Why You Are a Pimple Popping Fanatic

You may know that it is not a good idea, but you somehow find yourself doing it anyway. A large number of people can’t resist the urge to pop, scratch, and dig at pimples – their own and even other peoples. Dermatologists warn us against this kind of behavior that can lead to permanent scarring. This is because pimple pus is not easily extruded, and popping can force the pus deeper into the skin, spreading inflammation that results in pitting and scarring. So, who are these people that can’t resist a good pimple-popping session and why do they find it so necessary to pop?

Social media superstar doctor spreads the love of popping

There is even a social media celebrity popper doctor, who goes by the name “Dr. Pimple Popper.” Dr. Sandra Lee has made a career out of her obsession with popping. She extracts all sorts of things including whiteheads, blackheads, and even cysts to the delight of her patients and a massive social media following who “get off” on watching her do her work.

Why you might pick your pimples

According to Val Curtis, a professor, and director of the Environmental Health Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, there are a group of people who are highly sensitive to what he calls “external parasites and disgust.” These people can’t bear the sight of pimples on other people’s skin. It is this underlying feeling of disgust that causes “pickers” to go after pimples to get rid of the cause of disgust. 

Why you might want to pop other people’s pimples or watch pimple popping videos

According to Carolyn Korsmeyer, a professor of philosophy at the University of Buffalo and author of Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics, humans are oddly attracted to a number of experiences that can cause unpleasant emotional or physical reactions. Things like sad songs and horror movies are just a couple of examples. Paul Rozin, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania added that roller coasters and spicy peppers are also on the list. He said that we seem to get pleasure out of the fact that our body is telling us no, but we know that the particular thing is not harmful.

Strangely, people seem to want to push the boundaries of their adverse reactions such as with the scariest roller coaster or the hottest pepper. Rozin says that people take pleasure in the mind-over-body aspect of this behavior.

Curtis also adds that humans are attracted to aversive experiences such as watching videos of pimples being popped. These experiences allow us to experiment with our emotions and push ourselves to new limits – which many people seem to enjoy. It is almost like people want to test themselves to see how much grossness they can take before they have to turn away. 

Also, humans are curious creatures by nature. We wonder about what gross stuff will shoot out of a pimple – either one we are popping or watching being popped. The human body is full of gross stuff that is tucked neatly under our skin, but we get a first-hand glimpse at some of this grossness when a pimple is popped.

Preparing yourself for future challenges

One way to look at your interest in watching Dr. Pimple Popper’s videos is to think about it as preparing your body for future shock and awe experiences that you might face. Your interest to pop and watch popping in action may come from a natural and helpful instinct to condition yourself for future experiences you may face. It is kind of like picking your nose. Yes, it’s gross, but everyone does it at one time or another. I doubt that anyone can say that they have never popped a pimple or watched a pimple being popped!

How about you, are you a pimple popping fanatic?

-The Alternative Daily

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