Even the most easily nauseated, who can barely even stomach the word ” pus,” will find it hard not to smile while watching Dr. Pimple Popper, TLC’s new — and long-awaited — dermatological makeover series. Every week, dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD, (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) meets with different men and women suffering from rare, often confidence-crushing skin conditions. The boils they carry are massive. The cysts are bubbling up to balloon-sized. But it’s the people underneath the incredible lumps and growths that make the show worth watching. Just cover your eyes through the pimple eruptions, if you must.
Maybe it’s Dr. Lee’s chatty, likable bedside manner, or because the four skin disorders she faces are seriously gnarly, but the hour-long premiere episode is gripping right off the bat. First, there’s Melissa and her three-pound pillow of a neck growth, which has forced her to wear a sweatshirt day and night for the past three years. Then there’s sweet and self-deprecating Tyler, who has two mysterious cysts on his face and a worrisome family history of cancer. Taj brings Dr. Lee a chest filled with painful boils, while Amber silently suffers with an ear-piercing gone terribly wrong.
All four patients bring their own unique condition to Dr. Lee’s table (literally, the surgical one), but it’s definitely a bumpy road to salvation. Seriously, so many bumps.
Case #1: Melissa
We meet 30-year-old Melissa at a Shop & Cart in her hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she’s wearing a black zip-up hoodie. “I wear a hooded sweatshirt day and night, even when it’s 90 degrees outside because I have this huge lump on the back of my neck,” she says. Melissa first noticed the now-massive bulging bump back in 2015, when it was only an inch and a half and easy to cover up, but it grew to the size of a grapefruit within a year, and has since tripled in size.
Though shockingly large, Melissa says that she hasn’t felt a pressing need to get the growth removed because it’s not actually painful. “It just feels squishy,” she says, tugging at the ballooned-out skin on her neck. “When I lay down, it gets pushed up under my head, like an extra pillow. I just assumed it would go away eventually, but it just got bigger and bigger.”
Upon initial inspection, Dr. Lee is concerned that Melissa’s growth is, well, still growing. “The fact that …read more