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Sebaceous Gland Ablation. Experiences? (Australia)

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Hi all.

I have been battling moderate to sever acne for a few years, now (i'm 21). Having tried a wide range of treatments, including minocycline, a harsh antibiotic, I searched high and low for something different that might help. I reacted badly to the minocycline so accutane is out of the question for me unfortunately.

After googling furiously, i stumbled across a company called Clear Skin Care ({LINK REMOVED}) that offers a bunch of more obscure acne treatments, including sebaceous gland ablation, which I have signed up for for a 12 month schedule. This involves 2 monthly treatments, one where your inflamed glands are destroyed with an electrode needle (sounds painful, and it is!) and another where different skin peels are applied.

I am about halfway through my treatment, and my skin has improved slightly overall, but almost not enough to notice. This is partly because the state of my skin fluctuates so wildly that it's hard to tell if it has improved after a treatment, or is just between breakouts. Currently i feel a bit frustrated, but Clear skin Care claims that 97% of SGA patients show some degree of success.

It seems there hasn't been much discussion about this treatment on the forums, so I want to hear your experiences! If there any australians here that have gone through this I would love to hear what you have to say. I am also more than happy to answer any questions about my experience.

Edited by Control Panel
company name suffices

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I'm not australian but I would also like to hear from people who have tried this.



Hi all.

I have been battling moderate to sever acne for a few years, now (i'm 21). Having tried a wide range of treatments, including minocycline, a harsh antibiotic, I searched high and low for something different that might help. I reacted badly to the minocycline so accutane is out of the question for me unfortunately.

After googling furiously, i stumbled across a company called Clear Skin Care (http://clearskincareclinics.com.au/) that offers a bunch of more obscure acne treatments, including sebaceous gland ablation, which I have signed up for for a 12 month schedule. This involves 2 monthly treatments, one where your inflamed glands are destroyed with an electrode needle (sounds painful, and it is!) and another where different skin peels are applied.

I am about halfway through my treatment, and my skin has improved slightly overall, but almost not enough to notice. This is partly because the state of my skin fluctuates so wildly that it's hard to tell if it has improved after a treatment, or is just between breakouts. Currently i feel a bit frustrated, but Clear skin Care claims that 97% of SGA patients show some degree of success.

It seems there hasn't been much discussion about this treatment on the forums, so I want to hear your experiences! If there any australians here that have gone through this I would love to hear what you have to say. I am also more than happy to answer any questions about my experience.

How many treatments have you done? 6?

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Enoughisenough29, I'm about 6 months through, so I've had 6 sessions of SGA and 6 peel treatments altogether. They do one of each per month

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Hi there,

I'm about to have my 6th SGA next week. Was on roaccutane when I was 21 but my acne returned (now 25).

Firstly it has dried out my skin a bit which is great because my skin used to be very oily. Now I dont get that shiny face that a lot of acne sufferers have. I still have pimples that randomly come and go and it is also hard to distinguish exactly how well the treatment is working. Dr McAfferty I think her name is has stressed the importance of sticking out 10 months for people with stubborn acne. I also signed up for 12 months and have figured that I may as well let the full program run its course. The theory behind sga makes sense and the results seem positive, also its not that expensive and im happy sticking this out for another 6 months than going back to roaccutane.

I say you keep going and dont give up. Get to the end of your 12 months and if there is nothing to show for it then sorry but im not sure what else but roaccutane will truly clear up your skin.

Fingers crossed this sga works. Hang in there.

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Hi there,

I'm about to have my 6th SGA next week. Was on roaccutane when I was 21 but my acne returned (now 25).

Firstly it has dried out my skin a bit which is great because my skin used to be very oily. Now I dont get that shiny face that a lot of acne sufferers have. I still have pimples that randomly come and go and it is also hard to distinguish exactly how well the treatment is working. Dr McAfferty I think her name is has stressed the importance of sticking out 10 months for people with stubborn acne. I also signed up for 12 months and have figured that I may as well let the full program run its course. The theory behind sga makes sense and the results seem positive, also its not that expensive and im happy sticking this out for another 6 months than going back to roaccutane.

