Whether you love pimple and zit popping videos or gag even thinking about them, you have to concede that they've got staying power. The trend continues to flourish online, and the genre has even expanded to mainstream TV with the premiere of Dr. Pimple Popper's new TLC series earlier this summer.
Here's a list (in no particular order) of 2018's best, grossest, most breathtaking pimple pops so far. Stay tuned as the months progress.
No list of pimple popping videos would be complete without some content from the genre's reigning queen: California dermatologist, YouTuber, and TV star Dr. Sandra Lee, a.k.a. Dr. Pimple Popper. And what better way to start this list than to highlight one of Lee's most-beloved videos of 2018?
As of this writing her one of her most popular pops of the year, with 8.2 million views, is a video posted way back in January. It features a dilated pore of winer (DPOW) - essentially a giant blackhead clogging a single, super-stretched-out pore. Skip ahead to the one-minute mark for the first big squeeze.
There's something about advanced pimple age that makes a pop ultra-compelling. To know that a clogged pore hasn't been touched in years, or even decades, makes the removal of the gunk inside it all the more satisfying.
So it's no wonder that more than 2.4 million people watched this video featuring dozens of 50-year-old blackheads clustered around a man's eye. It was posted in March by India-based dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr. Lalit Kasana, who used a simple technique - two q-tips and gentle pressure - for the 14-minute extraction session. Can't get enough? There's another video dedicated to the blackheads around the patient's other eye.
Every once in a while a great DIY popping video rivals the offerings of the YouTube pros. This video, posted to Reddit's /r/popping community in April, is one such example.
It shows a woman peeling a total of 16 pore strips off of her boyfriend's back, dredging up hundreds of blackheads in the process. INSIDER interviewed Kevin Andrew, the man pictured in the video, who said his doctor blamed the clogged pores on sun exposure. Dermatologists call those types of blackheads solar comedones.
The ??SPA YouTube channel - owned by a real-life spa in Taiwan - is a hidden treasure in the popping world. It has just 97,000 subscribers (compare that to Dr. Pimple Popper's 4 million) but often features the internet's most jaw-dropping inside-the-ear blackheads. Remember that viral video with two ear blackheads that turned out to be one giant super pimple? That was from ??SPA.
This year's ??SPA videos haven't disappointed, either. The most recent, posted in July, shows yet another ear blackhead that spans two separate pores. It's excruciatingly slow going at first as the technician prods the skin with a pair of tweezers, but the payoff at the three-minute mark is worth the wait.
With 5.2 million views as of this writing, this video is from January is among Dr. Pimple Popper's most-watched of the year. But it's not about pimples at all.
Instead, it highlights calcinosis cutis - the scientific name for calcium deposits in the skin that manifest as small, covered bumps. The patient in this video happens to have hundreds of them, all located on his scrotum.
The bumps are painless and benign, according to a paper published last year in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. But Lee's video reminds viewers that even technically harmless growths can have very real, very negative impacts on a patient's life. (In fact, Lee recently told INSIDER that she's always tried to deliver this message in her videos.)
Watch Lee squeeze and remove the bumps below, and you'll see exactly why she called this patient "extremely brave."
If you love relaxing popping sessions, you'll love following aesthetician Enilsa Brown. You won't find gushing blood or flying pus on her YouTube channel. But you will find dozens of lengthy videos in which Brown ever-so-gently cleans out clogged pores, explaining each step of the process in her soothing voice.
This acne-extraction video from January has drawn 7.5 million views, making it Brown's second-most popular video ever. The pimple she pops at the five-minute mark is one to remember.
Perhaps the year's biggest popping news came in February, when Lee announced that she would be starring in her very own TV series on TLC, aptly titled "Dr. Pimple Popper." That's right: Popping has literally gone prime time.
