Can I just vent for a second? Acne. Is. The. Worst. Let me put it this way, if acne were an adult human IRL, it would definitely be one who slow claps when the plane lands. Or stands up as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off. Pick your poison — they’re both equally annoying (and I know you agree).
If you struggle with persistent acne, my heart goes out to you. Truly. I’ve been there, and at 32, it’s still an ongoing issue I struggle with. From hormonal acne to painful cystic breakouts, I’ve experienced it all. When it comes to something as finicky as acne, you have to consult the pros. That’s why we reached out to Dr. Sandra Lee, AKA Dr. Pimple Popper. She’s hands down an expert in acne, cysts — you name it. She’s been there popped that.
Dr. Sandra Lee gave us the 411 on all things pimples like it’s her job, because it is.
Ha! I wouldn’t say that I was “fascinated” with skin, cyst or pimples. But I did grow up surrounded by dermatology textbooks as my father is a dermatologist (now retired). I knew it was a greatly rewarding and very competitive medical specialty and this probably directed my attention to it. I saw how my father enjoyed being a dermatologist, and now as a dermatologist myself, I understand what the attraction is. You really develop relationships with your patients, you often get to know their parents, their kids, even their grandkids. You treat young kids for warts and rashes, then acne, then as they get older, for anti-aging reasons, cosmetic treatments and surgeries, and skin cancer detection and surgery. You see the whole range and you get to use your skills with your brain and your hands, to make people look and feel better about themselves, and even save lives. It’s an extremely rewarding specialty.
There’s often a level of “shock” to them, because many extractions are unexpected. You don’t really know what you’re going to get. And I joke that blackheads are like snowflakes, never is one the same as another. My TV show has certainly delivered more “bizarre” extractions to my office. People with very large cysts or lipomas that they have been living with for years, and are certainly difficult to hide. There are so many I cannot single one out.
Use acne medications if you have acne, or are prone to acne. This is the best way to help prevent acne from occurring in the first place, or getting rid of your existing acne. If over the counter acne treatments aren’t working, seek help from a board-certified dermatologist.