Dr. Pimple Popper talks changing lives in wildly popular videos and TLC show

Dr. Sandra Lee talks with "Nightline" about becoming an overnight phenomenon, amassing millions of views with each video about her dermatology work and creating a wildly successful show on TLC.
7:40 | 03/06/19

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Transcript for Dr. Pimple Popper talks changing lives in wildly popular videos and TLC show
images hard to watch. Here's ABC's ramena Puga. Reporter: Dr. Sandra Lee might just be the biggest celebrity in the world of dermatology. I'm really sad to remove his bump here, because it looks like a little bird's nest. Reporter: Patients travel all the way across the country, hoping she can change their lives. It kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Reporter: Why would a truck driver from Buffalo, New York go to a doctor in upland, California? Maybe because she's so pop-ular. She's Dr. Pimple popper. The 48 year old media sensation and star of her own tlc show. So we're here in your office. This is where all the pimple popping happens. Reporter: Pop-a-holics can't get enough. It's a powerful feeling of people, whether it be love or disgust. And either way, they need to share it with their friends. Reporter: Her viral videos are entertainment. Videos viewed more than 3 billion times. She also has 3 million followers on Instagram. You get a lot of videos that go viral, drum up a lot of ex-tightment. Reporter: She has a collection of videos ready to post, some include music like Amy winehouse's "Back to black." I'm going to share that, there we go. And I'm off to see my next patient. Reporter: In less than a month, it has been viewed 1 million times. They say she's saving their lives. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to start a new life. It feels like a new chapter in my life. I can be more of myself. Literally, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Reporter: Do you think you didn't realize how much you were changing these people's lives before the show? Yes. Now I have them saying that on camera, and people watching telling me that. It feels really good, but it's just weird. Reporter: Part of her appeal is her bedside manner, comforting patients as she pokes, prods and plucks them. Are you okay? We are coming at them with needles or something sharp. So I really try to talk to people as if they're just my I do think that is part of what makes my videos work or this TV show work because of the way that I interact with people and the way that they trust me. . Reporter: When she's not in her office or on social media, she's still in her signature pink scrubs. I don't run around and chase my kids to pop their black heads. Reporter: It's been four years since she posted that first video. I wanted to share a page that posts an a little window into my world. And it got a little attention, nothing crazy, until I posted a pimple-popping video. It was a definite shift. Reporter: How did you get the name Dr. Pimple popper? I was on this crazy popping sublet. And I said I didn't know what to call myself, so I'll call myself Dr. Pimple popper. Reporter: She calls some celebrities. On her show. Reporter: But not everyone can quite stomach these graphic videos. Just ask some Jimmy Kimmel live staffers. Oh, . No, hm-mm. Oh, god! Reporter: I want to talk a little bit about the ick factor. Some people are pop-holics. This is new to people. Reporter: It's business as usual at the clinic, but it's impossible to ignore her celebrity. We are still a busy dermatology office, but we have a book, a skin care line. It's weird to have my face, it's cool. But weird. You did say you have a couple other bumps here. Reporter: Some patients who are not able to afford the costly procedures are able to do them with her and tape them. They're showing their life, really. That's our thanks to them, really. But black heads are not covered by insurance. But some cysts are covered. Reporter: It wasn't until last year when Dr. Pimple popper premiered on tlc that she saw her patients' back stories. The show is making me look better than I am. I'm 29 years old, and I have keloids on my ears. Reporter: Amber Vega appeared on the show last year after she noticed growth the on both of her ears after getting her ears pierced. I'm really insecure about it. But I think's time that I let people see what they are and get really sharp nerve pain out of both of them. Reporter: Amber says her keloids got in the way of her life, especially when it came to dating. On the last date, I guess it was noticeable. I did wear headbands a lot. They asked, could I see them? So I showed them. He kind of didn't know what to say. They decided to stop talking to me, because of these keloids. Reporter: A self-proclaimed pop-a-holic, she sent an e-mail when she found out they were looking for people for the show. Please. Reporter: A few months later she was seen by Dr. Lee. How long have you had these? About a year. I was scared of the pain. And what's next. I was quiet but screaming Reporter: You knew this moment would change your life? Yes, and here it is. We will not let you beat us, keloid. We're gettin' you. Reporter: Dr. Lee was able to successfully remove amber's keloids. I can't believe they're finally gone, and I'm so grateful for Dr. Lee. Reporter: When you looked in the mirror after she finished, what did you see? I saw hope again. Hope where I can get married. Or have children. Because I was so afraid of dating. Hope of that next chapter, of having my own family, and not having to worry about my ears. That's what I saw. Reporter: You really changed her life. I can maybe help her feel confident about herself and really be able to, you know, do things in a different way. I'm just doing what I do. Reporter: After a long day with patients, it's family time. Her competitive side comes out shooting pool with the kids. I get a lot of advice from my patients, it's most important to be around your family when your kids, when they're teenagers. Reporter: Living a life she calls a dream, one thing seems certain. Dr. Pimple popper will keep on popping. So where is Dr. Lee in another four years? Oh, my gosh. I hope, I don't know. I hope I have my own private island and people are coming to me and I can have my own pimple popping studio there and pop their pimples if I want to put them on social media, and you can all come and visit. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm romina Puga in upland, California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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