Acne Treatment NYC

aglow dermatology acne treatment services new york city

Are you frustrated by over-the-counter acne treatments that don’t work? Are you ready to work with an expert to enjoy life with clear skin? Are you ready to get rid of your acne scars? Are you looking for acne treatment in NYC?

Although a benign condition, acne commonly affects a person’s confidence and self-esteem. People with acne can experience discrimination in social and professional settings. As someone who experiences acne, I understand how frustrating this reoccurring condition can be. As a board-certified dermatologist who works face-to-face with the public daily and has had many appearances on television, I understand how keeping acne away is important to looking, feeling and performing your best.

Give my office a call at 212-627-1004 today to schedule your acne treatment consultation in NYC!

What is acne?

Acne (acne vulgaris) is one of the most common skin disorders in both adults and teenagers. A variety of factors, including hormonal changes, contribute to this condition. It is a disease that starts with clogging of the hair follicles (pores) and commonly affects the face and as well as the neck, chest, back, and arms. People affected with acne have a variety of different lesion types on their skin including blackheads and whiteheads (known as comedones), pustules, red or brown bumps, and nodules. Acne may be mild, moderate, or severe. Lesions may even be painful. Acne lesions may leave behind unsightly scars or blemishes.

Who gets acne?

Although acne is commonly thought of as a disease of teenagers, people of all ages can get acne. Although acne affects people of both genders, adult acne is especially common in women. Pregnant women may notice uncharacteristic acne flaring or relief from their chronic acne.

Why do people get acne?

The causes of acne are many. Fundamentally, acne occurs because of a blockage of our hair follicles, which normally drain. Acne typically begins as a microcomedo, which is a microscopic plug of skin cells and oil. If the obstruction is severe, this may cause rupture of the hair follicle causing an inflammatory response by the body.

Additionally, normal bacteria that live in the hair follicle contribute to the inflammatory response. Increased oil production associated with certain hormonal states such as puberty, polycystic ovarian disease in women, and pregnancy also contributes to the problem by increasing the blockage and feeding the bacteria.

Some medications such as lithium, testosterone, and iodine can contribute to acne and there is a genetic influence when it comes to the condition. Other factors such as stress and lifestyle contribute to the cause.

Additional Reading:

How is acne affected by diet?

The effect of diet on acne is still controversial. Recent studies have shown that skim dairy products and a high glycemic diet may be worse for acne suffers. In one study, women who ate more leafy, green vegetables were less affected by acne.

In the media:

Additional Reading:

Who can best help me treat my acne?

How to best treat acne depends on a variety of factors including cause, severity, lesion-type, location, skin color, lifestyle and medical history. First, get evaluated by an expert, a board-certified dermatologist. A board-certified dermatologist is best able to assess your condition and its causes, inform and counsel you about your options, and offer you a full range of appropriate treatments including prescriptions, guidance about over-the-counter products, procedures and professional strength products.

What are the options for the treatment of my acne?

Acne is a chronic condition that can come and go, and unfortunately for some people, come and stay. Unfortunately, other than isotretinoin (Accutane), which does not always work for everyone, there is no true cure for acne currently available. Most treatments focus on getting the condition under control and reducing the frequency of flares.

Treatments your dermatologist may discuss with you include:

Topical medications: retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, azelaic acid, dapsone, salicylic acid, glycolic acid
Oral medications: antibiotics, isotretinoin, oral contraceptive pills (women only), spironolactone (women only)
Procedures: extractions, chemical peels, injections, light treatments (IPL), microneedling, laser treatment for scars

Additonal Reading:

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne can cause inflammation deep in your skin causing destruction of tissue and scar formation. Your skin will try to repair itself, but it might not do the job perfectly. Acne scars happen when your body makes too much or too little collagen. Pigmentation issues can also occur, although these marks are not actually acne scars.

There’s no way to predict who will experience scarring after their blemishes finally clear up. However, some factors can increase your chances of developing acne scars, including:

  • Having inflammatory (red, swollen, painful) acne
  • Delaying treatment for inflammatory acne
  • Squeezing, popping, or picking at your pimples 
  • Having a family history of acne scars

Atrophic or Depressed Acne Scars

Atrophic acne scars form when your skin fails to produce enough collagen during wound healing. Also known as depressed acne scars, these marks sit below the surrounding skin. Atrophic acne scars are most common on the face. They’re also very difficult to conceal.

There are a few different types of atrophic acne scars. Icepick scars have a tiny diameter but taper to a deep point. Boxcar scars look square or rectangular. And rolling scars look like half circles that often connect to form a wave-like texture. 

If you’re prone to depressed acne scars, getting your acne under control is your best defense against future marks. Fortunately, there are also products and services that can make these scars look better. Treatments that can be beneficial for people with depressed scars include:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Microneedling RF
  • Excision
  • Subcision
  • Dermal fillers 
  • Electrodesiccation

Hypertrophic or Raised Acne Scars

Hypertrophic acne scars form when your skin produces too much collagen as it heals. The area puffs up around the surrounding skin. These scars often look shiny and red. People of color are more likely to experience hypertrophic scars. Keloid scars are similar to hypertrophic scars; however, they are thicker, more irregular, and extend past the original wound. They also tend to be red or purple. Raised scars are more common on the jawline, chest, and back than the face.

