121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022

Ph. (212) 285-1110

Garden City

901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240 Garden City, NY 11530

Ph. (516) 512-7616

Acne/Acne Scars

Acne manifests itself in one way or another in almost 80% of people in their teens and twenties. Most people recover on their own, or with the help of dermatologic treatments such as washes, gels, oral or topical antibiotics, or isotretinoin (Accutane). However, for some, the face is left with residual scarring.

By visiting your physician, he or she can help you make a treatment plan that addresses the specific type of acne damage you have. While you may not be able to erase all evidence, a drastic reduction in the visibility of these scars is absolutely possible with today’s dermatologic and cosmetic technology and minor surgical procedures.

Acne Scars: New York City Dermatologist Dr. Rokhsar Explains

Acne is a skin condition characterized by clogged pores like blackheads and whiteheads, as well as lumps appearing deeper in the skin on the face, neck, chest, upper arms, shoulders, and back.

Though commonly associated only with teenagers, acne is prevalent among adults as well and can even be seen in people into their 40’s. One of the major concerns about acne is that even less severe cases can leave scars and even cause disfigurement. The reality is that acne is so widespread that 60 million Americans suffer from it and 20 million of them have cases severe enough to cause scarring.

The treatment2 option you and your dermatologist agree on completely depends upon the type of scar and your skin type.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne causes inflammation in the dermis that deforms the collagen in the skin. This can result in the formation of depressions or “pits”, commonly referred to as acne scars1. There are a variety of classifications3 for acne scars including a boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars.

In efforts to improve the appearance of these scars, lasers are often employed to resurface the skin and even out its texture. NYC Acne Scar doctors have traditionally turned to lasers like CO2 and erbium to treat them, but these often leave patients with significant downtime after the procedure.

Other non-ablative lasers, including SmoothBeam and CoolTouch, avoid the issue of downtime by not removing any skin but they do so at the cost of effectiveness.

Types of Acne Scars

If the scarring became permanent or is extensive, these topical remedies will no longer work. Let’s take a look at the types of scars and their treatments.

  • Boxcar scars are round or oval and have sharp depressions with a flat base (like a crater). Inflammatory breakouts destroy collagen, which leaves behind a depressed area. They can vary from superficial to severe pits, depending on how much tissue was lost in the breakout. Laser resurfacing is the best course of treatment for boxcar scars because they address the damaged layer of skin by stimulating new collagen production.
  • Icepick scars are narrower than boxcar scars but can go deeper into the dermis and come to a point. The skin appears as if it has been pierced by a sharp instrument, which has left small deep, holes into the skin. They typically develop after an infection from a cyst or deeply inflamed blemish.
  • Rolling scars change the surface of the skin from smooth to asymmetric because fibrous bands are pulling at the skin from underneath in different directions. They arise when fibrous bands of tissue develop between the skin and subcutaneous layer, which pull on the epidermis. This pulling of the top layer of skin into the deeper structures creates the uneven rolling. In this case, subcision is the best treatment option. A small needle is inserted underneath the rolling scar to lift up the skin. This stimulates normal tissue to regenerate and lift the scarred area, which allows the skin to naturally heal back into an even layer.
  • Keloid scars are raised, purple, sometimes times painful scars. They occur most often in African-American skin.

Cosmetic Laser Skin Surgery Center offers every type of acne scar treatment. However, it is important that patients understand that microdermabrasion and chemical peels aren’t the ideal treatments for acne scars. These act as exfoliating treatments that are used to gently sand the skin, followed by a small vacuum that sucks up dead cells and debris. This means that they work best for superficial wrinkles and scars.

Punch Excision Helping Eliminate Scars from Acne

Punch excision is a surgical procedure used for deep acne scars. This method of treatment for acne scars requires local anesthesia. A tool called a punch biopsy tool is used to cut out the scar.

The normal edges of the skin are then stitched together. This allows a more controlled healing process. The edges of skin being sewn together are undamaged by scarring; so they are able to heal in a normal manner. All skin lesions heal with scars. There will be a scar following this procedure, but it will eventually fade away. In addition, the area will have skin that is more likely to respond to other therapies, such as Fraxel resurfacing.

Treating Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are best treated with a steroid injection (or multiple injections) to decrease the body’s overzealous response to scar formation. Another option is to physically cut out the keloid and suture the skin back together, but this could potentially result in yet another keloid.

Using Lasers to Treat Acne Scars

The Fraxel laser enables New York City acne scars patients to heal rapidly by only resurfacing a portion of the skin at a time, with treatments occurring every few weeks until completed. This gradual method eliminates skin sensitivity that often occurs when traditional laser resurfacing is employed. Fraxel laser treatment also stimulates collagen production at the treatment sites, allowing your body to naturally fill in pitted scars caused by acne.

Using Subcision to Treat Acne Scars

Dr. Rokhsar may recommend scar subcision for the treatment of acne scars. Since scar tissue depresses the skin’s surface, a scar subcision treatment is ideal for patients with deep, rolling or chickenpox scars. This procedure breaks up scar tissue and offers significant improvement, especially when combined with a Fraxel laser resurfacing treatment.

During the simple, in-office treatment, Dr. Rokhsar utilizes a sterile needle to stimulate collagen growth and breakthrough fibrotic strands, finally minimizing the appearance of the scar. This minor surgical procedure is used to offer cosmetic improvement for moderate to severe scars anywhere on the body. Depending on the severity of your scar and the amount of correction needed, you should notice remarkable improvement within 3 to 6 office visits.

