Dermatologists warn people again and again not to pick their faces, but some just can’t help it. The instant gratification is too satisfying. Others get their thrill from reading horrifying tales about zit-popping gone astray, while some watch viral videos from dermatologists like Sandra Lee, MD, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper.
Daniel Kelly, an assistant professor of philosophy at Purdue University, and author of Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust, knows why the viral videos and stories are so addicting.
“It’s the same kind of thrill people get from, say, riding a roller coaster or bungee jumping — it activates the experience [that] typically comes with a real kind of danger while actually being protected from the harmful effects typically associated with those situations,” he told Cosmopolitan. “One of the main functions of disgust, the heart of this particular emotion’s primary job or core mission, is to protect us from infectious diseases.”
Dr. Heather Berlin, PhD, a neuroscientist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, offered up another explanation.
“Sometimes watching the video can bring the same satisfaction as actually popping,” she explained to Refinery29.
In case you’re in the mood to re-hash and re-watch some of 2017′s most disturbing videos and stories about pimple and cyst popping, check out the list below:
1. These endless blackhead extractions:
2. This 50-year-old cyst that oozed gray and brown after a massive explosion.
3. This “unicorn” zit that gushed white goop:
4. This woman who popped a pimple that was actually a staph infection.
5. The moment Dr. Pimple Popper removed “onions” from this person’s back:
6. This ricotta-cheese like cyst squeeze:
7. This insanely gross ear pimple extraction that just won’t stop:
8. The woman who popped her husband’s 4-year-old zit: