A YOUNG woman whose scalp was covered in marble-shaped cysts has finally had them removed after years of embarrassment.
Chloe, 22, has had lumps on her head for as long as she can remember but admits they grew bigger when she became pregnant.
The lumps left her feeling paranoid and in pain, so she decided to take a visit to see Dr Emma Craythorne, Britain’s very own Dr Pimple Popper.
Appearing on tonight’s episode of the Bad Skin Clinic, the mum-of-one explained: “I can’t remember them growing, I can’t remember them appearing, they’ve just always been there.
Parting her hair on top of her head, Chloe, from London, reveals a cluster of large, bulging lumps along her scalp.
She said: “I’ve got eight lumps, four big ones, but I’ve got one that causes all the problems.
“There’s actually hardly any hair coming out of them, and I’m paranoid about it all the time.”
Chloe’s mum Claire has noticed how much the lumps have impacted her daughter’s outlook on life.
She told the programme: “As a young girl she was very bubbly, very outgoing, but it’s definitely knocked her confidence.”
Chloe recalled one particular incident at the hairdressers which sparked a change in her attitude.
“When I was about 12 I went to the hairdressers and as she was washing my hair, I could feel her go over one of the lumps,” she said.
“I felt so awkward that I’ve just never been back since.”
While both an eyesore and a constant source of embarrassment, the lumps also cause Chloe a great deal of pain.
Mum Claire said: “She gets headaches from brushing her hair, when the hairbrush scrapes through them.”
When Chloe fell pregnant with her daughter Jessy, hormonal changes meant the lumps dramatically increased in size, causing yet more pain and hair loss.
Even playing with her daughter causes Chloe problems.
“Every time she pulls my hair it’s just horrible, because then I get really bad headaches,” she admitted.
Chloe decided she had put up with the lumps for long enough and made an appointment with Dr Emma at her Harley Street clinic.
Talking things over with Chloe, Dr Emma shed some light on why pregnancy may have exacerbated the lumps.
She told her: “Everything grows in pregnancy because we’re trying to grow a baby, so we release all of these growth hormones and if we do have lumps or bumps it can often make them grow and get bigger as well.”
When asked what she’d done to treat the lumps in the past, Chloe bashfully admits that she has tried popping them herself but to no avail.
“I just thought I’d try and pop it like a normal spot but nothing ever came out,” she said.
What is a Pilar cyst?
Pilar cysts are flesh-colored bumps that can develop on the surface of the skin.
They’re sometimes called trichilemmal cysts or wens and are benign cysts, meaning they typically aren’t cancerous.
Although 90 percent of pilar cysts occur on the scalp in the lining of hair follicles, they can develop anywhere on the body.
These types of cysts can range in size – some can be the size of a quarter, and others can grow to the size of a small ball.
They’re also round in shape, sometimes creating a dome-like bump on the surface of your skin.
Pilar cysts may be hereditary – they’re also more common in middle-aged women.
The cysts are usually harmless, but some people consider surgical removal for cosmetic reasons.
Inspecting Chloe’s head, Dr Emma provides her with a long-awaited diagnosis.
“I suspect this actually is going to be something called a pilar cyst,” she told her.
“They originate around the base of the hair follicle and their skin is much thicker, so they pop out like a little marble.”
In the operating room, Dr Emma starts with the biggest cyst first.
She makes a small incision and then with the help of her assistant Mottie, they gently press down before the cyst capsule pops out of Chloe’s scalp.
“One little marble,” Dr Emma said as she placed it on a medical tray.
She then works down Chloe’s scalp, removing each cyst with its own unique pop.
The second one releases a stick spurt of pus first, which Dr Emma describes as “sticking its tongue out”.
“That was a deflated marble,” she laughs.
When she gets to the third one, she opts for a punch biopsy for removal which involves using a special instrument to make a small hole in the skin.
It pops out like another perfect little marble.
Dr Emma then turns her attention to the final cyst, which she warns her is the widest one they will be removing.
“It’s a little bit oozy,” Mottie says, as pus comes squirting out quickly followed by the pop of the “marble” cyst.
With the procedure finished, Dr Emma presents Chloe with her “four lovely little marbles”.
Chloe said: “Ah that’s horrible. I could hear all the little squelching noises as they popped out, which was really disgusting.”
Twelve weeks later, the show caught up with Chloe to find out how she was after her treatment.
“My life is really, really different now,” she said.
“With the cysts removed I haven’t got to be worried about anything, I can just be me.
“I feel like I can be a proper mum to Jessy. It’s just made me a lot more relaxed when playing with her and not having to worry about her pulling my hair or having a migraine.”
Chloe’s mum Claire admitted that she has seen an enormous change in her daughter too.
She told the programme: “Since Chloe saw Dr Emma the change in her is just amazing.
“She is back to being her normal, bubbly self. Now she can do whatever she wants to do.”
Chloe added: “Dr Emma made me feel so comfortable and confident that I feel like I’m more like myself again.”
The brand new series of The Bad Skin Clinic continues tonight at 10pm on Quest Red, available to stream on dplay