If You Get A Kick Out Of Pimple Popping, This Science Is For You

Humans have a very basic evolutionary and survival trait to stay away from gross things, which perfectly explains why we love gross things.

By DAVID on November 27, 2018
(Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Pimple popping. It’s gross, but oh so fun, isn’t it? No? What about those videos on YouTube? See, you enjoy watching them, even if you’re squeamish.

There’s some science behind why we get a kick out of pimple popping, whether we’re doing it ourselves, or watching those volcanic crater videos on YouTube. Basically, and I know this won’t be a super basic explanation but still, it’s an adaptive, evolutionary thing. See, when we have something on our skin, something weird that doesn’t belong, we want to “pick” it off to get rid of it. That’s why we like to pop our own pimples, or pick scabs off the same. We’re ridding our skin of what we think doesn’t belong. Back in the caveman days, we would stay away from other people’s “gross” things for much the same reason – it’s not ours, and it’s gross. But if it was on us, we wanted it gone.

Val Curtis is a professor of Environmental Health, and she says that “Squeamishness is a useful evolutionary adaptation because it keeps us from eating or touching things that could make us sick.” So why do we love the videos of other peoples’ popping pimples? Well, it’s because we, as humans, especially these days, tend to be excited by things that bring out some kind of emotional reaction. Getting involved in other peoples’ relationship drama, watching sad or scary movies, and even watching pimple popping. It’s gross, we cringe, but we love it. It’s science, folks. So go back to Dr. Pimple Popper videos on your lunch break, and don’t be late back to the office.

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