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

Ph. (212) 285-1110

Long Island

901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240, Garden City, NY 11530

Ph. (516) 512-7616

New York City (212) 285-1110

Garden City, NY (516) 512-7616

Acne Treatment in New York

Acne is the most common skin disorder affecting adolescents and young adults, with the vast majority of teenagers experiencing some degree of breakouts or pimples. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)1 estimates that around 50 million Americans suffer from this condition and that around 40% of these will develop scars requiring professional treatment from a dermatologist.

What is Acne?

Clogged pores, also known as acne (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) often occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. Although acne affects most teenagers to some extent, it is not restricted to any age group. While not a life-threatening condition, acne is upsetting.

At New York Cosmetic, Skin & Laser Surgery Center we know that acne can be frustrating. Dr. Rokhsar is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City who effectively treats acne and acne scars.

Types of Acne

Some of the most common types of acne include:

  • Blackheads – These blemishes are characterized by small black dots.
  • Whiteheads – Whiteheads are normally small blemishes or marks that have a white appearance.
  • Papules – This refers to the stage that appears after a whitehead, with possible inflammation, but without any visible white area.
  • Nodules and cysts – More serious breakouts, with the potential of damaging your skin. Nodules and cysts can be painful and are often deep.

You may have more than one type of acne at once, which is why it is important to speak to your dermatologist to determine the type of acne you have and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Causes of Acne in Teens and Adults

Acne2 can occur for several reasons – most commonly when the pores in your skin become clogged. This often starts with dead skin cells, which come in contact with natural facial oils called sebum. When skin cells stick together and become clogged inside the pore, it leads to acne.

When bacteria are present, acne can become more inflamed and redder and When trapped inside a pore, it multiplies more rapidly and can eventually create a deep and painful acne cyst. Unfortunately, over-the-counter medicine and antibiotics may not always be effective in treating acne.

An Overview of Acne Treatments

Most times, acne resolves with age. In others, acne may remain a problem until age 40 or 50. Another myth is that you must let acne run its course – this is absolutely false. There are ways to clear your skin and improve your acne, starting today.

NYC acne specialist, Dr. Rokhsar will formulate an individualized plan involving cleansers, creams, lotions, and possibly oral medications. The dermatologist will carefully search for potential underlying causes of your acne and treat it accordingly. For example, if your acne is hormonal, he may recommend a medication by the name of Spironolactone, Aldactone, or Accutane as a last resort. Skin care procedures such as facials, the Hydrafacial, or chemical peels may also be an effective option.

Accutane Treatment in NYC

Isotretinoin, more commonly known as Accutane, is used to treat severe, cystic acne. Accutane is usually used when other therapies have been unsuccessful and results are seen after a few months of use. About half of those who use Accutane are cured of further severe acne breakouts.

Although Accutane is a natural derivative of vitamin A, it is a potent medicine with many side effects and requires careful evaluation of the patient. Before prescribing Accutane to women, two pregnancy tests are needed. If the results are negative, possible side effects will be discussed with you.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scar Removal

Laser treatments can be an effective way to treat your acne in NYC. Dr. Rokhsar uses a laser to target overactive sebaceous glands in your skin – the root cause of acne. Medical lasers such as VBeam or Fraxel lasers (Fraxel restore dual or Fraxel repair) or the CO2 have been used for over two decades to treat many medical conditions. Dr. Rokhsar was involved in the development of the Fraxel laser in 2003.

The laser light penetrates to a depth in the skin where the sebaceous glands are found and causes enough injury to disrupt the overproduction of sebum, thereby disrupting the acne. The outer skin is protected by a cooling spray and is not affected by the treatment.

In most cases, there is no downtime and side effects are quite minimal, which may include slight and temporary redness, or swelling lasting a few hours to a few days or. In some rare cases, you may see a temporary pigmentation change.

Laser Treatment for Deep Acne Scars

Laser treatments can also be used to treat deep acne scars. Because collagen is at the same depth in the skin as sebaceous glands and is composed mostly of water, it is also a target of the laser. The slight dermal injury caused by the laser light stimulates the production and deposition of newly organized collagen beneath the skin, which can result in significant improvement in the appearance of these scars.

In addition, Dr. Rokhsar is extremely experienced at other methods such as subcision as well as punch excisions for the treatment of acne scars. Subcision is a highly effective procedure for rolling scars as well as some deep boxcar scars. It involves the placement of a special needle underneath the skin after local numbing, to free up the tethered scarred scar from the scarred subcutaneous tissue to make concavities better and therefore the scar smoother.

