Acne, also referred to as pimples, is a prevalent and distressing condition affecting approximately 85% of adults. Active acne can be painful, unsightly, and embarrassing.

The primary cause of acne is the overproduction of oil in the skin. This process typically begins around puberty, when the sebaceous glands become active to keep the skin and hair well-lubricated. These glands produce an oily substance known as sebum, which coats the skin and hair to prevent dryness. Sebum travels up hair follicles and exits through pores onto the skin's surface. The hair follicles also regularly shed dead skin cells, which are carried out of the body by sebum.

However, when there is an overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells, they can accumulate and clog the pores, resulting in skin blemishes. The bacteria that normally exist in small quantities on the skin can then thrive in the sebum within the clogged pores, causing inflammation. This inflammation leads to the condition known as acne or commonly, pimples. The appearance of acne varies depending on the location of the clog. Whiteheads form when the sebum and bacteria remain below the skin surface, while blackheads occur when the trapped sebum and bacteria partially open to the surface and oxidize, turning black.

The face, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back are the most commonly affected areas by acne.


  • Blackheads, also known as comedones, are small, dark spots on the skin resulting from a plug in the opening of a hair follicle.
  • Whiteheads form when open pores are clogged by dead skin cells, oil, or bacteria, leading to their development.
  • Papules are small, inflamed, well-defined bumps on the skin, caused by excess oil, bacteria, hormones, and medication. They are also referred to as pimples or zits. Papules are red in color and feel hard, lacking a white or yellow pus-filled tip.
  • Pustules are small bumps on the skin with a yellow pus-filled tip surrounded by red skin.
  • Nodules are abnormal lumps of cells on the thyroid gland. They are firm, painful, and develop deep under the skin.
  • Milia are small, dome-shaped, white bumps found under the skin, often seen on a newborn baby's skin.
  • Cysts are lumps that may be filled with air, fluid, or other material.


Hormonal changes, particularly an increase in testosterone, can lead to the overproduction of sebum. This is why acne commonly occurs during the teenage years, although it can also manifest at any age. Other common causes of acne include bacterial infections, certain medications, and genetic predisposition.


Over-the-counter lotions containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide can eliminate bacteria, dry excess oil, and remove dead skin cells that clog pores. Salicylic acid slows the shedding of skin cells to prevent clogged pores and may also break down whiteheads and blackheads. Alpha hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid, help remove dead skin cells, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin. Sulfur removes dead skin cells and dries excess oil.

For moderate to severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe oral medications. These can include oral antibiotics that kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Isotretinoin is prescribed only for severe cases. For women, birth control pills containing estrogen may be prescribed to counteract the effects of testosterone.

Laser therapy uses light to selectively target and eliminate acne at its source, suitable for mild to severe cases. Various machines are available, with Fotona being a state-of-the-art medical-grade device that can treat persistent active or cystic acne. Fotona employs two different wavelengths, Nd (YAG laser) and Er (erbium laser), to effectively treat different forms of acne.

Laser treatment uses a light beam to close pores and reduce bacteria on the skin. This treatment also increases collagen production, providing facial resurfacing with minimal downtime. Active acne laser treatments are gaining popularity due to their quick, effective results and lack of downtime.


The treatment has no discomfort; you may feel like a hot stone massage that takes about 20-30 min.


  • We recommend quitting smoking at least 2 weeks before your treatment, if not at least 24 hours before
  • Avoid medication or supplements that can delay your healing process including vitamin E and aspirin
  • Stop products that contain retinoid or glycolic acid because they make your skin very sensitive to light. This can cause severe burning or scarring
  • Stay away from sun exposure or tanning bed two weeks before your treatment


  • The post care is very important because it can maximize the effectiveness of the treatment
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin from HIP
  • Avoid hot water when washing your face
  • Do not touch your face without washing your hands. This reduces the risk of bacterial infection
  • Avoid scrubbing your face. Try to pat dry it instead
  • Avoid wearing makeup for at least 24 hours after treatment