Dr. Pimple Popper Reveals Why She Almost Turned Down Her TLC Show

Dr. Sandra Lee's Dr. Pimple Popper series is already in midst of its second season, but the show almost never happened in the first place.

"I'm very much a control freak and it was actually very hard for me to decide to do the show," the California dermatologist told PEOPLE earlier this week. "I was getting pitched by so many networks and I really didn't know if I was interested."

Lee, 48, said one of her biggest fears was being portrayed negatively on the show. "You know these shows: People end up divorced or throw stuff at each other. I don't want that," she said.

Even before Dr. Pimple Popper premiered on TLC in July 2018, Lee was an Internet superstar, with more than 4.8 million YouTube subscribers and 3 million Instagram followers obsessed with watching her pop pimples. But the show has given her an even bigger audience, forcing her team to schedule patients much farther in advance than ever before.

"We're booking out farther, but I also don't want to neglect my 'regular' patients," Lee told PEOPLE. "It's just evolving and I have to get adjusted to this new normal."

However, there has been some positive experiences from the show.

"I actually get so much from it because I don't normally get to see patients [after they've left my office] and how I've affected their lives," she told PEOPLE. "You just go about your job, but now I actually get to see it and be proud of it."

In an interview with PopCulture.com after Dr. Pimple Popper was renewed for a second season, Lee said she was surprised she became famous online in the first place. She affectionately calls her fans "Popaholics."

"I feel like sometimes I'm the Pied Piper of pimples," Lee joked. "I don't know, I think what I was really just trying to do is show people what I love about what I do and the intricacies behind it and I feel that I found something that was able to grab a lot of people's interest — pimple popping. I didn't realize it was such a big deal ... and when I saw that I just sort of seized upon it. I thought, 'OK, this is a thing. Let me see how much I can grow it.'"

Aside from the show, Lee also has her own SLMD skincare line and endorsed Spin Master's Pimple Pete game, which allows kids of all ages to pop pimples for fun.


Dr. Pimple Popper airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.