Dr. Pimple Popper Gets Sprayed With Cyst Juice In The Season 2 Finale

Every week on Dr. Pimple Popper, dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD, meets with 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 pus-filled eruptions, if you must.
We're sad to see season two of TLC's Dr. Pimple Popper series come to an end, but on the upside, the past nine episodes have given spotlight to the most memorable and deserving patients, some with skin conditions so shocking you'd think they were the work of professional Photoshop. All that dermatological craziness climaxes with tonight's hour-long finale, and three surgeries you have to see (or at least read a highly detailed review of) to believe.
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Ahead, find out about the patients who gave Dr. Sandra Lee the biggest fights we've seen all season.
Case #1: Leonard
The first case of the day takes us to Holly Ridge, North Carolina, where we're introduced to 54-year-old maintenance worker Leonard and the jiggly lump on his bicep. Right off the bat, it's clear that this particular mass is something special. Instead of your typical fatty lipoma that bulges out from underneath the skin like a fleshy balloon, Leonard's growth juts out of his shoulder, scabbed and crusted over with dried blood. "Over the years this chip on my arm has grown from the size of an egg to this three-pound lump," Leonard tells us. "A while back I scratched the bump at work, tore through the skin, and now it's got this big, painful scab on top."
More than the discomfort, Leonard tells us that his herniating lump is very sore and extremely smelly — likely made worse by the fact that the sore is open to the air and festering. "It feels like someone's pulling pliers apart under my skin, stretching and tearing it very slowly," Leonard says. "And the smell is something awful. It started off smelling like a deer carcass, and now it's like a pile of ten dead rats." Both sound pretty foul from where we're sitting.
Leonard is deathly afraid of the doctor's office, which is why he hasn't seen anyone about the scabby chip on his shoulder before his in-office consultation with Dr. Lee. "When I walk into any doctor's office, I get a panic attack," he says. "If people are coughing and hacking, I just get up and leave." Luckily, Leonard works up the courage to get himself in Dr. Lee's chair, trembling with a paper surgical mask covering his nose and mouth.
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"I've seen a lot of patients who are scared of doctors, but never someone as frightened as Leonard," Dr. Lee admits in her confessional. "I pride myself on being able to calm my patients' nerves, but Leonard is another level. And as far this lump is concerned, it's one of the craziest things I've ever seen," she says. "The angry and bloody dried flesh is something I've never seen before, and it makes me think that this could be something very dangerous."
Given that Leonard's case is clearly a complex and suspicious one, Dr. Lee wants to take a biopsy of the bicep growth and send it off to the lab before proceeding with any surgery. As Leonard walks out of the Upland office, we're left hoping he's able to face his fears a second time to return for the pathology results.
Case #2: Brandon
While we wait, we meet 27-year-old Brandon from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who has strange bumps all over his scalp. "I found the first bump four years ago when I was combing my hair," Brandon says. "It freaked me out, so I went to see a doctor and had it removed, but then a bunch more started sprouting up all over my head. Most of them are hard, except for the big one on the back of my head that's a little squishy and really bothers me when I sleep." Beyond the general annoyance, Brandon is recently engaged, with plans to get married this coming June. Understandably, he's looking for Dr. Lee to do something about these bumps before the big day.
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At his consultation, Brandon's condition doesn't outwardly concern Dr. Lee; the bumps look to be common pilar cysts, so the two head into surgery so that Dr. Lee can get a closer look. She covers Brandon's head with a paper-thin medical sheet, and starts slicing into the cysts with her scalpel. There's six total, and the first five pop out nice and clean, like little garbanzo beans. The issue comes with big cyst #6. When Dr. Lee cuts into Brandon's head that sixth time, a stream of watery liquid squirts like a geyser, covering Dr. Lee's ponytail in cyst juice. Unsurprisingly, she takes it like a champ, and proceeds to stitch Brandon up, good as new for his wedding.
Case #3: Jess
Next, we take a trip to Hartford Country, Maryland, where we meet 26-year-old Jess, who has a puffy, bruised bump on the backside of her upper glute — the result of a bad fall. "A year and a half ago, I fell down a flight stairs, and there was a lot of bruising around my bum and tailbone," Jess says. "After a few months, I figured the swelling would go down, and it still hasn't. I went to my primary physician who told me it was probably a lipoma or a hematoma, and there was nothing I could do to get rid of it." But now Jess and her husband are looking to start a family, and she's hoping Dr. Lee can remove the lump, both for overall aesthetic and peace of mind for her health.
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At the in-office consult, Dr. Lee feels around Jess's glute area, pretty sure of what she's experiencing. "When you fell, I think you may have damaged your underlying subcutaneous tissue, which caused a lot of swelling," Dr. Lee explains to Jess. "There's not a cyst, lipoma, hemotoma, or fluid collection under there — so, there's actually nothing to pop." But, that doesn't mean Jess is sent packing: Dr. Lee's board-certified cosmetic-dermatology license means she's also seasoned at treating patients using liposuction, and believes that might be the best fix to take down the fat mound on Jess's bum.
Anxious to have matching cheeks once again, Jess excitedly agrees to the liposuction alternative, and they head to the operating room. Dr. Lee uses a skinny, silver straw-like tool to suck the protruding fat out of Jess's glute, smoothing and reshaping the bruised area. After the surgery, Jess has her butt back, and she's ready to get home and start planning for a baby.
Before we end, patient #1, Leonard, returns to Dr. Lee's office to learn the results of his bump biopsy. Still wearing his mask, Leonard sits with Dr. Lee as she explains that his jiggly bicep appendage showed zero malignancy, like an ordinary lipoma. "Sometimes a crazy growth that looks scary is nothing more than a banged-up lipoma," Dr. Lee says. The plan of action is to proceed into surgery as safely and quickly as possible, minding that Leonard is a flight risk.
Dr. Lee uses the tumescent numbing technique, which we saw in episode eight, which makes Leonard's arm extra puffy. Then, instead of going in with a linear excision, Dr. Lee slices around the bump to remove the dried, herniated skin and pull out the underlying mass. After removing the crusty gunk with a scalpel, the gummy yellow lipoma slips out of Leonard's arm nice and smoothly. With the chip off his shoulder, Leonard is able to walk out of the office a true success story, with a smaller, less aromatic arm and a renewed sense of confidence.
And that concludes season two of Dr. Pimple Popper. Fingers crossed we'll be back soon for season three (you hear that, TLC?) — until then, we'll be reliving the glory of the first two seasons and catching up on any grade-A blackhead extraction videos we might've missed...
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