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

Ph. (212) 285-1110

Long Island

901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240 Long Island, NY 11530

Ph. (516) 512-7616

Acne And 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 cleansers, gels, oral or topical antibiotics, or isotretinoin (Accutane). However, for some, the face is left with acne scarring.

Dr. Rokhsar, a double board-certified dermatologist & laser surgeon, can help you with acne, and, or acne scar treatment plan that addresses the specific type of acne damage you have at his office in Long Island or Manhattan, New York.

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.

What is Acne? 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.

How Does Acne Cause 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 classifications2 for acne scars including a boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars.

Types Of Acne Scars

If the scarring becomes permanent or is extensive, then topical remedies will no longer work. Let’s take a look at the four types, or categories3, of acne scars4:

  1. Boxcar Scars
    It appears as oval or annular depressions that are wider than most scars but do not penetrate deep into the skin, reaching the dermis.
  2. Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars
    Thick and raised scars appear more commonly on the back or face. They spread beyond the original area of skin damage.
  3. Ice Pick Scars
    These are deep and narrow scars that extend through both the epidermis (the upper layer of skin) and the dermis (the deeper layer of skin). The skin appears as if it has been pierced by a sharp instrument, which has left small deep holes in the skin. They typically develop after an infection from a cyst or deeply inflamed blemish.
  4. Rolling Scars
    Appear as sloped scars that rise and fall from the skin’s natural surface and 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 uneven rolling.

Treatment Options For Acne Scars

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 best 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.

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

Treatment Options Offered at Cosmetic Laser Skin Surgery Center Include:

  • Punch Excision

    This is a surgical procedure used for deep acne scars. This method of treatment for acne scars5 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 and 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.

  • Fillers

    By using dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, 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 is important to keep in mind, however, that these improvements are temporary.

  • Steroid Injections

    Keloid scars are best treated with a steroid injection (or multiple injections) to decrease the body’s 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 another keloid.

  • Scar Subcision

    Dr. Rokhsar may recommend scar subcision for the treatment of acne scars and 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.

  • IPL

    Acne treatment that uses Intense Pulse Light technology combined with 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 is 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 number of sessions varies on the severity, although most treat within 5 visits. This quick but effective procedure requires no downtime and does not cause your skin to become more sensitive.

  • Lasers

    Refined since the introduction of lasers in the 1980s, the laser scar removal technique today can reduce the appearance of keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and atrophic scars.

    During laser scar removal treatments, the laser is moved along the scar. This vaporizes or removes a layer of skin and exposes a more natural-looking skin layer, which heals over time to minimize scar appearance.

Numerous types of lasers are available, each of which has unique benefits:

  • The CO2 and Fraxel laser is best suited for acne scarring
  • The Er:YAG laser system is best for treating scar edges and mild acne
  • The 585-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) is often used to treat hypertrophic and keloid scars

The two main types of lasers used for acne scars are: Fractional C02 lasers and fractional lasers. The difference between these lasers lies in the wavelength of light used and the amount of skin they target. Fractional C02 lasers treat microscopic areas of skin at a time. This fractional approach penetrates deep layers of the skin to stimulate the skin’s natural healing process by encouraging collagen production, which can ultimately allow for faster results.

Eliminate Acne Scars With Fraxel

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.

In a study conducted by Dr. Rokhsar, the Fraxel laser can result in improvements of up to 50% in the appearance of acne and surgical scars. Dr. Rokhsar will tailor the procedure for your skin depending on the type of acne scars that you may have. He may recommend subcision in addition to rolling scars as well as combining the Fraxel resurfacing procedure with punch excisions for ice pick scars.

Treatments are typically done every 2 to 4 weeks. Scars on any body surface area can be treated with the Fraxel laser, although scars on the face respond the best. Patients have to be aware that there is no cure for (acne) scars but that the Fraxel Laser in Dr. Rokhsar’s hands can result in significant improvement in the appearance of acne scars, far superior to any other procedures.

Potential Risks

Fraxel is generally regarded as a painless treatment, accompanied by a slight tingling sensation. Although rare, some potential risks may include redness and swelling, which will fade within a day or two after the procedure. Depending on the sensitivity of the skin, some patients may experience more swelling and redness than others.

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 an 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.

Offering Treatment In The New York City Area

When deciding on a treatment plan for your acne scars, the doctor will take into account the type and severity of your acne scars as well as any previous acne scar treatments you may have had. New York dermatologist Dr. Rokhsar treats acne scars in patients with a variety of skin types, including Asian, Indian, and African-American skin.

Because those with darker skin, scar differently than those with lighter skin, it is important to find a dermatologist such as Dr. Rokhsar who has years of experience treating acne and acne scars6.

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar was closely involved in the development of most Fraxel lasers currently available. It is considered one of the most effective fractional lasers for the treatment of acne scars.

Individual results will depend on the patient and the severity and type of scarring. Dr. Rokhsar can help you decide if Fraxel Re:store, Dual, or Re:pair is the right laser for you.

Although lasers can be effective on acne scars, the treatment may not be appropriate for everybody. If you would like to improve the texture of your skin, contact Dr. Cameron Rokhsar to schedule a consultation and see what treatments can best help you improve the texture of your skin.

Why Choose Dr. Rokhsar for Your Acne Scar Treatment?

Dr. Rokhsar is a recognized national and international authority on the use of lasers and in particular, the Fraxel laser, for the treatment of acne and other scars.

Many of Dr. Rokhsar’s patients who have undergone Fraxel laser acne scar treatment at his New York area office have reported significant improvement in the appearance of the skin.

1 How to Best Treat Acne Scars. Available:
2 Acne Scars: Pathogenesis, Classification and Treatment. Available:
3 Acne Scars. Available:
4 Acne Scarring—Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment Options. Available:
5 Acne scars: Diagnosis and treatment. Available:
6 Treating Acne Scars: What’s New? Available:


Upper East Side Manhattan
121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022
(212) 285-1110
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Long Island
901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240, Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 512-7616
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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 double 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