Dr. Rokhsar uses punch excisions for ice pick scars. He usually likes to resurface these scars after punch excision with either the Fraxel restore dual or the Fraxel repair (co2 laser).

Fraxel Laser Acne Treatment Before and After

Fraxel Laser Treatment for Acne Scars beforeFraxel Laser Treatment for Acne Scars after

* Results May Vary

Treating Acne with PDT

Photodynamic Acne Treatment (PDT) is a process by which a photosensitizing agent is applied to your skin. A photosensitizing agent is a special solution applied to the skin that is activated by a specific wavelength of light. Photosensitizing agents have been used extensively for the treatment of a variety of different skin conditions.

Levulan is a 20% solution of Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA). ALA is a “natural” product found in all humans throughout the body. It is a precursor for hemoglobin synthesis.

For many patients, PDT-ALA is a procedure that can significantly improve moderate-to-severe acne, including cystic acne. Before Photodynamic Acne Treatment3, the best available treatment option for resistant and cystic acne in NYC was Accutane. However, Accutane is known for its many systemic side effects, both physically and mentally.

PDT Acne Treatment4 provides a viable alternative to Accutane. Three to five treatments are advisable at two to three-week intervals to get optimal results.

Some benefits of ALA PDT include:

  • Improvement of sun damage and brown spots
  • Some improvement of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improvement of uneven skin pigmentation
  • A slight reduction in pore size
  • Slight improvement of Rosacea bumps

Skin Care: Can I Prevent Acne Scars?

You can help prevent acne scars by seeking professional acne scar treatment5 in New York City as soon as possible. However, it is unfortunately still possible to scar despite your best skin protection efforts.

Here are a few tips to help manage your acne:

  • Use non-comedogenic products. Some skin- and hair care products may cause acne breakouts. Use products that are ‘non-comedogenic’, which means it won’t clog the skin’s pores.
  • Don’t switch treatments too often. If you change your skincare products too often it doesn’t give it enough time to work, plus you can add to your skin’s irritation if you use too many different products. Stick to one product for a few weeks before changing treatments.
  • Don’t wash skin too often. Don’t over-wash your skin as it may do more harm than good. You don’t want to strip your skin completely of all oils as some natural sebum is needed on your skin to prevent dryness and protect the skin’s barrier.

Why Choose Dr. Rokhsar for Acne Treatment in NYC

As a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, Dr. Rokhsar is a pioneer in the science of Fraxel laser treatments and presented the first report on correcting scars with the Fraxel laser. He is expertly trained to offer impressive results with lasers and other acne-treating methods in the NYC area.

For more information about acne and acne scar treatment in NYC, contact Dr. Rokhsar today.

Acne Treatment Reviews for Dr. Rokhsar

Acne Treatment FAQs

What is Accutane used for?

Accutane is used for severe cystic, and nodular acne. When the patient has tried other treatment routes and acne problems persist, Accutane may be recommended. It needs to be prescribed by a doctor.

How does Accutane work?

Accutane is a form of vitamin D. It is an oral supplement that works by reducing the amount of oil released by the glands in your skin. High amounts of oil, also known as sebum, can lead to severe acne and if left untreated, severe acne may cause permanent scarring.

Do I have to take Accutane for the rest of my life?

The prescription is taken for a few months, twice daily, and it can take at least a month before the benefits of the medication start to show. Additionally, it may take several months before the patient experiences the full benefits from Accutane.

Will Accutane remove my acne scars?

No. Accutane treats the actual chemical makeup of acne and stops recurring breakouts. Dr. Cameron Rokhsar uses Fraxel, which is considered the gold standard in laser technology, to resurface and rejuvenate the skin.

Am I a good candidate for Accutane?

Accutane is not safe for women that are pregnant. Women of childbearing potential are required to sign a written agreement that they are using two forms of birth control. Accutane can lead to severe, life-threatening birth defects and may be dangerous to the mother’s health as well.

Considered a last resort medication, Accutane should only be considered if the patient has tried other routes of acne treatment and has not gotten the results that were intended. It is suggested that those who are prone to depression or who are on medication for depression should not take Accutane.

Can I sunbathe while taking Accutane?

No. The skin becomes very sensitive to light and environmental factors, making the skin more susceptible to sunburns and rash breakouts. Patients who are taking Accutane should wear strong sunscreen. Avoid sunscreens that contain fragrances, alcohols, or dyes. Look for high SPF sunscreens and also ones that have more zinc. Zinc is a key nutrient that can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays instead of just UVB rays. It is important to stay out of tanning beds and shade the skin while outdoors.

