Clear Skincare Clinics My SGA Treatment – for acne

A few weeks ago I had the My SGA Treatment done at a Clear Skincare clinic near me. This treatment is for acne – essentially the idea is that it removes over-active or malfunctioning sebaceous (oil) glands that cause reoccurring breakouts. From what I understood during my treatment, a small needle is inserted into the gland and heat (I think?) is used to ‘kill off’ the gland. They then extract the glands, which look like little whiteheads, with a special tool the Clinics sell called the ‘Easy Squeeze’, which they also have you purchase as you will get little whitehead-like bumps later at the sites that are treated – these are the oil glands that have been killed off during the treatment coming to the surface.

The treatment is not comfortable – it is exactly like lightly stabbing your face multiple times with a needle. I had very few breakouts at the time so I did not have many areas treated – if you have moderate to severe acne more areas will be treated and it will be more painful overall. My therapist also removed some milia on my chin and blackheads around my nose (the nose area hurts so much!)

Afterwards, your face is so red and blotchy, and you will have scabs on the treated areas. The blotchiness lasts hours, and the scabs last around two weeks. If you are prone to pigmentation you may also have the usual post-acne marks like I do. See photos below. Do not plan to go anywhere other than home for at least a day after the treatment, and you will be very unsightly for at least a week! I cannot stress that the idea of this treatment is long term results. You will look terrible for a while immediately afterwards. You will probably think ‘What have I done to myself?!’ like I did.

BEFORE TREATMENT:

Prior to treatment - only minor blemish on chin and some pigmentation, blackheads around nose

Prior to treatment – only minor blemish on chin and some pigmentation, blackheads around nose

AFTER TREATMENT – FOLLOWING DAY:

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Post-treatment (next day): scabbing, especially around nose.

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AFTER TREATMENT: AROUND 6 WEEKS:

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Around 6 weeks after treatment - minor pigmentation, no breakouts. Minor booger up nose.

Around 6 weeks after treatment – minor pigmentation, no breakouts. Minor booger up nose.

This is not cheap. They suggest multiple treatments (I have only had one, but will go back periodically when I experience breakouts). You can sign up for their Skin Gym plans (heaven knows they will try to force you into doing so) and have monthly treatments for a fixed amount of time for a reduced overall price. If you get the SGA Treatment on its own as a one-off treatment it’s $229 I believe. My only problem with the treatment was not the procedure itself, but the service of the clinic I attended. During the initial consultation for the My SGA treatment,  I was told I ‘needed’ various products and treatments as well as the SGA treatment – pushy, but expected. However, after the consultation I went to the counter to pay for the SGA treatment that I was there for, and the therapist had lined up the various products on the counter – she then said to the receptionist ‘And she’ll be taking these products.’ She did not ask if I was interested in purchasing them, or which I would like, none of that. They were just going to charge me for them with no agreement on my part. I refused. I was then told I ‘needed’ these products after the SGA treatment – if that’s true, why was that never mentioned in the consultation? If there is an extra cost of a product that you apparently must buy to go with the treatment, it shouldn’t be sprung on you afterwards. RUDE. Again I said no, and they said I would ‘at least’ need to buy the Easy Squeeze, which I did. They then tried to push me into spending around $1000 on a 12-month treatment plan. After that I got the hell out of there as soon as possible and haven’t been back since. I was also told I would need strong peels and microdermabrasion, all unsuitable for  my rosacea and eczema prone skin. There is another clinic near me offering the treatment and I will go to them next time.

Speaking of eczema, mine flared up terribly for a week after the treatment, which may have been due to the antibacterial alcohol solution they use on your skin after the treatment.

On the plus side, I haven’t had any breakouts since the treatment, though my breakouts are usually periodic/random anyway so we’ll see. My blackheads and milia are better though not entirely erased. I’m sure with more treatments they would improve drastically. The only real downside apart from the pushy service tactics is the pigmentation, but I believe the marks left by the treatment are lighter than those I get from actual acne breakouts, and are healing more quickly.

OVERALL:

PROS:
-short treatment: takes around 15 minutes
-seems like there are long-term results, esp. with multiple treatments
-target multiple concerns: milia, acne, blackheads

CONS:
-bad service
-expensive
-pigmentation if prone to it
-can irritate sensitive skin (mostly due to alcohol solution applied after)

RECOMMENDED?
If you have minor acne I would stick to other treatments like peels and extractions and good, effective home skincare. If you have troublesome acne prone skin I would definitely consider this, but you would need multiple treatments. I’m not sure how well this would work for hormonal acne as that it caused largely by hormones as opposed to over-active or malfunctioning oil glands, I would imagine.

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