MEET DR. PIMPLE POPPER…
...OTHERWISE KNOWN AS DR. SANDRA LEE, A DERMATOLOGICAL SURGEON WHO SPECIALISES IN REMOVING LUMPS AND CYSTS FROM HER PATIENTS’ SKIN. IN CONJUNCTION WITH HER RECENTLY AIRED SHOW, DR. PIMPLE POPPER, EVERY MONDAY ON TLC, SHE TELLS US HOW TO SAFELY TAKE CARE OF A PIMPLE WHEN YOU’RE POPPING IT YOURSELF AT HOME.
FEMALE: Removing blackheads is something that all of us try to do by ourselves on a daily basis, so what advice will you give to ensure that safety measures are taken?
Dr. Sandra: “My mantra is know when to pop and know when to stop. I’m going to be like every dermatologist who tells you to not pop your pimple but I know a lot of you are going to do it anyway and I can’t stop you in the privacy of your home and bathroom, so I feel like it’s my obligation to give you the best advice.
There is a specific time in the life of a pimple that is best to pop it and that’s when it’s the most superficial; it’s not really a whitehead but a pustule and there’s a white top to it – that’s the ideal time. If you squeeze it beforehand, it’s just going to make it bigger, redder and angrier. It will cause you pain and become more noticeable. You’ll want to apply warm compress on it to make it more superficial. The reason that’s the best time to pop it is because the more superficial you traumatise the skin, the less likely you are of getting any kind of scar that is permanent. The deeper you traumatise the skin, the more likely will you get a scar.”
F: How do you compose yourself when you see a particular or decent growth? DS: “As dermatologists, we deal with people who are not under general anesthesia; so they can hear everything that you say. You never want to say oops or make any kind of comment that is rude – you have to be respectful. Even if something appears shocking, I don’t react negatively. People who come to me are in a vulnerable position and probably embarassed so I certainly want to make them feel comfortable. It is also probably the reason why people trust me to do their surgery.”
F: In your opinion, what’s the worst thing that people are doing to their skin? DS: “If you are talking about acne in general, it’s picking at your skin. And there are also conditions people have called neurotic excoriation where you pick at your skin and create really bad scars. You basically cannot leave a bump alone and when you have a pimple you have to pop it. Set a timer or something to limit yourself. You don’t want to emerge an hour later from the bathroom in big trouble.”