Why Are Gross Pimple Popping Videos So Addictive?

Pimple Popping videos FI

I spent many a night in my teen years, sidled up against a mirror, angrily staring at a pimple that has decided to make an appearance at an inopportune time. Actually wait, I don’t think there’s ever a good time for a pimple to sashay on to my face but during festivals and dates? Yeah, I put it right up there on the list as an unfortunate time. Now I don’t have pimples (thank god) but pimple popping seems to be have a grip on me. I don’t go around offering to pop people’s pimples, if that’s what you’re thinking (only because I think it’s borderline illegal), but I am hooked to pimple popping videos.

The Strange Fascination With Pimple Popping Videos

Warning: If you’re easily disgusted, look away now.


I kid you not, there are several Instagram accounts dedicated to showcasing this strangely satisfying obsession. There are intense closeups, some very painful looking extractions and as disgusting as it looks, most of of us can’t seem to look away. And then because the algorithm is like that, you end up seeing one pimple popping video after another. It’s insanely addictive but so gross.

Why Do We Love Watching Them?

So what is it about pimple or cyst removal videos that has us so engrossed? We spoke to Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Medical Director & CEO of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic and she said, “According to a study, pimple popping has grown in popularity as there is an element of curiosity and disgust attached to it along with a feeling of euphoria. When watching the pimple popping ,the dopamine hormone rush caused by it gives us a feeling of satisfaction. In the pandemic, specially people were at home with not much to do, pimple popping videos were a dramatic relief for most and helped others with a sense of control over these mundane problems like acne.”

That’s such an interesting take. When everything seems to be spiralling and spinning out of hand, who knew that videos of people removing gunk from their skin would help us regain a sense of control? You learn something new every day.

In fact, to give you an idea of exactly how popular pimple popping videos are, take a look at the immense popularity of Sandra Lee, a skin specialist known to the world at large as Doctor Pimple Popper. The account has 4.4 million followers and the entire feed it just pimple popping videos. Several of these are hidden, Instagram telling you that you might not want to watch something disgusting. A quick look at the videos reveals that the ones with the darkest, most black looking pimples get the most views.

Again, watch this at your own risk.

Now while these videos might be…might I say an indulgent watch, this is hardly recommended as something to try at home. Sure, squeezing an ugly pimple head might be enjoyable and give you temporarily clean skin, it’s not recommended as an at home treatment at all.

Dr Madhuri Agarwal says pimple popping at home is an absolute no no. “Ideally pimple popping should be done professionally by dermatologists .They are trained and have the exact knowledge of the face anatomy and how to go about pimple popping in the correct manner with appropriate hygiene measures and sterilised equipment.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean you abandon your skincare regime entirely or leave it for your visits to the dermatologists. She explains what you should do at home. “The best way is to prevent and treat pimples in the initial stages when it is just starting to form i.e.blackheads and whiteheads. Start and follow consistently  a good skincare routine that helps with balancing the oil and keeping the pores unclogged. Use ingredients like salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide and sulphur in your products to do it. Follow a balanced diet and exercise routine .Avoid touching and picking on your acne repeatedly as it will push in the infection and subsequently develop into a big, ugly pimple. In case the acne is recurrent ,consult a dermatologist to diagnose and get the correct treatment of it.”

Images via: Instagram, Pexels

By the way, if you want to read about Brown Skin Beauty, a brand for Indian women, click here.

- Digital Editor


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