to the man in Dr. Pimple Popper's video.

Though the man didn't say how long his cyst had been growing for, epidermoid cysts typically develop slowly and sometimes don't require treatment. They alsotend to be painless growths, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Before cutting the cyst open with a surgical blade, Lee said that the man's wife had previously tweezed out a hair that had been growing from his cyst, and that she wished the wife caught it on tape.

"That's a big hair to pull out of there," Lee said.


Then Lee treated a non-cancerous growth in the center of a woman's forehead.

Lee believed the growth to be a pilomatricoma, or a non-cancerous tumor that grows over hair follicles on the skin, according to the National Institutes of Health. Younger people are more likely to have these types of growths, Lee said.

The patient said she'd had trouble finding a doctor to treat her bump because of its placement, but Dr. Pimple Popper was up for the job.

To treat the woman, Lee created a small incision in the center of the growth and then used scissors to gently dig into the incision. When it wouldn't budge, she also squeezed around the growth with her fingers.

"It doesn't want to come out without a fight here," Lee said of the growth.

Lee said pilomatricomas tend to "get stuck to people" because they are firm growths, and that can make them difficult to pull out in one mass, which Lee prefers to do with her patients' skin growths.

To move the process along, Lee added a "suspension stitch" to the growth by putting one surgical stitch directly through the spot in an attempt to separate it from the patient's skin.


Next came a 'slippery' lipoma, which Lee dubbed her 'big lipoma friend.'

In the video, Lee said she would be removing a woman'slipoma, which is a type of growth that sits between a person's muscle layer and skin layer. Typically,lipomas grow slowly and are fairly small — about two inches in diameter according to the Mayo Clinic, but this woman's lipoma was on the larger side.

To remove the lipoma, Dr. Pimple Popper numbed the patient's back area where the growth was located. Then, she created a five-inch incision, which immediately revealed the fat inside of the growth, and continued to cut at the fat to de-attach it from inside the woman's body.

Lee described the growth as slippery after she plunged her fingers into the incision in an attempt to pull the fat out. She was able to remove half of the fatty mass, which resembled raw chicken, with just her hands.

"I just wrestle with him now," Lee said of the remainder of the fat she had to remove.

To do so, she used a combination of her hands and scissors. She was able to get the majority of the fat to the surface of the woman's skin with one big squeeze, and likened the maneuver to giving birth to a baby.


In July, the celebrity dermatologist drained a man's 'potato salad' back cyst.

Upon first examination, Dr. Pimple Popper said the cyst felt "soft," so she decided to make a shallow cut into it in case it contained any liquid.

Skin cysts can form fortwo reasons, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Some form when a person's skin cells burrow under the skin and multiply to create a sac filled with keratin, a yellow liquid-like protein. Other times, a cyst forms when skin glands produce oil and that oil gets trapped under the skin, forming a thick and cheese-like substance.

After Lee used scissors to gently split the cyst open, a yellow custard-like substance started to escape from the incision. When Dr. Pimple Popper pressed gently on the growth with her fingers, even more of the substance squirted out.

"I think we're going to have to save some of this and show you what it looks like," Lee told her patient as she squeezed the growth to release more liquid. The more liquid that escaped, the smaller the cyst looked.

Once she removed the bulk of the substance, Lee was able to numb the area where she'd be removing the remainder of the cyst.

Then, Dr. Pimple Popper went in with scissors and tweezers to pull out the remainder of the growth, which she said resembled a plastic shower cap. When she was done, there was a three-inch wide hole left in the man's skin, so Lee stitched it up.


In an August YouTube video, Lee removed a cyst from under a woman's tattoo without disturbing the design.

To start, Lee used a surgical blade to make two small incisions that paralleled the lines of the patient's geometric tattoo. Then, she used scissors to remove excess skin and open the cavity under the skin where the cyst formed.

Dr. Pimple Popper squeezed around the incision with her fingers, and an off-white substance that resembled oatmeal came out.

"It's like we're getting out the shower cap now," Lee said of the next step in the treatment process. She was referring to the cyst's sac, which previously held the oatmeal-like substance she squeezed out, but remained attached to the cavity.

She used scissors to snip away at the sac, and said it's important to remove as much of it as possible to prevent the growth from reforming.

To repair the cavity Lee created, she used stitches to close up the space. This time, due to the patient's tattoo, Lee was careful to match up the line work that was on both sides of the incision.


Dr. Pimple Popper said one lipoma she treated had 'bubble wrap' insides.

Dr. Pimple Popper treated a patient with a grapefruit-sizedlipoma, or fat-filled growth,which felt like "giant rubber ball stuck" under their skin. Usually,lipomas are painless.

The patient said they first noticed the growth six years ago, and it'skept growingever since, which is common for lipomas.

To treat the patient,Dr. Pimple Popper, whose real name is Dr. Sandra Lee, numbed the growth, then sliced it open through its center.

Immediately after cutting the lipoma open, yellow fat-filled lumps appeared underneath the skin's surface. Lee said the nodules reminded her of bubble wrap used for packing fragile items.

Dr. Pimple Popper used scissors to cut the top layer of nodules away, and then plunged her hand into the incision to massage more hard-to-reach lumps and loosen them from the underskin fibers that held them in place. She also used tweezers for small nodules she couldn't grab with her fingers.


Dr. Pimple Popper named another cyst 'Mount Gushmore' because of its inflamed and explosive nature.

  • In the video, Lee said that she first saw a picture of the man's cyst in June and that it had grown significantly by his appointment in late October.

    "It just squirted a little when I looked away, like it was speaking up," Lee said. Then she got to work.

    To treat the man, Lee used a small blade to create a tiny incision on top of the cyst. Right away it spurted a thick white substance. Lee said the reaction happened quickly because the cyst was "under pressure" due to inflammation.

    After the cyst drained a bit on its own, Lee used her fingers to squeeze on both sides of the growth's opening. More pus came out, along with a small amount of blood.

    Next, Lee needed to remove the sac inside the cyst that held the fat buildup in place. She said this case was a difficult one because the patient's body "liquefied" the cyst and made the sac difficult to pinpoint.

    But using a blade, tweezers, and scissors, Lee was able to trim away the sac and stitch up the incision.

    Lee also gave the patient antibiotics to prevent infection, since the incision was about half an inch deep.

  • Read more:
  • Dr. Pimple Popper removed 16 pus-filled lumps from a man who has so many that he doesn't look in the mirror anymore
  • Watch Dr. Pimple Popper remove a 9-pound lump that was growing on a man's arm for nearly a decade
  • The best pimple-popping videos of 2019, including blackhead 'fireworks' and a cantaloupe-sized back hump

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