How long does Accutane take to work?

Accutane (isotretinoin), a medication used to treat severe acne, typically takes around 1 to 3 months to see significant improvement in skin clarity, with some patients noticing improvement as early as two weeks into treatment. However, some people may experience an initial worsening of their acne after starting isotretinoin therapy. The treatment course for Accutane usually lasts from 5 to 7 months, but it may vary depending on the patient’s individual response and the severity of their acne. The exact duration of treatment is decided by a dermatologist. Dosage for Accutane ranges from 40 mg to 120 mg daily, and treatment duration can last anywhere from 5 to 10 months.

It is important to take Accutane as directed by your doctor. Each prescription of Accutane must be filled within 7 days of the date it was written by your doctor, and you will receive no more than a 30-day supply of Accutane at one time. Always take Accutane with a full glass of water and swallow it whole without chewing or sucking on the capsule.

How much does Accutane cost?

The cost of Accutane can vary widely depending on a number of factors. Most insurance plans cover the cost of Accutane while patients may be responsible for a copay/coinsurance or deductible. Patients are encouraged to discuss pricing options with their health insurance provider and explore various resources for cost-saving opportunities.

What are the side effects of Accutane?

The most common side effects of Accutane are dry skin, sensitivity to sun, muscle aches, joint pain, dry/irritated eyes, redness and itching, nosebleeds, and dry lips. These side effects can be managed with over-the-counter creams, SPF, and pain relievers. Other less-common side effects include increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increased liver enzymes, and blood sugar problems. Patients taking Accutane must abstain from drinking alcohol until the completion of their course.

Accutane must not be used to treat women who are or are planning to become pregnant, as it can cause severe birth defects in the developing fetus. Women who take Accutane must use two forms of birth control at all times while taking the medication and for at least one month after stopping treatment. Accutane is also not recommended for people with liver disease, high cholesterol, or depression.

Accutane is a controlled substance regulated by the FDA and the office of Dr. Rokhsar adheres to its strict guidelines and iPledge system. Dr. Rokhsar requires all patients to complete blood work every month of treatment to ensure that the patient is responding well to the treatment.

What causes butt acne?

Butt acne is a common skin condition that affects many people. While it is often referred to as “butt acne,” the condition is not actually acne. Rather, there are a few different skin conditions that can cause bumps or pimples on the buttocks.

One of the most common causes of butt acne is folliculitis, which is an inflammation of the hair follicles caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungi that live on the skin. Folliculitis can cause red, inflamed pimples on the buttocks. Keratosis pilaris is another skin condition that can cause butt acne. It is the result of a buildup of keratin, a skin protein, that can sometimes block the hair follicle. Finally, tight clothing rubbing the skin during sports, staying in sweaty clothes, and prolonged occlusion from sweaty clothing can all lead to butt acne.

Butt acne can be caused by more than one of these conditions, and that what appears to be acne on the buttocks may actually be one of these other conditions. If you are experiencing bumps or pimples on your buttocks, it is recommended that you see Dr. Rokhsar who can help diagnose the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment.

How to treat cystic acne?

Cystic acne can be a stubborn and painful condition to deal with, but there are several effective treatment options available. Here are some of the most common treatments for cystic acne:

  • Over-the-counter creams, gels, solutions, and lotions: These topical treatments can help kill bacteria and decrease inflammation in the affected area. Examples of such medications include azelaic acid (Azelex®, Finacea®), salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide.
  • Oral antibiotics: For moderate to severe cystic acne, a doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics such as doxycycline hyclate to reduce bacteria.
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane): This powerful prescription medication is considered the most effective treatment for cystic acne. It is derived from a powerful form of vitamin A and is taken orally.
  • Topical antibiotics: Topical antibiotic products can kill the types of bacteria that may cause or worsen severe acne. A doctor may prescribe topical antibiotics for cystic acne.
  • Tretinoin: This vitamin-A derivative is used topically at night to help increase cell turnover to help unclog pores. Tretinoin cream also has significant anti-aging benefits. Although tretinoin can only be obtained with a prescription, some over-the-counter alternatives are available.
  • Cortisone injections: Dr. Rokhsar recommends making an appointment for cortisone injections whenever you’re having a cystic acne breakout to reduce inflammation, avoid picking, and prevent scarring.
  • Accure laser acne treatment: This device is a revolutionary laser which targets the sebaceous gland in the skin which is the main source of acne. By shrinking the gland and decreasing sebum production, acne can go into remission on a long term basis similar to accutane. The Accure laser is a game changer in the treatment of mild moderate or severe acne. It is FDA approved and safe to use on all skin types and colors including brown or black skin. There is no insurance coverage for Accure laser treatment for acne.