I say you keep going and dont give up. Get to the end of your 12 months and if there is nothing to show for it then sorry but im not sure what else but roaccutane will truly clear up your skin.

Fingers crossed this sga works. Hang in there.

PLease keep us updated.

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its electrosurgery.use a probe to target an overreactve gland to destroy it.

destroy sebaceous gland = no acne

I wish it was as simple as it sounded. I think the concept is 100% correct..but i wish the tech was more reliable and advanced

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Hello! I am now on my 5th treatment. During my first three sessions, I noticed a significant clearning of my acne. In fact, I thought that I was acne free. It was around mid December that my acne started getting worst. I didn't understand why when I have been compliant with the treatment. I have used all their products, from Glycolic acid cleanser, their own sunscreen and moisturiser, and Salicylic acid toner and HA serum at night. I fear that I have become resistant to their treatment, if there is such as thing as that. But I'm still hoping that my acne clears up. A week before my first SGA, they asked me to stop any acne treatment which I did. I stopped adapalene. Now, I'm back on it together with the SGA treatment. The lady recommended that I apply tretinoin but since I still have my adapalene so I thought I better use this first since they're both retinoids. At what point were you told to apply tretinoin on top of your SGA treatment?

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I'm in my late 20's and have suffered from severe acne since my teens. I've been on 2-3 courses of Roaccutane during my teens. It did work but the side effects isn't worth another course. I've been on 6 SGA treatments since around 2012. I noticed improvements around the 4th treatment, however my acne is back again. One of the therapist has given me a permanent indent scar but extracting the hell out of a big zit during the treatment. In summary I'm very sceptical about SGA. Would like to hear from other people who have had severe acne and had success with SGA.

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I've been considering going to clear skincare clinics for SGA myself! But I still have hesitations about the procedure, if it could cause scarring and how successful it can really be. And I'm not in a position to afford the treatments right now anyway.

To me, I feel like they'd have to destroy every possible sebaceous gland for it to work... I'd worry that if it worked, my acne would just 'move' to the not-destroyed glands and show up there... I don't know if that's possible but I'm still not sure about SGA.

The photos / stories I've read on the derms blog look promising though.

Keep us posted with your progress, I'd be really interested to see how it goes for you.

Hope it goes well! :)


Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


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Just had my 6th SGA treatment and now currently using Differin as I have previously mentioned. I am starting to believe that SGA alone cannot really treat acne. I was hoping that during the course of treatment, I would get some skin satisfaction, e.g. clearing skin, better appearance. But it's not happening now. I have had acne treatment before and has seen dermatologists but the moment I moved to this part of the world, it isn't just possible to still see my original dermatologists. My acne flared up while I'm here so here I am with the SGA. The therapist also advocated for retinoid product while on SGA. If you also look in to the clear skin care web, the founder also recommends it too. So, it seems like SGA is an adjunct treatment for acne. It can't really work on its own. It seems my frustration is running high. 5-6 months of their treatment is just too long before I see result. I am starting to doubt it but I am still hoping that this is gonna work. If you also read the scientific evidence for acne treatment, it advocates for multi-approach to treating acne and that includes SGA on top of everything else.

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Hey guys,

So it turns out I've just had my 5th treatment (not 6th as I previously thought). Here's my update on my progress:

Initially (first 2-3 treatments) were heavily focused on the 'T'. I had acne on my hair line and nose was very oily, chin etc. This specific attention has basically wiped out 90% of pimples on my hairline and my nose is nowhere near as oily as it used to be. Chin is also decent.

