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.
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.
Some of the most common types of acne include:
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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).
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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1 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Available: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/skin-care/tips.
2 Acne. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047.
3 Photodynamic Therapy: What You Need to Know. Available: https://www.realself.com/nonsurgical/photodynamic-therapy.
4 Photodynamic Therapy. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/photodynamic-therapy.
5 The Role of Photodynamic Therapy in Acne: An Evidence-Based Review. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28276005/.