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Editor’s note: This story contains spoilers and graphic images of skin conditions.
- Season 3 of dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee’s TLC show “Dr. Pimple Popper” premiered Thursday night.
- In the first episode, Dr. Pimple Popper treats a variety of patients, including a Philadelphia woman named Jennifer who had four golf ball-sized ear growths that gave her headaches, nausea, and muffled hearing.
- You can watch new episodes every Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST on TLC.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Dr. Pimple Popper is back. Although the famed dermatologist (whose real name is Dr. Sandra Lee) has posted no shortage of pimple-popping content on her social media pages over the last few months, her fans are excited that season 3 of her TLC show “Dr. Pimple Popper” premiered Thursday night.
In the first episode of season 3, Dr. Pimple Popper worked with three patients including a woman named Jennifer who had four golf ball-sized ear growths that she said gave her muffled hearing, headaches, nausea, and vertigo on a daily basis.
“I’m only worried they’re going to get bigger,” Jennifer, whose last name was not disclosed, said on the show.
Jennifer wore a headband in public and had to “tuck” her growths into the hair accessory to conceal them. Still, she was unable to wear headphones to listen to music and said she got ridiculed often for her appearance.
“I’m in danger of not wanting to live anymore if I don’t feel good about myself,” she said.
Here’s a closer look at Jennifer’s story and the condition Dr. Lee treated, called keloids.
Jennifer had keloids, or raised scar tissue, that wouldn’t seem to stop growing
Jennifer, whose age was also not disclosed, said that she first noticed the growths 11 years ago, after she had gotten her upper ears pierced. The piercing holes became infected, and scar tissue began to form in the area, only becoming bigger with every passing day. Eventually, Jennifer’s growths, which Dr. Lee diagnosed as keloids, were each about the size of a golf ball. She had two on each ear.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m a deformity,” she said.
As a result of her appearance, Jennifer said she developed an eating disorder and fell into a depression. She said she went to doctors, but most said they couldn’t help her and that it was her fault for the keloids due to her ear piercings.
But Jennifer’s outlook changed once she visited Dr. Lee at her Upland, California-based practice.
Dr. Pimple Popper cut all four growths off Jennifer’s ears, and they ended up weighing nearly a pound total
During Dr. Lee’s initial meeting with Jennifer, she diagnosed the growths as keloids, a type of raised scar tissue that forms due to trauma to the area. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these raised scars can grow to be much larger than the wound that caused the scar in the first place.
Dr. Lee explained that it was Jennifer’s infected pierced ears that caused the keloids to form, though Dr. Lee said they were probably the largest she’d ever seen.
To treat Jennifer, Dr. Lee had to surgically remove the keloids. First, she used a local anesthetic on Jennifer’s ears, then she carefully cut the growths off, trying to avoid as much of her actual ear tissue as possible.
Dr. Lee also warned Jennifer that she may have to cut off parts of her actual ear to completely remove the keloids. In the end, most of Jennifer’s ear stayed intact and Dr. Lee had to use just a small “graft” of skin, which was skin transplanted from another area of Jennifer’s body to help her ear skin heal.
Following surgery, Jennifer said it looked like half of her face was gone because the keloids were that large. Dr. Lee even weighed the detached growths, which were 14 ounces in total.
Watch the pimple-packed trailer for season 3 below. You can also watch previous episodes of the “Dr. Pimple Popper” series on the app and at TLC’s website. New episodes of “Dr. Pimple Popper” air every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on TLC.