This was all well and good but over the last 1-2 months I developed massive pimples on my cheeks. I remember going in to have SGA and my cheeks looked perfect which is the worst thing that can happen as they need to see the pimples so they can zap them. Eventually I went in recently with a heap on my cheeks and since she zapped the crap out them I've noticed they've cleared up a lot.

I currently have a few smaller pimples here and there but the massive cystic pimples have cleared for now. I think the SGA is definitely working, it is certainly beneficial to have a bit of a flare up just before you go in as they need to know exactly where to zap.

My skin has got to the point where I can put sunscreen on every day (previously this would have made my face look ridiculous and just highlighted my acne). I think this has been really good for my skin. I know a lot of you guys are skeptical and it seems like some aren't seeing much results but I think you need to stick it out for the 10-12 months Doc McCafferty recommends.

If your acne is consistently in the same areas then SGA should work quickly, but if you're like me and have random acne, then its gonna take time to zap each area. You are bound to have SGA sessions like me where your cheeks are perfect, then the next week there's craters everywhere and they didn't get zapped. Over 10-12 treatments you have a better chance of treating all the different flare ups that occur.

Maybe I'm just clinging on to hope as I never wanna go back to the red and white pill!

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Hi all,

I was going to Clearskincare Clinics for months for my acne. Have been on minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline, different pills, adapalene and almost every retinol cream under the sun - stubborn acne. I used to work in a beauty clinic where i regularly had treatments of IPL (skin rejuv), microdermabrasion (crystal), LED light therapy and facials. I feel like i have tried everything!

I had 4 - 5 sessions of SGA last year (had to stop because of cost concerns) and had great results. The therapist can only treat the glands she can see are inflammed (pimples) so unfortunately it is not a magic cure. You need to have the pimples and the bad skin for the gland to be treated. This being said, my problem areas i started noticing the big recurring pimples finally not recurring.

Overall, i didnt find it very painful (i dont have a very high pain threshold!), i did their skin resurfacing treatment with local anaesthethic - THAT hurt! The therapist that i had was fantastic and professional and very reassuring. I definitely think this is a treatment that needs to be used in conjunction with other preventatives but i would recommend anyone with recurring problem acne to at least try 6 months.

I would be very interested to continue hearing peoples ongoing results. I have been thinking about saving some money and going back for more treatments.

Madi x

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Hi guys,

I am doctor from india.,I am suffering from severe scalp seborrhea past 10 yrs.,I couldn't find any permanent cure for my problem.tried everything including isotretinoin ,smooth beam laser. And about Sebaceous Gland ablation,i heard in this forum .Dear ab103,could you describe in detail .,Are they using any lasers to burn sebaceous glands?. Is it related to Gobayasi insulating needle ablation??

Thanks much..