Eliminate Acne Scars with Fraxel

Acne scarring is the result of inflammation in the lower layer of the skin called the dermis which causes the collagen to become deformed or scarred resulting in depressions in the skin. Acne scars, which are quite common, are classified into a boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars. Lasers are a commonly used modality in the treatment of acne scars. Laser resurfacing has long been used in the treatment of acne scars.

Fraxel: Before and After

Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 3
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 7
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 8
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 9
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 10
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 12
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 13
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 14
Fraxel: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 15

*Results may vary.

Traditional resurfacing lasers like CO2 or erbium can cause improvement in acne scars but require a long downtime. Non-ablative lasers such as SmoothBeam and CoolTouch do not remove the skin but at best are minimally effective in the treatment of acne scars. Fractional resurfacing by Fraxel treat acne scars with shorter downtime.

Dr. Rokhsar has been instrumental in the development of the Fraxel family of lasers, having worked on a prototype device and has discovered its effectiveness for acne scars. Dr. Rokhsar has published the first study on the treatment of acne scars with fractional resurfacing and has developed the parameters for use of this laser in the treatment of acne scars on a prototype device.

This laser resurfaces the skin gradually, which allows for rapid healing while eliminating the risk of rawness associated with traditional laser resurfacing procedures. The zones of thermal laser damage serve as a stimulus for collagen production, filling in the pitted appearance of acne scars with your own collagen.

Dr. Rokhsar’s Personalized Approach

Dr. Rokhsar will tailor the procedure for your skin depending on the type of acne scars that you may have. He may recommend subcision for rolling scars as well as combining the Fraxel resurfacing procedure with punch excisions for ice pick scars. Scars on any body surface area can be treated with the Fraxel laser, although scars on the face respond the best.

You will begin to see results a few days post-treatment. Results are cumulative and it takes a few months to reach peak improvement. Your skin will gradually get better and better as the skin regenerates from the inside out. These lasers are considered safe and effective on all skin types, including African-American, Indian, Latino, Asian, and Mediterranean.

Using Fillers to Treat Acne Scars

Using agents like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, or Radiesse, we can fill in the depressions caused by acne scars. This works well for icepick and boxcar scars where indentations are deep. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these changes are temporary.

Isolaz NYC Acne Treatment

Acne is a common skin condition that begins with greasy secretions from the skin’s sebaceous glands. The overproduction of oil plugs openings of hair follicles. Swollen, tender inflammations, pimples, lumps, or nodules can develop and create an unsightly appearance on the face.

Moreover, acne is most commonly found on the face but can also occur on the neck, back, shoulders, chest, and upper arms. Acne can be a genetic, hormonal, or stress-related condition. Although acne affects those during the stages of hormonal imbalance the most often, such as during puberty or pregnancy, about 20 percent of all cases occur in adults.

Acne treatment that uses Photopneumatic technology that uses a pore cleansing vacuum to extract dirt, blackheads, and excess oil deep within pores, accompanied with a broadband light that destroys acne-causing bacteria while reducing redness. The vacuum and gentle pressure help destroy acne-causing bacteria.

This helps soften and remove the pimples, dead cells, and other debris from deep within your pores. A clearer and more purified skin are left behind, leaving the patient a cleaner result. The acne destroying bacteria is destroyed and skin will even feel tighter.

This acne treatment is effective on all skin types from those with mild to severe acne. Isolaz treatment can also be used as a complementary treatment to other acne regimes, such as topical treatments or other laser procedures. The amount of Isolaz treatments vary on the severity, although most treat within five visits. This quick but effective procedure requires no downtime and does not cause your skin to become more sensitive.

Preventing Acne Scars

Ways to avoid the worsening of acne scars is to stay out of the sun or constantly protect your skin with at least SPF 30 sunscreen. Exposing scars to the sun can cause them to darken and slow down the natural healing process. Even if laser treatments are done, sun exposure can lead to ineffective results. The ultraviolet rays the sun gives off can stimulate melanocytes which are pigment-producing cells that lead to further discoloration.

For Your Acne Scars, New York Cosmetic, Skin, and Laser Surgery Center is the Last Stop

Dr. Rokhsar is internationally recognized as an authority on the use of Fraxel and other laser types in the treatment of acne scars. While there is no cure for acne scars, significant improvement in their appearance can be had under his care. Based on your specific needs, he will tailor a treatment plan designed to get you looking your best.

Don’t live under the cloud of self-consciousness and embarrassment any longer. Call Dr. Cameron Rokhsar today for a consultation, and take the first step toward revealing a clearer and more confident you.


Upper East Side Manhattan
121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022
(212) 285-1110
Map It

Garden City Long Island
901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240, Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 512-7616
Map It

Request an Appointment

1 How to Best Treat Acne Scars. Available:
2 Acne Scars. Available:
3 Acne Scars: Pathogenesis, Classification and Treatment. Available:

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar is the founder and owner of Cosmetic Laser Skin & Surgery Center. With degrees from Harvard University and NYU, along with multiple publications and media features, the board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon proudly shares his expertise with patients in Garden City, Manhattan, and those who fly in to receive treatment at his offices. Dr. Rokhsar has worked extensively with Vbeam laser, Thermitight, Coolsculpting, and Fraxel laser technology, as well as Allergan and other injectable brands. He pioneered the Non-Surgical Nose Job and continues to be a leader in his field.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar

Virtual Consultation