Although some think of acne as a condition primarily affecting adolescents, it affects many adults as well. With an estimated twenty-five to fifty percent of men and women experiencing adult acne, it is not surprising that acne treatments, from laser to topical, are on the rise.

Why Do Adults Get Acne?

Upon hearing the term acne, most people think of red and angry pimples or whiteheads and blackheads that have a knack for becoming prominent features. In reality, acne is the result of skin pores that are clogged with dead skin cells and oil.

Some common triggers for new or worsening acne of the skin can include:

  • Accumulation of dead skin cells
  • Bacteria in the skin pores
  • Genetics
  • Hormone level changes
  • Medications
  • Oily skin
  • Poor diet
  • Poor skin hygiene
  • Stress

While some of these triggers may be avoidable, some can be beyond our control. Regardless, acne treatments from laser to topical may assist with the minimization or elimination of acne over time.

The Effects of Acne as Adults

As adults, the onset of acne can feel unfair after already surpassing the adolescent, acne-prone years. Still, it affects a growing number of adults each year. Some reasons the presence of acne in an adult can be particularly troublesome include:


Whether a boardroom executive, a teacher, or a stay-at-home mom, a person’s appearance is a large part of a first impression as they interact with people each day. Experiencing acute acne may make a person hyperaware of their acne and therefore uncomfortable with their appearance.

Potential of scarring:

As an adult, particularly severe acne may have the potential to scar the skin, especially if it is picked at. Scarring can be a double whammy as the individual suffers from the acne and then has a permanent reminder in the form of a scar.


For some adults, having acne can affect more than just their appearance. The presence of ongoing or severe acne can negatively impact a person’s self-confidence as well.

Professional Acne Treatment

Patients seeking professional acne treatment from a licensed aesthetician may find a solution in a variety of procedures, from laser to topical.


Laser treatments are designed primarily to assist with acne scarring. These treatments can be more intense and therefore may cause some degree of discomfort, redness, and swelling. A couple of days may be required before these side effects ebb away.


Topical treatments refer to those procedures in which a substance is applied directly to the skin. This can range from facials to chemical peels to natural peels. Topical acne treatments often contain ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyle peroxide to help manage breakouts.


What to Expect During An Acne Treatment Session

Before receiving an acne treatment, it is important for an individual to find the right provider. Although topical acne solutions are considered largely noninvasive, it is important to find a licensed medical aesthetician who is skilled in laser and topical acne treatments. This gives the patient increased confidence, both in their provider and the treatment they will receive.

While procedures may vary from one provider to another, it can be common for a professional acne treatment to follow steps such as the following:


The foundation of any reputable skin treatment is clean skin. Expect for a clinician to remove any makeup and thoroughly clean the skin.


In order to effectively open the skin’s pores, the skin is exposed to steam.


In the event that acne such as blackheads are present, those patients may need to undergo extractions. This step can be mildly uncomfortable, but its benefits make the process worthwhile.

Laser or Topical Treatment:

It is at this point in the process that a laser or topical treatment as described from above will be administered. Which option is used will largely depend on each patient’s unique needs and desires.

Bacteria Removal:

It is possible for harmful bacteria to live on and in the skin. Your provider should have access to a special instrument that will effectively kill this bacteria.


As a final step, it is customary to apply a mask such as one made of clay to help tighten the pores.


One of the most important things for a patient undergoing acne treatment to remember is that treating acne is a marathon, not a sprint. This upkeep of the skin is an ongoing process that may require repeat sessions of approximately one a month for multiple months. Even beyond the session itself, to increase the odds for success, patients should be dedicated to daily, ongoing care of the skin, including using topical products recommended by a clinician. With a professional treatment and dedicated daily care, most patients begin to notice visible improvement after approximately three treatments. For this reason, it is typically recommended that individuals seeking acne treatment do so roughly three months in advance of a special occasion such as a wedding or social event.

To find out more about acne treatments from laser to topical, contact a reputable aesthetician today.