A woman who has been living with ten large cysts all over her head, including one that resembles a ‘horse hoof,’ finally has them removed in Dr Pimple Popper.
In tonight’s episode of the stomach-churning TLC show, Rhonda, 53, from Florida, reveals she’s been hiding the gigantic lumps on her head from her family for some time.
One of the cysts has opened and, as Rhonda describes it, has grown a ‘toe nail’ from out of her scalp.
‘I have eight or nine bumps just in different areas,’ she says, with the biggest the size of a golf ball. ‘I also have a large bump at the top of my head which has opened.’
‘It had a scab but it’s hard and it seems like something is growing out of it. It smells like just something rotten. I call it now a toe nail. It’s kind of rigid and it hurts. It is embarrassing.’
Rhonda (pictured), 53, from Florida, has been hiding ten large cysts on her head from her family for some time
Speaking of the largest ‘golf ball-like’ cyst on her head (pictured), the 53-year-old says: ‘The bump on top of my head does worry me a lot. I’ve always been afraid that they could have been cancerous’
Rhonda describes one of the cysts which has opened (pictured) as having grown a ‘toe nail’ from out of her scalp
Rhonda struggles daily with trying to hide the bumps from her family so as not to worry them.
‘Everything that I do daily is just trying to hide them,’ she explains. ‘Thank God for side parts and big hair.’
Rhonda has sought medical help for the bumps before, but has avoided getting treatment due to the fear of having to have her head shaved.
But in reality, she is fearful that leaving the bumps any longer could mean that there is no way back.
Dr Sandra Lee admits that she was surprised when she first saw the unusual bump on Rhonda’s head. ‘This is definitely something you don’t see every day,’ she says
Dr Sandra Lee names the largest bump ‘Big Mamma!’ (pictured) before making her first incision. She quickly confirms her initial suspicions – it’s a massive pilar cyst
After snipping away at the tissue, the expert removes the golf ball-sized lump before cauterizing the wound
‘The bump on top of my head does worry me a lot,’ she explains. ‘I’ve always been afraid that they could have been cancerous.’
In scenes filmed for tonight’s episode, Rhonda finally confides in her daughter Meghan, who gives her the confidence to seek help in the shape of Dr Sandra Lee – aka, Dr Pimple Popper.
Making the trip from Florida to California, Rhonda is beyond nervous for her appointment.
‘My biggest fear today is that Dr Lee says I need to have my head shaved or the bumps might be something not curable,’ she admits tearfully before making her way into the clinic.
And after inspecting Rhonda’s scalp for the first time, Dr Lee adds: ‘When I saw Rhonda’s unusual bump on her head, it really took me by surprise. This is definitely something you don’t see every day.’
After consulting with Rhonda, the expert warns her that her ‘toe nail-like’ growth may be cancerous, but she won’t know for sure until it has been tested.
The expert pimple popper then squeezes the remaining cysts which release a stomach-churning white pus
Dr Sandra Lee makes her way around Rhonda’s scalp in an attempt to get rid of all ten cysts that have plagued her for years
In the meantime, Dr Lee decides to operate and remove as many of the bumps as she can, including the biggest bump, which she names ‘Big Mamma!’
Numbed up and ready to go, Rhonda holds her breath as Dr Lee slices into it – and after making the first incision, she confirms her initial suspicions – it’s a massive pilar cyst.
Snipping away at the tissue, the expert removes the golf ball-sized lump before cauterizing the wound.
She then gets to work at squeezing the remaining cysts, releasing little white worms of putrid pus as she makes her way round Rhonda’s scalp.
After squeezing the cysts free, she then moves onto Rhonda’s ‘toe nail’ cyst, which sits like a horn on the middle of her head.
Working to cut the cyst free, Dr Lee struggles with the density of the horn and says: ‘I’m calling it a horse hoof because, what the heck? This thing is rock hard.’
After cutting away and wrestling with the stubborn growth, she eventually pulls the horn free, much to Rhonda’s relief.
‘You’re going to have to change your driver’s license picture now,’ Dr Lee jokes.
Dr Pimple Popper airs Thursdays at 10pm exclusively on TLC
WHAT IS A PILAR CYST?
Pilar cysts are common growths that form around a hair follicle, and are typically found on the scalp.
They form because the cells in the top layer of skin produce keratin, the protein that gives skin its strength and flexibility.
Normally, these cells move up to the surface of the skin as they start to die, so they can be shed.
But sometimes, these cells can move deeper into the skin and multiply, forming a sac – a ‘bag’ filled with fluid.
They secrete keratin into the middle of the sac, which forms a thick, yellow paste. This can ooze out of the cyst if it is burst.
Unlike other types of cysts, pilar growths strongly run in families, and are largely harmless.
They typically affect middle-aged adults, and women more than men.