MOST people have unflattering lumps and bumps, but for 21 years one man has been forced to live with a “ballbag” keloid growth on his ear.
After visiting Dr Pimple Popper’s clinic, 38-year-old JD was finally able to get rid of the “constant source of irritation”.
Dr Pimple Popper, aka, Dr Sandra Lee, was in for a nasty surprise during the surgery, which resulted in her wishing she had bought an extra pair of scrubs to the office after the growth squirted blood all over her.
JD, who is from Georgia, US, has been living with the growth for 21 years and said that if he moves too fast then it can sometimes slap him in the face.
He first started to notice the growth in his early teens and said that it resulted in him being bullied at school.
“Depression is real. It started when I was 13. Being bullied at that age, it’ll take everything out of you. As big as I was then, I was still soft. I don’t like confrontation”, he said.
He was told by doctors that it would either shrink or simply fall off of its own accord.
He said: “Sometimes it will give off an odour, like if I’m sweating, so therefore I got to keep it washed”.
With his wedding just around the corner, JD decided to visit Dr Sandra Lee at her clinic in California.
Dr Lee wasted no time in examining JD and after establishing that he used to wear earrings, she said it was likely that he was suffering with an enormous keloid.
She explained that these are growths that are usually triggered by trauma, but said this one was unlike one she had ever seen before.
“Keloids are really challenging to remove because you have to remove it in its entirety so that you’re more likely not to have a reoccurrence.
“This keloid is particularly challenging because in removing all that scar tissue there, I’m removing his whole earlobe”, Dr Lee said.
What are keloid scars?
- When the skin is broken – for example, by a cut, bite, scratch, burn, acne or piercing – the body produces more of a protein called collagen.
- Collagen gathers around damaged skin and builds up to help the wound seal over. The resulting scar usually fades over time, becoming smoother and less noticeable.
- But some scars don’t stop growing, invading healthy skin and becoming bigger than the original wound. These are known as keloid scars, which affect around 10-15% of all wounds.
- Keloid scars are more common on the upper chest, shoulders, head (especially the earlobes) and neck, but they can happen anywhere.
- Source: NHS
As Dr Lee started to operate she said she had to be careful with JD as he had a good blood supply, and she stated that she had to be careful with how much he bled.
But as she cut into the growth, a jet stream of blood squirted all over her scrubs.
She joked: “You know, when I was walking out the door today I was like ‘should I bring another change of scrubs?’”
She then had to be extremely careful with each blood vessel in order to keep blood loss to a minimum.
Dr Lee said she needed to make sure she had enough skin left at the end in order to rebuild JD’s earlobe.
“I really want to zap them when I see them and prevent a lot of bleeding”, she added.
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Once the sack was removed, Dr Lee then turned to sewing up the ear to make it look “as normal as possible”.
After the surgery, JD was shocked to see the results – after having a snooze while Dr Lee operated.
He said: “As I’m looking in the mirror, it’s like a whole other person. I feel more like a happy person.
“I hope my keloid doesn’t come back, but I’m going to keep an eye on it”, JD added.
- Dr Pimple Popper airs at 10pm on Thursdays exclusively on TLC, and stream on discovery+