Oh, Barnacles!: Dr. Pimple Popper Meets a Tumor That Looks Like Patrick from SpongeBob

Image: TLC

That’s Dr. Pimple Popper for you: Squishing one cherished childhood memory at a time.

Like we do, here’s a rundown of this week’s Dr. Pimple Popper pops ranked from least nauseating to made-me-throw-up-in-my-mouth...a lot.


Patient: Pat, 66 (Note: There was no at-home background section in Pat’s segment—she showed off her skin ailment in Dr. Pimple Popper’s parking lot and we have no idea where she lives. [I don’t think it’s in Dr. Pimple Popper’s parking lot, but this was neither confirmed nor denied on the show.])

Condition: What she referred to as “rapidly spreading moles” turned out to be seborrheic keratoses, according to Dr. Pimple Popper upon examination. “They’re not moles, they’re just growths that occur,” she added helpfully.


How stomach-turning was the treatment?: I could have eaten several sundaes from -321 while watching. It entailed a mere spraying on of liquid nitrogen, which is supposedly painful. However, “Iron” Pat (no one else calls her this but me) was able to withstand a remarkable amount of treatment: 307 of these keratoses were zapped (Dr. Pimple Popper said that previously she’d never been able to do more than 50 before a patient yelled uncle).

Pat was additionally worried that these growths might be cancerous, as her dad had skin cancer.


The results: I DON’T KNOW! There was no update segment. I assume that there was some issue with shooting at Pat’s house. Aside from Dr. PP telling Pat that she didn’t think anything growing on her was life-threatening, we have no idea how she fared. Dr. PP did say that this is the kind of treatment that tends to look worse before it looks better, so maybe Pat was too scabby for television. Whatever happened, we wish Pat the best.

Patient: Jennifer, 32, Hawthorne, California

Condition: A “unicorn bump” she’s had as long as she can remember.


Jennifer reported that she often bumps her bump on doors and when getting in and out of the car. The bump doesn’t seem to stick out that much? Perhaps she’d be bumping her head regardless? I sure do. Anyway, would be an interesting experiment to check in on how the bumping/not bumping is going now that (spoiler alter) this growth was removed.

“When Dr. Lee opens my bump here I’m definitely hoping for an explosion of glitter,” she said. If that happened Dr. Lee would probably spun it into an inventive food analogy like, “It looks like a can of La Croix that someone peed in.”


Anyway, glitter did not explode out of what, along with two other smaller ones, was diagnosed as a pilar cyst.

How stomach-turning was the treatment?: These came out pretty clean, with Dr. PP comparing the largest one to a gnocchi. But as they say under their breath in the bathroom of Olive Garden, when you’re here, you’re queasy. It all seemed to be going well until:


This is positively Giger-esque. The human body is a gothic temple of wonder.

The results: A complete heal without the bald spot that Jennifer feared.


Now all she needs to grab before she leaves the house are her keys—no hat and/or scarf required. The seconds she saves each day will surely add up to minutes eventually.

Patient: Matt, Aurora, Colorado

Condition: Neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes visible tumors all over Matt’s body.


You may recognize his as the condition that actor/activist Adam Pearson (Under the Skin, Chained for Life) has.


Not merely concerned with the cosmetic (which frankly, not much can be done regarding), Matt visited Dr. PP for pain-reduction—the tumors hurt and make his job as a courier difficult.

How stomach-turning was the treatment?: It wasn’t great. It didn’t make me die inside, it was mostly just...weird? Dr. Pimple Popper pulled things out of him, the likes of which she had never seen.


She compared one to a “petrified, rubberized piece of macaroni,” and the one pictured above to Patrick from SpongeBob. Show me the lie!

Image: Wikipedia

One fun thing about this segment is that it featured Dr. Lee consulting with her husband and my good friend, Dr. Rebish, with whom she runs her practice.

I love a window into one’s domestic life, no matter how strategically cracked.

There was no way Dr. Lee was going to remove all of the growths from Matt, so she focused on pain relief, which Matt was immediately (and tearily) grateful for.

The results: The procedure completely eradicated Matt’s daily pain. He can now carry boxes with ease.


Additionally, nothing Dr. Pimple Popper removed turned out to be cancerous, so everything’s coming up Matt.


Patient: Yamileth, 22, Los Angeles

Condition: A bump on her neck that Dr. Lee initially thought was a lipoma but turned out to be a cyst upon her unleashing of its contents.

Yanileth noticed this bump around age 10 and was bullied as a result, but notably, didn’t let any of that come between her and a career in exotic dancing. (If you wanted to, you could probably get away with calling her condition a lipoma by day but cyst by night. I kind of want to.) Though displeased with her “avocado”-like lump, her spirit is clearly close to indomitable.


How stomach-turning was the treatment?: More excruciating than a bad lap dance for sure.

Firstly, Yanileth freaked out while Dr. Pimple Popper was just marking her up for surgery.

And then, after calming Yanileth with her soothing voice and with enough deft skill in shooting the shit to make me believe in the Second Amendment entirely (Dr. Lee calls this discursive distraction technique “talkesthesia”), we got this:


This is one of those classics that never gets old even though it looks like a bunch of mold looked at itself in the mirror and then vomited.

The flecks in this puddle of pus were compared to chives. And then Dr. PP said the overall picture was akin to “grits with chives.” And then one of her assistants compared it to mashed potatoes. Dr. Lee agreed, saying, “Yeah, not completely pureed, but like a little bit chunky, and then someone threw some cut-up green onions in there or something.” Great, that’s just great. Have fun eating any meal after that. I think I’m good till next Thanksgiving.


Enjoy these and more in our food analogies compilation below.

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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