I promise you that headline will make sense by the time you’re finished reading this post.
The pops of this week’s Dr. Pimple Popper episode, ranked in order from didn’t kill me to I’m hitting publish from the afterlife and even though I no longer possess an actual stomach, it remains turned:
Patient: Louis, 70, Superior, Wisconsin
Condition: An “unknown skin disease” in Louis’s estimation that was all over his arms, legs, and feet. “I have open splits,” in addition to scales, said Louis.
If you think it looks rough on, you haven’t seen anything until you watch him pull off his skin in what he describes as “sheets”:
When he saw Dr. Lee, she told him, “You could use that as writing paper!”
“Dear Mom, Send help. And moisturizer. Love, Son.”
Dr. PP, who despite her considerable experience is never not having her mind blown by the specimens TLC digs up, called Louis’s condition “the most extreme case of scaly skin that I’ve ever seen.” After sending off some samples for testing, she eventually diagnosed it as hyperkeratosis/an ichthyosis condition. Louis contended that he developed his condition as a result of being around toxic chemicals in Kuwait when he served there in Desert Storm, but Dr. PP said it was too tough to pinpoint the condition given other elements of Louis’s lifestyle that may have contributed.
How stomach-turning was the treatment?: It went as smoothly as Vaseline. Literally. Dr. Lee recommended “wet wraps” that consisted of Louis (and/or his son) smearing the problem areas in Vaseline, putting a damp sock over them, and then wrapping them in plastic. And then she told him to do that at home. And that was that!
The results: In a follow-up visit, they were striking:
“I don’t think I’ve seen his feet pink in over a decade,” noted his son. And he didn’t need rose-colored glasses or anything.
What was most important was that Dr. PP eliminated Louis’s considerable pain—he told her that he can now walk without a cane. And he can even dance. And then he danced with Dr. PP. I set the scene to Luther Vandross’s “Dance With My Father” because it’s a nice song and it’s fun to imagine Louis calling Dr. Pimple Popper “Daddy.”
Patient: Irais, 28, Laguna Hills, California
Condition: A pilar cyst that Irais referred to (in Spanish—she doesn’t speak much English) as “the ball.”
If you’re curious about the constitution of the ball, Irais has got you:
Irais moved from Acapulco to the United States in search of the American dream, according to her cousin-interpreter Gil. But that dream became a nightmare about eight years ago when the ball started knocking on her scalp. It was initially a zit that just blew up. I swear every bump I get now that I’ve watched this show feels like a harbinger of immense disfigurement. She had to keep her hair up for her job at a fast food restaurant and customers routinely asked her what the bump was. She did not indicate in her intro package what her answer is, but I assume she told them, “It’s the ball,” and leaves it at that. her bump was so big that I think it’s fair for not just Irais but for all of us to consider this the ball out of all the balls. (I also now can’t stop imagining what my head would look like with a single testicle growing from it.)
Additionally, her kids were being teased at school over their mother’s ball. That’s particularly unfair (it’s not even their ball!). Kids can be so cruel.
How stomach-turning was the treatment?: I gasped. Firstly, the way that Dr. Lee cut away the skin to get to the cyst and then dug her fingers in there totally made it look like the cyst had foreskin.
And then there was this:
And then, this:
This is pornography!????
Irais, who’s such a mom, cried upon seeing her ball-less head, saying first that she’s so happy that the bullying of her children will stop. It’s so lovely that she thought of them first and not how it would improve her own day-to-day life!
The results: Without the ball, Irais is so happy now.
The bullying has stopped, the ball is gone, all is full of love.
Patient: Johnny, 77, Valencia, California
This man is three years away from 80! I consider it a disservice on the part of TLC that there was no mention of Johnny’s beauty regimen/anti-aging secrets. This is, broadly, a show about skincare, damn it!
Condition: He has a “nipple-less” boob that he refers to as “Bada Boob” on his back. Eventually it was diagnosed as a lipoma.
Regarding Bada Boob (it’s a proper name), Johnny said, “If my mind were in other places, I might get turned on, who knows?” Dude, that comment is proof that your mind is in those places, and if you want more proof, watch him fondle:
Alexa, play “Feel U Up” by Prince.
How stomach-turning was the treatment?: I gasped and became lightheaded. Johnny’s lipoma was “tethered” in that it was stuck to a muscle, and I haaaaate when they get stuck to muscles. Johnny winced through Dr. Lee’s attempts at removal, but I assure you this was much, much more painful for me as a viewer.
She finally snipped it off.
Dr. Lee reported that though it took Johnny a while to heal, “he is happy, he is healthy, and I hope his bump never returns.” She forgot to mention that he’s still fine as hell!!
I’m almost sad to report that for the first time in Dr. Pimple Popper history, not a single statement comparing some kind of discharge or lump to food was made. Not one! The closest Dr. PP came is when she compared the contents of Irais’s cyst to vomit:
I guess vomit could be considered food if you’re disgusting. And if you watch this show as closely as I do, you just might be.