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Who is Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper? YouTuber loses out on 6-figure income from platform over "graphic videos" 

Sandra Lee shared that her YouTube account doesn't earn enough revenue as it should (Image via @drsandralee/Instagram)
Sandra Lee shared that her YouTube account doesn't earn enough revenue as it should (Image via @drsandralee/Instagram)

Sandra Lee, aka Dr Pimple Popper, told Business Insider that her YouTube channel, which has 7.5 million subscribers, struggles to earn an appropriate income. She explained that her content is marked as "too graphic," making advertisers unwilling to associate with her videos.

The creator joined YouTube in 2010 and made a decent amount of money up until 2016. However, revenue from the portal slumped after YouTube changed its user guidelines. According to her view count, the creator should have made between $15 million and $25 million based on total website views. But that hasn't been the case.

Dr Pimple Popper's content revolve around dermatological procedures that vary from botox to blackheads to pimple removal.


Who is Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper?

Dr. Sandra Siew Pin Lee goes by the internet ID of Dr. Pimple Popper. She is a 52-year dermatologist, born on 20th December 1970, in Flushing, Queens, New York City. Dr. Sandra's parents moved to New York, a year before she was born, and later to California when she was five.

Sandra finished her high schooling at The Webbs School in Claremont, California and went to the University of California, Los Angeles to graduate with a science degree. She later attended Drexel University College of Medicine to complete her MD in 1998.

Once she was done with her education, Sandra went on to intern at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. She also worked part-time as a medical assistant at the time. After completing her dermatology residency at Southern Illinois University, she worked under renowned cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Richard E. Fitzpatrick.

Sandra's husband, Jeffrey C. Rebish, is also a dermatologist. The two married in 2000 and have two sons together.

She is currently a board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon and cosmetic surgeon. She operates a clinic called Skin Physicians and Surgeons with her husband in California. The surgeon is part of numerous doctors' societies, thanks to her years of experience in the field.


About Dr Pimple Popper's social media journey

Sandra launched her YouTube channel, Dr Pimple Popper, in October 2010 with a video discussing "Tickle Lipo." She used to upload videos to the platform but took it seriously in 2015.

She posted a variety of videos to various channels, ranging from her discussions on various skin conditions to an inside look at various medical procedures. She has two other channels, namely, Dr Pimple Popper University and Dr Sandra Lee (aka Dr Pimple Popper) - TV Appearances.

Other than YouTube, Sandra has accounts on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. She has earned over 244k, 4.5 million, and 15 million followers on the respective platforms.

The dermat launched her own line of skin care products in 2017. Her brand is called SLMD Skincare Products and offers products to aid acne, aging and daily care. Her TLC show, which debuted in 2018, followed her journey as a skin specialist.

The YouTuber has made appearances on popular talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Dr Oz Show, The Wendy Williams Show and more. She even released a book with the title Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging.


Sandra is unable to make significant money through her YouTube channel

YouTube users are discouraged from uploading "graphic or violent content" that may include "footage or imagery showing bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, with the intent to shock or disgust viewers."

Videos containing such content are either hidden, demonetized or deleted from the platform. The reason behind this rule is to safeguard the userbase from violent and traumatic visuals.

Unfortunately, Sandra's pimple-popping videos fall into the same category, suffering a decline in both views and revenue.

Sandra revealed that her channel has received strikes on the platform, even though they are meant to be educational. Speaking to Business Insider, she said:

"I'm really proud of the fact that kids know what a lipoma is now or they know that you can't just squeeze a cyst – you have to remove the sack entirely to get it removed. We're teaching people about psoriasis and hidradenitis, but if you're not motivated to get that content out, how are people going to learn?"

She said that her goal is to fight the medical disinformation available on the internet by providing a verified professional source. She added:

"They changed the rules all of a sudden. They [social media platforms] grow big because of all these new posters, but then they wait until they get big enough that they can sort of clamp down on it and make restrictions."

Dr Pimple Popper is now using the subscription and members-only feature on the website to garner more income from the portal, where she posts exclusive videos for a monthly fee.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal
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