The Contentious Rise Of Skinfluencers

Woman with her mouth open, mid sentence
Aleksandr Grechanyuk/Shutterstock Yuliya Chsherbakova/Shutterstock @drpimplepopper/TikTok Remix by Caterina Rose

There’s few things more satisfying than watching skin being peeled, lanced, and squeezed. Whether we like to admit it or not, video platforms like TikTok and YouTube have become a hub for this type of content, with dermatologists like Dr. Sandra Lee (Dr. Pimple Popper) and Dr. Muneeb Shah (@dermdoctor) soaring in popularity. 

But is that entirely a good thing, or does it risk trivializing the profession as a whole? This is the question at the heart of a new deep dive by Allure, with writer Brennan Kilbane speaking to several dermatologists-slash-influencers to try and get to the bottom of this trend.

“We have an access issue in dermatology,” Dr. Adam Friedman, chair of George Washington University’s dermatology department, told the outlet. “There aren’t enough of us. What does that mean when someone goes through those eight years [of education and training] and comes out and now they’re not taking care of patients?”

“I’ve had patients show me a TikTok of someone doing a dance and supporting a product and ask, ‘Why aren’t you doing this?’” he added. “I’m like, ‘because I’m here seeing you.’”

But as this piece demonstrates, not all dermatologists have this attitude towards dermainfluencers, as some argue that it is indeed possible to be a good doctor and influencer at the same time. 

With Dr. Shah adding that, “if I had to choose between content and dermatology, I would choose seeing patients every day.”

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