- Dr. Pimple Popper‘s holiday special “12 Pops of Christmas” aired Thursday night on TLC.
- Jean Marcus, one patient featured in the special, has familial multiple lipomatosis, an inherited condition that causes multiple benign fat lumps, or lipomas, to grow under the skin.
- It’s rare and usually painless, but the number and size of lipomas can negatively affect quality of life.
- Lee removed 14 small lipomas from Jean Marcus in a single sitting.
- Warning: This post contains graphic images.
Dr. Sandra Lee (better known by her alias Dr. Pimple Popper) has ended 2018 with a pop – actually, with 12. The California dermatologist’s holiday special “12 Pops of Christmas” aired Thursday night on TLC.
The special came roughly five months after Lee’s debut TLC series (also called “Dr. Pimple Popper”) concluded its first season. The series has already been renewed for a second season, which is set to start in January 2019.
The special followed Lee as she treated 12 patients with a variety of skin conditions, from cysts to a 55-year-old blackhead. One of the special’s notable patients, however, was Jean Marcus, a man with a rare condition that causes multiple fatty lumps called lipomas to form under the skin.
Here’s a closer look at his story and the condition.
Jean Marcus has a condition called familial multiple lipomatosis
Jean Marcus, identified only by his first name, explained during the special that he has had multiple lipomas on his arms and chest ever since the first one developed in middle school.
A lipoma is a benign, slow-growing fatty lump situated just under the skin, and the causes behind them aren’t fully understood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“My everyday life is starting to get affected by this,” Jean Marcus said in an interview segment, revealing the noticeable bumps scattered across his forearms. “I feel self-conscious about them.”
In a conversation with Lee, Jean Marcus said that his father and sister also have multiple lipomas. Because of this family link, Lee determined that he has a condition called familial multiple lipomatosis(FML).
“[It’s] an inherited condition that you can see in family members over multiple generations,” Lee said. “It is benign, usually painless, but oftentimes an eyesore.”
FML runs in families, as its name implies, but the underlying genetic cause still isn’t known, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD). In the condition, the lipomas typically show up on the arms, legs, and torso. (You can see photo examples of a person with FML in this report published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014.)
Numerous or very large lipomas can negatively impact one’s quality of life, even if they’re painless, GARD added, and surgical removal of the lumps is sometimes required.
After an examination, Lee opted to remove a total of 14 lipomas from across Jean Marcus’s forearms and chest.
Lee removed 14 of Jean Marcus’s lipomas in one sitting
Lipomas are not a new challenge for Lee – they frequently appear in her YouTube videos and also cropped up in the first season of her TLC series. In the past, Lee has often removed singular, giant lipomas, including some as large as bowling balls.
But Jean Marcus’s procedure was different.
Lee squeezed out a total of 14 small lipomas from beneath Jean Marcus’s skin during a fast-paced montage sequence complete with holiday music and subtle squelching sound effects. (By the way: Lee previously told INSIDER that those sound effects are intensely magnified but still very real.) Each one popped out in a neat, satisfying, single piece.
Once the lipomas were removed and his skin was stitched up, Jean Marcus’s forearms were noticeably smoother in shape.
“I definitely feel like a new man,” he said in the special. “I’m going to have these brand new arms and a new chest and I can just wear t-shirts again. This was the best Christmas gift I think I could have gotten for myself.”
Watch an action-packed promo clip for the special (including some footage of a lipoma popping out!) below. “12 Pops of Christmas” will also be available to watch on-demand via the TLCGo app (available for Apple and Android), and you can watch previous episodes of the “Dr. Pimple Popper” series on the app and at TLC’s website.
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- Read more:
- Dr. Sandra Lee says a classic ‘Seinfeld’ episode partially inspired her ‘Dr. Pimple Popper’ nickname
- These are the best pimple popping videos of 2018 – so far
- 5 acne spot treatments that actually work, according to experts
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