Meet "SGA": The adult acne treatment you've probably never even heard of.

Image via Clearskincare Clinics.

It’s normally associated with hormonal teenagers but unfortunately acne beyond puberty is a very real thing, with 20 per cent of Australian women suffering from adult acne.

While we all know about the topical and drug-based  acne fighting options, there’s one treatment shaking up the beauty industry that you may never have even heard of – Dr McCaffery’s SGA.

Short for Sebaceous Gland Ablation, the treatment was created by Japanese dermatologist Dr Kobayashi and was brought to Australia in 2012 by Dr Philippa McCaffery, who first discovered it during a conference to Hong Kong.

The heat-based procedure uses an ultra-fine needle to penetrate and deactivate overactive sebaceous glands, which is what is responsible for your pimples, blackheads and inflamed acne cysts.

Apparently, the treatment is relatively painfree and over very quickly. (Post continues after gallery.)

SGA, currently available exclusively at Clear Skincare Clinics, directly targets the problem area to get rid of acne permanently, without using any drugs or products.

“We have over 1,200 sebaceous glands per square centimetre of skin, and only a tiny proportion of these develop the symptoms of acne, even in the most severe cases, so getting rid of the acne affected sebaceous glands has no other impact on the skin,” says Dr McCaffery.

Unfortunately it’s not a quick fix – depending on the severity of acne, she recommends anything from one or two treatments for milder cases to a series of six to 10 once a month for more severe cases. Treatments start at around $99.

Most of her 7000 patients have been adults who have chronic treatment resistant acne that has not responded to anything they have tried previously.

SGA is most suitable for stable acne sufferers, so teenagers need to have been experiencing acne in the same sites for at least two years to be suitable for the treatment.

Before (left) and after a series of SGA treatments (Right). Image: supplied.

The treatment is also more effective the more visible the acne is as this allows the sebaceous glands causing the worst affected areas to be targeted. Some patients actually advise using a clay mask to draw out imperfections before the treatment. Backing treatments up with peels and an effective skincare regime is also advised.

Like any treatment, it's not a "one size fits all" situation, and as a result the same results can't be expected for everyone. Still relatively new, there are some limitations but Dr McCaffery says the clinic has a 90 per cent success rate after the six to 10 treatments in getting rid of overactive sebaceous glands.

"For most of our patients the result has been permanent. I predict that this treatment will prove to be as big a breakthrough in the treatment of acne, as Retin A was thirty years ago," she says.

As with all skin issues, we recommend seeing your doctor to devise an action plan before jumping into anything.

Have you tried SGA before? Did it work for you?