Image: TLC

One more and it would have been 69. Nice.

Welcome back to... this. Just when you thought it was safe to eat while watching television, TLC’s Dr. Pimple Popper is spewing forth another season. Season 1 ended a few months ago, barely giving our stomaches enough time to settle. Oh well, I guess!

Below, the pops of the Season 2 premiere are ranked from most to least tolerable.

Patient: Chris, 32, La Mirda, California

Condition: A pilar cyst and a tenacious, a case of psoriasis so widespread it often ends up on his bathroom floor. (He picks at it.)


How stomach-turning was the treatment?: You could totally eat mashed potatoes from flakes while watching this segment.

While I’m in no place to tell people what to do with their scalps (I’m no scalp doctor!), I couldn’t help but wonder: If Chris’s pilar cyst was so vexing, why did he keep his hair so short? This is one case where a combover actually would have effectively deceived.


Could this hairstyle have been chosen for TV? A stage cut, if you will?

The absolute highlight of Chris’s pop happened when Dr. PP sliced open his cyst and coaxed out its contents. “So there was stuff in there?” asked Chris. “Well, yeah!” said Dr. Pimple Popper in a singsongy way that kindly and gently translated to: “DUUUUUHHHH!!”

Additionally, Dr. PP gave Chris a shot of/prescription for a psoriasis medication.


The results:


A dramatic reduction in psoriasis and...


It’s like the lump never happened.

That’s all. He had a thing, he went to Dr. Lee for the thing, she removed the thing, the thing is gone. This one might have even been boring if it weren’t so impressively efficient.

Patient: Genner, 39, Philippines

Condition: Rhinophyma


What started as a zit became... that. Genner reported that his 14-year-old growth was painful to the touch. Also, his nose smelled bad. That’s not a comment on its function; his rhinophyma stank. And it cost him business and prompted derision from strangers, poor guy.

How stomach-turning was the treatment?: It was kind of like watching a strawberry being tortured. Not bad, really.

Dr. PP used an electrocautery tool, which essentially carved away the rhinophyma and reshaped Genner’s nose. It was pretty satisfying to see Dr. Pimple Popper sculpt like the artist we all know she is. Simultaneous to the electro-cauterizing was the use of a vacuum to suck up all the detached skin so that Dr. PP and her assistant didn’t breathe it in. Great, you can breathe in skin now. Yet another thing I have to worry about going up my nose.


There was one extended food metaphor she made while doing the sculpting that I will reveal in the food metaphors montage at the bottom of this post that almost made me crawl out of my skin, though, so... get ready for that.

The results:


A wholly manageable nose. This photo must have been taken months after his procedure because Dr. Lee’s work on him left a substantial red mark where the skin bulb just was. “Not only the skin will heal, my heart will heal,” said Genner understandingly, which was really sweet!

Patient: April, 45, Deatsville, Alabama

Condition: In April’s words, “fatty cysts up under the skin.” (They’re technically lipomas.)


From my couch, these were nowhere near as apparent as April thought they were. She said they made her feel like a freak in a circus. I guess she did reality TV for a more intense immersion in that sensation, then?

April’s condition was technically familial lipomatosis, as her father also had lipomas, and her son Hunter felt that he was starting to develop them, too. We saw footage of the lipoma generations as April entered her living room in which her father and son sat and said, “Hey, y’all. How is your lipoma?”

I thought, “How’s your news?” was the best question I’d ever heard, and then I met April.


How stomach-turning was the treatment?: It made me queasy, much like an actual marathon would have. It went on and on with a total of 68 lipomas being removed from April’s arms over the course of several hours. On the upside, she had a small butt in her:

That was cute.

After Dr. Lee removed 38 lipomas from April’s left arm, she referred to it as a litter of gremlins. April’s lucky in that if she wants to avoid the return of her lipomas, all she needs to do is refrain from feeding her arms after midnight.


(That last paragraph was in no way medically accurate, in case you were wondering.)


The results:

Some minor scarring but no more lipomas for now (they really can grow back).

“And now I can show my arms off to the world,” April enthused, and then proceeded to play soccer...with her arms!!!

A new lease on life... and a new riff on an old classic.

In conclusion, I want to present what is by far the most disgusting collection of food analogies that this show has yet to provide.

April’s lipomas were fried shrimp, Chris’s cyst was a garlic bulb, and then pilar cysts were compared in general to blue-cheese stuffed olives. Genner’s rhinophyma was bubblegum. But then, Dr. Lee unleashed her most intricate food comparison yet and left my mouth hanging open in amazement and also because vomit was pouring out of it:

“Rhinophyma surgery looks maybe a little bit brutal. It’s actually kinda fun especially when you come across these pockets of sebum or oil. It’s like you’re eating salted caramel vanilla ice cream that has little chocolate covered squares of caramel in it and you’re taking scoops away and you never know when you’re gonna hit one gem of a square of caramel. That’s exactly what it’s like.”


That’s exactly what it’s like.

I’m frankly astounded by the verbal creativity here, and I thought I knew her pretty well already. The sky’s the limit for Dr. Pimple Popper.