In a rather frustrating turn of events, I never struggled with my skin (or acne in particular) until the clock struck midnight in my first year of college. What I thought was a normal, hormonal, and maybe vodka-and-late-night-pizza-habit-related skin accident turned out to be an eight-year battle I've been dealing with since then. My acne has subsided and flowed since college. It almost always improves when I take care of myself – sleep, drink water, and use the products that I know play well with my skin. But since my overload is hormonal (as both dermatologists and my gynecologist have confirmed), I can only do so much.
Two years ago, I was plagued by low self-esteem and frustration and chose spironolactone, an oral medication traditionally used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. More recently, however, it has become a common dermatological recipe for hormone-induced flare-ups. According to Breana Wheeler, MSN, NP, dermatology nurse at Facile Dermatology & Boutique, Spiro is often prescribed in low doses to treat moderate to severe cases of hormonal acne. It is a diuretic (compared to a hormone) and acts as an androgen blocker to mitigate the effects of male hormones in the body like testosterone, which can contribute to oil production and acne.
My skin started to clear up and within a month or two I was practically free of breakouts and had the clearest, lightest skin I had seen in years. The disadvantage? I didn't feel comfortable depending on a medication to make my skin look good. My period also disappeared and I experienced a slight weight gain. These aren't common side effects (one of the reasons Spiro is so popular is its safety), but I still felt uncomfortable and assumed it. Not surprisingly, my acne came back worse than before, but my period came back and the extra pounds dropped almost immediately.
Months later, my acne was still feeling out of control and the facial doctors and dermatologists I consulted recommended that I use a topical prescription or a more intensive oral medication like Accutane to cleanse my skin. My reaction? Not amused. So you can imagine my excitement when one of my favorite dermatologists (Dr. Jennifer Herrmann, FAAD at Moy, Fincher, Chipps Facial Plastics & Dermatology) contacted me at the beginning of the new year saying they were going to offer a new breakthrough acne- Treatment called sebacia. In essence, she explained, Sebacia is a novel, industry-changing option that does the same thing as other medications like Accutane (also known as targeting and reducing oil production), with no side effects or downtime. As the acne-prone beauty researcher that I am, I tried. Read on for everything that happened and everything you need to know.
As Herrmann explained to me and as you can read on the Moy, Fincher, Chipps website, one of the reasons why Sebacia is so exciting is that it is truly the most breakthrough acne breakthrough in almost 20 years. It has just received FDA approval in the United States, and Moy, Fincher, Chipps is actually one of the first centers across the country to add it to its list of dermatological services. For context, I asked Herrmann to explain which solutions were most commonly used to treat acne (and all of the problems related to it) before Sebacia.
"The treatment plan depends heavily on the type of acne that a person has," she begins. "Hormonal acne is often treated with birth control pills and / or spironolactone. However, many women experience flatulence or mood swings during contraception, and spironolactone, especially at higher doses, can cause breast tenderness, irregular menstruation, or dehydration. Medications are suitable if you are pregnant are or thinking about pregnancy.
"For mild acne, we often use a combination of topical cream or gel medications that can lead to excessive dryness, redness or irritation. For moderate acne, we often add oral antibiotics in addition to the topical agents. The bacteria involved in acne indiscriminately kill all bacteria , including good varieties on our skin and intestines, which, if taken over a long time, can lead to increased inflammation and potential resistance to antibiotics. "
Last but not least, Herrmann launches isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane), which is often prescribed to treat severe acne. While usually very effective, it has several possible side effects, including increased cholesterol, liver stress, mood swings, birth defects, and significant skin dryness and irritation.
Sebacia, however, is completely different. While it is similar to Accutane in how it targets the oil gland to limit oil production, it is a topical (versus oral / internal) treatment that your dermatologist will practice three times within two to two times three weeks. It's convenient, though a laser zaps lightly (don't worry – I'll get to this part right away), and the best part is that there is no downtime or reported side effects.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.