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Derm News: 2007.11(1)

Selective Electrothermolysis of the Sebaceous Glands: Treatment of Facial Seborrhea

Dermatologic Surgery, 33(2):169-177
TOSHIO KOBAYASHI MD, SHINJI TAMADA MD
ABSTRACT

Background

There are few publications on facial seborrhea treatment. A focused therapy is needed.

Objectives

Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of electrothermolysis of the sebaceous glands.

Methods

In the preliminary studies, histologic changes in the cheek skin by electrothermolysis were examined by light microscopy. In the clinical studies, 15 adult women subjects with facial seborrhea were treated four times by the same procedure. A 1.50-mm-long needle with a 0.45-mm base insulation was inserted into pores in the forehead and cheeks, and a high-frequency electrical current was applied for 0.25 to 0.50 seconds with an output of 40 W. Each treatment took 60 to 90 minutes. The subjects returned for 6-months follow-up after their fourth treatment.

Results

Histology 1 and 6 months later showed fewer sebaceous glands and the development of fibrosis. All 12 subjects who completed the 6-month follow-up gave a subjective assessment of continuous reduction of facial seborrhea. On a scale of 0.0 to 3.0, the mean improvement score was 1.670.75. The mean reduction rate of skin surface lipids was 31.5% by sebumeter (p< .01).

Conclusions

Even though this is a pilot, uncontrolled clinical assessment study, electrothermolysis of sebaceous glands may be an effective and safe approach for facial seborrhea treatment.


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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.