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hi ,

I just had the 1st SGA treatment about 3 weeks ago and after the treatment I had this really nasty looking wound all over my face. the lady told me it would take a few days to heal and the redness to go and I can go to work may be after 2 or 3 days. but the thing is that after day one the wound started to scab and form like a crust. I started using the cleansers, toners , copper peptides and the hydroquinone cream as they have asked me to do. I think may be after the 3rd day some of the scab came off while I had my shower but I never picked on the scabs. I had the bumpy feel and redness all over my face so I didn't go to work. you wouldn't believe me I actually stayed home for 9 days after the treatment coz my face was just so horrible after the treatment. after a week when all the scab fell off by itself, I felt a smooth texture on my face. I had been using all the products except for the hydroquinone coz I found this product has been banned in most of the countries bcoz of its side effects. after a week when I went to the clinics for a LED light therapy and follow up I told them about the product but they said its perfectly fine to use it as they haven't had any complaints from people using it for years. well I thought ok coz I did not want to take any chances so I just dint use it after may be 3 or 4 usage. its my 3rd week and everything seems to be ok I think I might had 3 breakouts in 3 different places but dint do the SGA on those breakouts. had one blue and one red Crystalite LED sessions. the main thing now is the scar from the wound tht I had while treating the breakouts. I dint have a severe acne, I would say its just a mild one and also my face is pretty ok interms of scars and marks. I had break outs previously and few marks but I had managed to clear off all the marks through natural remedy like herbal creams and face mask. and when I saw some old pictures abt 6 months ago no one would say tht I had suffered from acne. its just from the beginning of this year I started to have problems with breakouts again but it wasn't tht bad, used to be like one or two every week and I had it constantly every week. so in this 3 months time I had abt 20 to 25 new breakouts. immediately after one goes another comes in and the ones thts gone left a scar. now I was much concerned abt the marks rather thn the breakouts. my breakouts seems to be under control but now I am thinking how to get rid of these marks. I asked them abt the treatment for this and they said I ll have to do skin needling as I have a type 4 skin which is a little brown and olive so I cant do a laser. but now I don't want to make any wounds on my skin again either through needle or lasers. so I have asked them for other options and I am looking for other options too. these scars are actually not scars they are post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation(PIH), brown marks usually on brown/dark skin people. they are not permanent but do take a long time to fade off. if its an epidermal scar its a bit shorter than the dermal PIH. I am using other hyperpigmentation cream and few home remedies which I used to do before haven't had much of a success coz its just 3 weeks now and as I have mentioned it will take a bit longer for these to fade off. but the main concern now is what if its a dermal PIH as when you do this SGA treatment you treat the sebaceous glands which are on the dermal region.so I am really worried abt it and also I have said them tht I would not be doing any SGA treatment further but will still do the LED light therapy.so if anyone had the same issue and the PIH marks could you please let me know wht you did to get rid of it and how long did it take you.

thanks.

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from everything I've read, in the US if you don't want accutane or can't take it, one of the next best things is PDT, where they treat the skin with ALA first for 1-3 hours, then hit it with some kind of light, red light appears to be the best.

Photo Dynamic Therapy...many Doctors use Blue light after but it doesn't penetrate as deep....

This combination of ALA on the skin and deep penetrating light can destroy the sebaceous glands....need a few treatments, of course

Anyone have any luck with that in the US?

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hi I see that you have had 5 sga's just wanted to know what are you doing to get rid off the Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation marks and how long did it take you if you have gotten rid of any right from your first treatment..i had one session 3 weeks ago and left me with a nasty PIH marks so probably not continuing with that...and by the way I ve got a type 4 skin (brown/olive Asian Mediterranean skin).

thanks.

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My son had SGA treatment last year for 6 months and it was unsuccessful. I signed him up for twelve months of the skin gym as Clear Skin Clinics but we ended up pulling out even though we copped an extra months fee as a penalty. When he first went along for his he was asked a questionnaire about his current skin habits. I asked the girl about the websites "guarantee of clear skin" and was told that this only guarantee that the sebaceous gland that they injected into will not erupt into a pimple all the other thousands and thousands of sebaceous glands that they cannot possibly treat can still turn into pimples, they also admitted that at his age of 15 his hormones would make successful treatment difficult. Its a big financial commitment , and even though I was sceptical my son's self esteem was so low I wanted to give him hope that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. After 6 months however, we had to admit there should have been some improvement, not full clear skin, but improvement at least. There not only wasn't, but his skin looked aggravated by the treatment. Im not sure about those in their twenties still with pimples, but if anyone asked me about SGA for their teenager I would say don't waste your money. One good thing that came out of it was my son started a good day and night routine for his skin that included cleansing toning and moisturising. The products at the skin gym are pretty reasonably priced too (the oils are a bit pricey though) He still has acne and has his good weeks and bad weeks, but his skin is definitely less aggravated since he stopped going to the skin gym at the Clear skin clinic

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Hi everyone,

I just signed up for an account purely so I could respond to this topic. I started getting bad acne at 13 and I still have it today, aged 29. The only thing that has ever worked was yaz and even at the best of times that only cleared it 80-90 per cent, not completely.