How to treat butt acne?

Butt acne can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition, but there are several ways to treat it. One option is to use an acne wash containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which can help to dry out the skin and reduce acne-causing bacteria. However, it is important not to overuse these products, as they can also cause excessive dryness. If using an acne wash daily, follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent excessive dryness.

Another effective treatment for butt acne is tea tree oil, which has natural antibacterial properties. Benzoyl peroxide can also be applied directly to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. In addition, lactic acid lotions and salicylic acid medicated pads are also effective in treating butt acne.

It is important to keep the affected area clean and dry to prevent further breakouts. Avoid tight-fitting clothing that may trap sweat and bacteria against the skin, and shower immediately after exercise. Applying a warm compress to the affected area may also help to open up the pores and drain pus and bacteria.

If over-the-counter treatments are not effective, a dermatologist may be able to prescribe stronger medications, such as topical or oral antibiotics. However, not all bumps on the buttocks are acne. It is recommended to see Dr. Rokhsar for a consultation during which he can prescribe a treatment.

How to treat hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne is a type of acne that is caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. It can be difficult to treat, but there are a variety of options available. Here are some ways to treat hormonal acne:

  • Topical treatments: Depending on the severity of your acne, different treatment options are available to reduce sebum production, pimple formation, and painful inflammation. Blackheads and whiteheads can be treated with a topical cream containing tretinoin, while inflammatory acne can be treated with a topical antibiotic and/or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Skincare routine: It is important to establish an appropriate skincare routine to clear up hormonal acne and keep it at bay. You should wash your face in the morning and again in the evening and apply no more than a moderate amount of skincare products. It is also recommended to exfoliate with salicylic acid and limit stress to reduce inflammation. Dr. Rokhsar recommends using the Skin Scripts acne cleanser system which contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and tea tree oil.
  • Oral medications: Oral medications such as Aldactone (spironolactone) or birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone can be effective for treating hormonal acne in women. The FDA has approved several contraceptive medications specifically for acne in women.
  • Dietary changes: Eating an anti-inflammatory diet and eliminating specific acne triggers such as cow’s milk, dairy, and sugars can also help reduce hormonal acne. Coconut oil, avocado, omega-3 fats, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and carrots are also beneficial to people with acne in general and, more specifically, hormonal acne. Taking supplements such as probiotics, zinc, and possibly vitex can also help.
  • Professional treatments: In addition to the above, there are professional treatments available such as oral medications (antibiotics and Accutane), prescription topicals (retinoids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories), and laser treatments that can be effective for treating hormonal acne.
  • Accrue laser treatment can help solve hormonal acne by targeting the sebaceous gland and decreasing sebum production. It is effective for all skin types and colors and is FDA approved
  • Hydrafacial treatments are very helpful to exfoliate the skin and help get rid of dead skin as well as black heads and white heads.

Overall, if you are experiencing acne, it is recommended see Dr. Rokhsar for a consultation for a personalized treatment plan and expert guidance in managing acne.

How to treat back acne?

Back acne can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat and prevent it. Here are some tips on how to treat back acne:

  • Keep your skin clean: It is essential to keep your skin clean to prevent the buildup of dirt, sweat, and bacteria that can cause back acne. Showering after a workout or any activity that causes sweating is crucial.
  • Use topical treatments: Topical creams, gels, and cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help treat back acne. Benzoyl peroxide products can be used as a wash or leave-on treatment, and it’s best to allow it to stay on the pimples for up to five minutes before rinsing it off. Salicylic acid can be used in exfoliating body scrubs or acne treatment body washes to ensure healthy skin cell turnover. Dr. Rokhsar recommends using the Skin Scripts toner pads containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and tea tree oil after a workout to cleanse the pores and treat active acne. Winlevi is a new FDA-approved topical cream to target hormonal acne in male and female patients.
  • Try retinoid products: Retinoid creams or gels can also be useful in reducing back acne. Over-the-counter creams that contain 0.1% retinoid are readily available.
  • Consider oral medications: For moderate to severe back acne, oral antibiotics like tetracycline or macrolides may be prescribed. However, these medications require a prescription from a doctor and can have side effects, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking them. Back and body acne in female patients is often hormonal and these patients may benefit from taking oral spironolactone.
  • Make lifestyle changes: Wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing made of cotton or sweat-wicking fabric when working out, and washing workout clothes after each use can help reduce back acne. Avoiding hair products that can clog pores, such as oils and gels, can also be helpful. Exfoliation can help with healthy skin cell turnover, but it’s important to do so gently to avoid inflammation and irritation.
  • Accutane or isotretinoin remains an effective tool for treatment of back acne.
  • Accure laser treatment promises to treat back acne on a long term basis. It is safe to treat light and dark skin alike and its is FDA approved for mild moderate or severe acne.
  • Hydrafacials are helpful to treat black heads and white heads on the back. They also help with lightening up dark spots from acne on the back.