Treatments for raised acne scars include:

  • Silicone sheeting 
  • Scar creams and gels
  • Steroid injections
  • Laser surgery 
  • Cryosurgery 

Irregular Skin Pigmentation

The inflammation associated with acne can sometimes change the pigmentation of your skin. Irregular skin pigmentation can be distressing, but it isn’t the same as a permanent acne scar. It has nothing to do with the production of collagen. Some treatments can speed up natural fading.

You may experience brown spots known as hyperpigmentation. White spots, called hypopigmentation, can also develop. And people with lighter skin may have red marks (persistent erythema).

Treatments that can help fade skin pigmentation issues due to acne include:

  • prescription bleaching cream
  • chemical peels
  • Laser therapy 
  • Light treatments 
  • Skincare products 

Ideal Candidates for Acne Scar Treatment

Acne scar treatments are a good fit for nearly anyone who’s bothered by the look of acne scars. However, many of these services can’t be performed on active breakouts. Acne medications can also interfere with your candidacy. Our dermatologist will explain your treatment options.

What Results Can I Expect?

Many treatments can make acne scars smaller and less noticeable. Over time, it’s possible to significantly improve the appearance of acne scars, though everyone’s skin responds differently.

Keep in mind that the experience and skill of the person performing these services will have a massive impact on the results you’re able to achieve. Dermatologists offer these treatments daily, so they have the knowledge needed to deliver a safe and effective experience.

Of course, while acne scar treatments can help improve the appearance of your skin, it’s better to prevent them from forming. Our dermatologist can help you clear up your active breakouts.   

What are acne scars and blemishes and what are my treatment options?

Acne is an inflamatory skin condition that may cause a reaction or distruction in the the surrounding skin. What that looks like will depend on the severity of the acne, the location of the lesions, and the person’s skin color. Lessions of the skin caused by acne are called secondary lessions. These include blemishes and acne scars.

Post Inflamatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

PIH is caused by increased production of the brown skin pigment, melanim, by melanocytes in response to inflammation. PIH occurs more commonly in people with dark skin or those who tan easily.

Sometimes mistakenly described as acne scaring, PIH is not a disruption of the collagen, or elastin in the skin, but a stain. Unlike an acne scar, PIH from acne is generally not permanent.

Some people with mild acne seem to only have blemishes of PIH. When the lesions have been studied under the microscope; however, the primary acne lesion, the microcomidone, is present.

Sometimes all it takes to treat PIH from acne is to get the acne under control. Occasionally, one can add treatments specific to addressing PIH such as bleaching creams, azeleic acid, brightening creams, and chemical peels to accelerate evening of the complexion.

Scholarly contribution:

Post Inflammatory Hypopigmentation

Sometimes trauma to pigment cells in the skin results in skin lightening rather than skin darkening. This is called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation. This is less common, as a result of acne, and is more likely to occur on the back. Post-inflammatory hypopigmentation is more likely to occur with more severe acne. There is no specific treatment for it; however, it may improve on its own over time.

Persistent Redness: Erythema

In contrast to the people with darker skin who get persistent brown marks, people with lighter skin may notice persistent red marks after they have had acne.

This is callecd persistant erytema. It usually fades as long as the primary problem of acne is kept under control. In addition to treating the acne, sometimes people treat the persistent erythema with laser and other light treatments.

Acne Scars – Depressed (Atrophic)

Depressed acne scars occur when inflammation caused by severe acne destroys the surrounding skin resulting in holes or divots in the skin. Although scars are permanent, they can improve over time. If someone is prone to scaring it is especially important to treat the acne. Specific treatment for scaring include chemical peels, laser, microneedling, excision, and subcision.

Raised Acne Scars

In contrast to depressed acne scars, which are a destructive response to trauma; raised acne scars are an abnormal response to healing. These take the form of firm papules, nodules, and sometimes even tumors (keloids) on the skin in response to severe inflammation. Raised acne scars rarely occur on the face. They are more likely to be found on the jawline, chest, and back. In addition to controlling the underlying acne, raised acne scars are usually treated with steroid injections and sometimes laser surgery.

In the media:

What is acne excoriee?

Acne excoriate is a compulsive disorder in which a person feels compelled to pick at acne lesions. People often have relatively minor acne compared to the excoriations on the affected area. It is considered a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder or body focus repetitive behavior which in addition to the treatment of acne, may require behavioral therapy.

Additional Reading:

What is acne cosmetica?

Acne cometica is caused by cosmetic or personal care products, such as makeup, that clog the pores.

Is it vain to want to treat acne?

Absolutely Not.

Although acne is not a serious medical condition, it can cause permanent disfigurement, as well as have long term psychological impact. Human beings are social animals. People with acne are often judged, ridiculed, and discriminated against. Studies have shown that people with acne avoid certain social situations and professional opportunities. People who may have experienced acne transiently during their teens many times continue to suffer from self-esteem problems decades later, even if they never developed a scar on their face.

More and more we’re learning that inflammation anywhere in the body can is associated with an increased risk of a variety of general health problems. For example, just like with gum disease, acne has been associated with cardiovascular disease. With time we will likely learn more about the association with acne and our general health; however, even if it is solely to address self-esteem, it is not vain to want to treat and prevent problems that impact our mental health and quality of life.

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Contact Aglow Dermatology at 212-627-1004 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Strachan.

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