A dog bite victim who had ‘literal pubic hair’ growing out of an unusual skin graft on her face has regained her confidence after doctors were able to remove the patch and close the gap with minimal scarring.
Crystal, 30, from Jacksonville, Florida, met with Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Terry Dubrow on Monday night’s episode of the E! reality series Botched, explaining that she had been living with the unsightly skin graft since she was attacked by a pit bull as a child.
‘The skin graft came from my groin, very close to my pubic area. It’s genital hair. I’ve tried everything you can diminish it, but you can’t take it away,’ she said in her testimonial.
Scroll down for video
Before and after: Crystal, 30, from Jacksonville, Florida, had her hairy skin graft removed from her face on Monday night’s episode of Botched
Side effect: Crystal said she was growing ‘literal pubic hair’ from her face after a plastic surgeon used a skin graft from her groin to patch up her cheek after a dog attack
At her consultation, the mother of one told the doctors that she needed a skin graft after a dog attacked her and bit out a chunk of her right cheek.
‘When I was nine years old, my grandfather was holding a dog … I was actually pretty terrified of the pit bull,’ she said. ‘All I remember is black.’
Instead of immediately treating her, an emergency room doctor wisely advised her family to take her to see a plastic surgeon.
‘Crystal is very lucky that the emergency room physicians didn’t try just to stitch up that big gash and opening in her cheek because the ER doctor does not have the same skill set as a plastic surgeon,’ Dr. Nassif told the cameras.
‘If they did, she would’ve been like this,’ he explained, pulling the skin on his cheek down until the bottom of his eye was visible.
Then and now: Crystal, who was bitten by a pit bull when she was nine years old, lived with the dark, hairy patch on her cheek for 21 years
Hard to handle: Crystal said she plucked the hair on her face, but it was only a temporary fix. She also put lemons on her face to try to make the dark patch lighter
Crystal said the wound was open for a while, noting that the inside of the gash looked like the outside of Freddy Krueger’s face.
Her surgeon suggested doing a skin graft taken from the groin, and after the procedure, hair started growing out of the patch.
‘So you’re getting pubic hair on your face?’ Dr. Nassif asked.
‘Yes, literal pubic hair,’ she replied.
‘I don’t believe that the doctor mentioned I would grow pubic hair out of my patch,’ she told the camera with a laugh. ‘I don’t remember that.’
Protective mom: Crystal worried the hairy skin graft would cause he six-month-old daughter, Sana, to get teased at school
Trouble: After examining her, Dr. Paul Nassif said the ‘good news’ was that the nerves in her face were working perfectly, but the ‘bad news’ was that her skin was ‘very tight’
Dr. Dubrow admitted that it was unusual for the doctor to take skin from the groin when he or she could have gotten the graft from a number of hair-free areas, including the patient’s back and abdomen.
Crystal said she plucked the hair on her face, but it was only a temporary fix. The patch was also darker than the rest of her skin, which led her to put lemons on her face in an attempt to lighten the area.
‘I at first thought it didn’t affect me,’ she told the doctors. ‘Since having my daughter, I really started to get conscious of it.’
Her baby girl, Sana, was only six months old, but she was worried about how her appearance would affect her child in the future.
‘After having my daughter, I am very nervous about how other kids would treat her because of how I look. I don’t want her to be teased,’ she explained.
Process: The doctor believed their best option was to remove the patch of skin, make a pocket along her cheek, and put a tissue expander (pictured)
Yikes: The tissue expander had to be filled with fluid ever few weeks to stretch the skin
The doctors agreed that taking a skin graft from her groin was less than ideal, but they noted that the complicated reconstructive work on her face was ‘expertly done.’
Their patient wanted the patch to be made as ‘small and minimal as possible,’ which wasn’t going to be easy.
‘Crystal’s case is actually deceptively very complicated,’ Dr. Dubrow said in his testimonial. ‘That skin graft is very close to critical anatomic structures — like the nose, the cheeks, and the eye — that if altered, even a little bit, can change the entire shape of the face and look very deformed.’
After examining her, Dr. Nassif said the ‘good news’ was that the nerves in her face were working perfectly, but the ‘bad news’ was that her skin was ‘very tight.’
The doctor believed their best option was to remove the patch of skin, make a pocket along her cheek, and put a tissue expander.
Almost over: Crystal was all smiles before going under the knife for the last time
Success: Dr. Nassif was able to remove the dark, hairy patch of skin on Crystal’s face and close the gap
Dr. Nassif explained a ’tissue expander is like a big balloon’ that is put underneath the skin and filled with fluid every few weeks to make it bigger and stretch the tissue around it.
‘That will give us more elasticity of the skin,’ he said. ‘So when we take out the expander, we can cut out the skin graft and then move that extra tissue into the defect and close it.’
Crystal was told she would have to have the tissue expander in her cheek for six to eight weeks, but that didn’t deter her.
‘I want it gone,’ she said of her hairy skin patch.
A few weeks after the expander was inserted, Dr. Nassif noted that her skin was responding nicely and it would probably only need to be left in for a total of four weeks.
Amazing: Not only was the skin graft gone, but Crystal also had minimal scarring on her cheek
Confident: Crystal met with her aunt Lynette and best friend Dionna to show off her incredible transformation, and they were both impressed by her stunning new look
On the day of Crystal’s final surgery, he realizes the expander should have been left in a little bit longer. He had to make an incision around her smile line to get the tissue up and elevated, which left her with a slightly longer scar than he had anticipated.
However, despite the minor setback, the surgery was a success and Crystal looked like a whole new woman.
‘Before, I was way too self-conscious,’ she admitted. ‘Now, I’m no longer worried about Sana having to go through 21 questions about what’s on my face. I’m excited. I feel beautiful. It’s like a closed chapter.’
Crystal met with her aunt Lynette and best friend Dionna to show off her incredible transformation, and they were both impressed by her stunning new look.
‘Thanks to Dr. Nassif, the skin graft is completely gone,’ the mom told the cameras. ‘So now, my face is finally smooth, symmetrical, and pubic hair-free.’