How to treat chest acne?

Chest acne, like acne on other parts of the body, can be treated through a variety of methods. Here are some of the ways to treat chest acne:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water each day and increasing fluid intake after illness, exercise, or when in extreme heat can help stave off chest acne from dehydration.
  • Use body washes containing anti-blemish ingredients: Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide containing body washes can be used to treat chest acne. These products help to deliver active ingredients to treat symptoms and by exfoliating skin.
  • Use antibiotics or prescription oral medications: In moderate to severe cases of acne, oral antibiotics can be used to reduce bacteria. Back and body acne in female patients is often hormonal and these patients may benefit from taking oral spironolactone.
  • Use antibacterial soap and lotions: For mild cases of chest acne, using antibacterial soap such as benzoyl peroxide 5 percent wash or PanOxyl wash in the shower followed by Clindamycin lotion right after can be effective. A thin layer of oil-free moisturizer should be used daily.
  • Use gentle scrubs and non-comedogenic creams: Over-the-counter body washes that include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can provide some relief of mild inflammatory acne. Avoid coarse or rough body scrubs, since they can be too harsh on the skin.
  • Take a shower every day: If you don’t clean your skin, you invite sebum and bacteria to collect on its surface, causing acne. Scrub your chest gently to get rid of dead skin cells.
  • Make small lifestyle changes: Showering after working out, wearing breathable clothing, and using a topical cream can help alleviate breakouts. Avoiding tight clothing and not picking at the acne can also be helpful.
  • Consider seeing Dr. Rokhsar to explore treatments with oral pills like antibiotics, accutane, aldactone, or laser treatments like PDT or Accure laser treatments.

How to treat cheek acne?

Cheek acne is a common problem that can be treated using a variety of methods. The first line of treatment usually involves the use of oral antibiotics such as tetracycline or macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, azithromycin, doxycycline, or minocycline. However, there are also several skincare tips and home remedies that can help manage and prevent cheek acne.

To start with, it is important to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser to clean the skin in the morning, in the evening, and after heavy exercise. Avoid using strong soaps, astringents, or rough scrub pads, as they can irritate the skin. Additionally, it is important to use gentle skin care products and ones that are alcohol-free, as alcohol-based products can also irritate the skin.

Dr. Rokhsar recommends using the Skin Scripts cleanser system which includes a cleanser, toner pads, and aloe-based moisturizer. It is important to use products that will not clog pores. The cleanser and toner pads have salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and tea tree oil which are effective for treating active breakouts and preventing new ones from forming. It is important to wash the face twice a day and after sweating. Overwashing can irritate the skin, making acne worse.

It is recommended to wash bed sheets at least once a week to maintain healthy skin, and if you are particularly acne-prone, it is recommended to change your pillowcase more frequently.

Pimples take time to heal, so it is unlikely that cheek acne would go away overnight. However, steps can be taken to reduce swelling and make blemishes less noticeable. Dr. Rokhsar recommends avoiding picking or squeezing pimples, using an over-the-counter acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and applying a warm compress to the affected area to help reduce inflammation. If you are having a cystic acne breakout, Dr. Rokhsar recommends making an appointment for cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and prevent scarring. You may also chose to take prescribed pills by Dr. Rokhsar or undergo laser treatments with Accure laser or PDT. Hydrafacial treatments can be helpful to exfoliate and improve black heads and white heads.

New York Office Locations

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

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

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  1. 1 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Available:
  2. 2 Acne. Available:
  3. 3 Photodynamic Therapy: What You Need to Know. Available:
  4. 4 Photodynamic Therapy. Available:
  5. 5 The Role of Photodynamic Therapy in Acne: An Evidence-Based Review. Available:

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

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