Acne Treatment

In Chicago

12-21 DAYS

Acne vulgaris, commonly known as acne, is a widespread skin condition that affects nearly everyone at some point. As the most prevalent skin issue in the United States, it impacts approximately 50 million Americans each year. This condition manifests as whiteheads, blackheads, and small red pimples, and in severe cases, can evolve into large, painful cystic lesions. Acne is particularly prevalent among teenagers, exacerbating not only physical symptoms but also psychological challenges due to their heightened sensitivity to social perceptions and self-image.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin issue that many people, not just teenagers, deal with. It's the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting up to 50 million Americans every year. Hormone changes, like those during puberty, the menstrual cycle, and menopause, can cause our skin to produce more oil. Some people's skin also grows new cells fast, and genetics can also play a part.

This extra oil and the fast-growing skin cells can block our pores. When a pore is blocked and closed, it looks like a white bump, known as a whitehead. If it's blocked but open, it turns black, called a blackhead. This blockage, combined with extra oil, is a perfect place for bacteria to grow. This bacteria can turn into red, painful pimples filled with pus. In severe cases, it can even cause big lumps under the skin that might leave scars, known as ice pick scarring. 

Types of Acne

Whiteheads These are small bumps on the skin that form when pores get blocked by oil and dead skin cells. The pore is closed at the surface, which is why they appear white.

Blackheads These form when a pore is clogged by oil and dead skin cells but remains open at the skin's surface. The black appearance is due to the oxidation of the debris within the pore when it comes into contact with air; it's not because of dirt.

Papules These are small, raised, and often reddish bumps on the skin. They occur when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells push deeper into the skin, causing inflammation.

Pustules These are similar to papules but are filled with pus. They appear red, raised bumps with a white center, sometimes leading to scarring.

Nodules In the context of acne, nodules are hard, painful lumps beneath the skin's surface. They are caused by the buildup of oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells deep within hair follicles.

Cysts Large, soft, pus-filled lumps are deeper under the skin. Cysts can be painful and often lead to scarring. They are the most severe acne lesions and might require medical treatment.

Hormonal Acne This type of acne primarily affects women and results from hormonal fluctuations that stimulate excess oil production, leading to breakouts.

Types of Acne Treatments

Impressions Face + Body provides a wide range of acne treatments, including collagen induction therapy with microneedling, epidermal peel, and non-ablative laser resurfacing treatment.



A popular choice for a gentle cleanser is one made by Cetaphil, though many other options are available. After cleansing, using a product containing salicylic acid (SA) to remove excess skin debris is beneficial. SA acts as a keratolytic, breaking down and shedding surplus skin cells. It is especially effective at penetrating oil glands, making it more suitable than glycolic acid. Additionally, SA possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which help to unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

Salicylic acid is available in various strengths and formulations, including solutions, gels, lotions, and creams. Over-the-counter concentrations typically range from 0.5 to 2 percent. The product must maintain a pH level between 3 to 4 for optimal effectiveness. Unlike solutions or gels, lotions are often recommended as they hydrate without causing dryness or irritation. Creams might be too rich for those with acne-prone skin.


When salicylic acid is ineffective in unclogging pores, prescription products derived from Vitamin A can be an alternative. Options include Retin A, Renova, Differin, and Tazorac. These medications aid in breaking down skin cells, addressing existing clogged pores, and preventing further blockage. Beyond their primary function, these products also boast anti-inflammatory properties, enhancing the appearance of aging skin. This dual benefit makes them excellent choices for individuals, especially women in their forties, who experience acne alongside the natural aging process.

Those with severe acne may be candidates for Accutane, a powerful drug taken orally that stops acne in its tracks. It’s only taken for a short period of time, but the results can last for months or years.


Lasers have proven to be an effective treatment for acne, alone or combined with a topical solution called photodynamic therapy. The treatment program will vary depending on the type of acne you have. FDA-approved Blue Light and Red Light therapies are especially beneficial for cases where traditional acne treatments may not be effective. When used together, these light therapies provide a potent solution. The process involves using Blue Light first, which targets and kills the bacteria that cause acne, followed by Red Light, which reduces the typical redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts.

Fat Transfer

For certain individuals with acne scarring, a fat transfer can be recommended to address and smooth out the indentations. This procedure is conducted in a sterile environment. During the fat transfer, in addition to the fat, it is believed that your own stem cells and growth factors are actually transferred as well, and this can help stimulate cell growth to help rebuild tissues and smooth indented acne scarring. These elements may aid in stimulating cell growth, which can rebuild tissues and alleviate the appearance of indented acne scars. To optimize results, it's often suggested that the fat transfer be paired with a fractionated laser treatment. Together, they can synergistically boost and maximize collagen production.

Radiance Peel

The Radiance Peel is gentle, yet effective and you’ll notice tighter, smoother, brighter looking skin after just one treatment. If you suffer from mild to moderate photodamage, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, and acne or acne scarring, this is the treatment for you. 20% Salicylic Acid and a blend of Lactic and Glycolic Acids make it appropriate for ALL skin types.

Beta Hydroxy Acids - Salicylic

This exfoliant cleanses your skin with a superficial exfoliation that provides anti-inflammatory factors to help calm irritation associated with breakouts and bacteria-fighting properties to clean impurities. Ideal for thick, oily or acne skin types.

Chicago's Trusted Acne Treatment Specialists

Struggling with persistent acne or scars? At Impressions Face + Body, we offer comprehensive solutions tailored to your unique needs. Our cutting-edge treatments are designed to give you clearer, smoother skin, from FDA-approved light therapies to transformative fat transfers. Discover how our expertise can rejuvenate your complexion. Book your consultation today and take the first step towards flawless skin.