In desperation I started SGA treatments last year and did the monthly 'skin gym' payment system at Clear Skin Clinics. When I signed up a year ago, I couldn't find any info on the net about it so I was a bit sceptical (there is now a bit more info around on it).

I did the treatments for six months and also used all the products: glycolic face wash, glycolic 8% cream, 2% hydroquinone cream, salycilic toner, copper peptide serum, and the moisturiser for the few days after treatments when the skin is tender. Later I also added the Stieva A tretinoin cream. Between the treatments and the creams, it was a VERY expensive exercise: about $180 a month for SGA and peels (cheaper if you sign up for 12 months) and then each cream costs about $30-40 and lasts 1-2 months. But after six months my skin was pretty much completely clear and my skin was actually glowing. People at work were asking me what I'd been doing! I was also on yaz still at this point so that definitely helped but my skin had never been so good before even while on the pill.

But I was going travelling so I'd only signed up for six months. I also went off yaz at this time as I was worried about some other health effects from it. It's now been almost six months since I stopped both and yep, my skin is terrible again.

BUT I used to get really awful cystic acne along my jawline and I haven't had any since I did the treatments. I also feel that while I have a lot of pimples again, they are not as bad or widespread as I've had in the past. So I think the treatments have improved my skin, but not got rid of them. I'm thinking about doing another six months to see what happens (the recommendation for persistent acne was ten months). If it comes back again after another six months, I wouldn't go back as it's really too expensive to continue in the long term.

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I was on 1 year skin gym for acne treatment last year, costing me more than 1000$ and let me tell you my real experiences. THIS SGA DID NOT WORK. After 10 months of treatment (1 SGA and 1 pealing + blue light treatment each month), my face still looked horrible with pimples and new scars from the SGA. I had to hide myself at home after each treatment because my face looked crazy with the all red marks. If I wanna go out, I had to cover my face with the bb cream that i bought from them as well. I thought It worked after my 6th treatment since my face looked a bit better with less acne but I don't know why it strongly came back a few months later.

Yeah, so after my 10th treatment, my face still looked really bad and i decided to give up the last two months of my deal (I paid everything upfront !!!). I ran to the derm for help and he put me on roaccutane. The reason I didn't go on roaccutane from the first place was because I had it like 3 times before and acnes still came back so I decided to try this SGA thing. Kinda frustrated since I spent so much money on it.

After 7 months on roaccutane, my face is clear now and I start using tretinoin cream every night to maintain the result.

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As far as i know the best way to control the oil glands is botox injections. It works just as well as controlling swaet glands when people over perspirate. This treatment does not seem to be as wide spread here in the States. It seems to be more common in Europe. I saw a report on german TV. The doctor used diluted botox.

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Good call, Cosa! About 4 or 5 years ago when my cystic acne was out of control, I had Botox done under my lip line to change my smile line. Oddly, my chin acne in that area was suppressed for quite some time.

And I find it hard to believe that SGA would work, though I do see room for potential damage to enzymes and function of the skin in the treated areas which to me seems to lead to more acne.

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Hi everyone,

I just had my first SGA treatment today so I'm still kinda excited and hopeful for some result lol.

Right now my skin is super bumpy. I don't have a severe case of acnes. I may have about 10 under the skin pimples on both cheeks. They are not inflamed (yet), but deep and nodular cystic type. After the treatment, all of them seem to surface. My hope is to have them turn into whiteheads so that can be extracted easily without scarring. My inflamed cystic acnes respond really well to the SGA tho, they burst out almost instantly.

I'm just wondering if other people who had SGA before experienced the same effect? How long would it be until all the pimples come to head and can be extracted? I don't have much redness since my therapist was very gentle but the swelling is unbearable :(.

Any comments would be much appreciated!!!!

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I am going to try this next week - I have tried everything and spent thousands so this is my last hope, really! Bit nervous after reading these posts..

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