The show follows Lee as she treats patients with skin conditions even more dramatic than the ones typically seen on her YouTube channel. The premiere on July 11 started with a bang - more specifically, with "the biggest" lipoma that Lee has ever removed. But the second episode featured a truly unforgettable cyst, filled with gunk that looked a lot like cottage cheese.
In the episode, a patient named Ronen seeks out Lee's help with a painful cyst on his leg that's been growing for decades. As soon as Lee slices into it, a waterfall of dead, wet skin cells bursts forth. The cyst's volume is simply astonishing.
Sadly, complete video of this pop isn't available on social media, but you can see a sneak peek below, and the entire episode is available to stream on TLC's website. This one is well worth taking the time to watch.
This Dr. Pimple Popper video from November is titled "A Pilar Cyst for the Books." That's not an overstatement.
The featured patient has massive pilar cyst - a type of benign growth that almost always occurs on the scalp.
Skip ahead to 1:53 and you'll see the cyst's wall peeking through Lee's incision in the skin. In that moment, it looks like a creepy, cloudy, zombie-esque eyeball. (On her Instagram page, Lee compared the growth to the one-eyed character Mike Wazowski from the movie "Monsters, Inc.") The rest of the pop is just as captivating. Don't miss the minor explosion of cyst gunk near the 4:03 mark.
This video from June starts with Lee popping some tiny blackheads on a patient's nose. Then, the patient reveals that she has another blackhead hiding behind her ear.
That surprise blackhead does not disappoint: It comes out in one piece and is far larger than it seems at first glance. Watch it starting at the four-minute mark below:
This video was discovered by a few members of Reddit's /r/popping subreddit- a community of roughly 150,000 pimple popping fanatics. It's technically from 2017, but it was re-shared on /r/popping in February and August of 2018, and it's among the subreddit's most-upvoted cyst videos of the year.
The pop comes courtesy of an Instagram account called Dr. Zit Zapper, which appears to be run by California dermatologist Dr. Steven E. Hodgkin, though it isn't verified. And it features a cheek cyst that explodes, quite literally, throughout the popping procedure. One Redditor commenter called it "everything I've ever asked for in a pimple pop."
The food metaphors continue with this stellar cyst-pop, first posted to YouTube in July. Fair warning: There's a lot of blood before the big payoff, when Lee squeezes the growth and the contents come out in one flat, long ribbon. ("It's almost like a lasagna noodle," Lee remarks during the video.)
Watch the whole thing if you can stomach the bleeding, or skip to 8:19 for the actual pop.
This video, also uploaded in November, shows a cyst that's so pressurised it squirts some of its contents onto Lee's scrubs as soon as she gives it a gentle squeeze. The eruption itself happens at the 1:48 mark. Don't worry if you blink and miss it: There's a slow-motion replay afterward.
Then, skip ahead to the 3:25 mark to watch Lee gently tug out the surprisingly massive cyst sac. You'll see why one YouTube commenter called the entire saga "gleefully repulsive."
One recent example, posted in July, shows a single ear blackhead that spans two separate pores. Skip ahead to the three-minute mark for the big payoff.
Pops don't need to be explosive and dramatic to be good. In fact, aesthetician Josefa Reina has amassed more than 400,000 YouTube subscribers by sharing popping videos that are just the opposite of dramatic. Her channel is a treasure trove of long, soothing popping sessions set to classical music. In this 12-minute video, uploaded in May, Reina gently extracts several milia (or, as she describes them, "pearls...those little gems under your skin.')
That description is apt. Milia are small cysts containing keratin that manifest as "pearly white" bumps under the skin, according to DermNet NZ.
They're harmless and don't need to be treated, but patients may opt to have them removed anyway. Lucky for popping fans, this patient did.
This 8-and-a-half minute video from dermatologist Dr.Lalit Kasana shows the juicy removal of whiteheads and blackheads all over a patient's face. Though tiny, these pops are still satisfying. Fair warning: things get a little bloody around the 3:50 mark, but Kasana cleans it up fast.
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