Acne affects people of all ages. In fact, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. 85% of Americans will have acne at some point in their lives. Our board-certified dermatologists have the expertise, experience, and devices necessary to get your acne under control.
What is Acne?
Acne affects more than your skin. We understand how even the mildest breakout can negatively impact your self-confidence and self-esteem. Acne can range from the occasional pimple to extreme, ongoing breakouts that might go on for several years. Severe breakouts have been linked to anxiety and depression in studies.
While there is no cure for acne, our board-certified dermatologists in Manhattan, New York offer numerous treatment options to treat your acne effectively. At the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, we feature more than 100 laser devices, as well as a full-time, on-site research division devoted exclusively to investigative pursuits, including a study of moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris that is currently in process.
How does Scar Treatment Work?
While blackheads and whiteheads (also known as comedones) are the most common acne lesions, there are other types that can develop on your skin. Most of these inflammatory lesions are the most likely to leave scarring behind. These lesions include:
- Papules – small, red, and raised bumps, may be tender but often are not
- Pustules – small, red pimples containing white or yellow pus, can be tender
- Nodules – solid, inflamed, often painful lumps beneath the skin’s surface
- Cysts – large, soft, usually painful lumps containing pus deep beneath the skin’s surface
Acne can develop almost anywhere on the body and most commonly appears on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. We can perform acne treatments on any of these areas.
Causes of Acne
Three factors can lead to the formation of acne. The first is a collection of dead skin cells clogging your pores, which can be managed with regular exfoliating treatments. Your sebaceous glands may also produce too much oil in your follicles, creating oily skin ripe for blemishes. Finally bacteria can build up in your pores, leading to breakouts. Acne is not an infection of the skin, but an inflammatory condition that may result from:
- Mechanical causes such as makeup or dirt accumulated during a workout
- Diet (studies have suggested foods such as milk and refined, processed foods that contribute to a high glycemic diet may result in acne)
While these factors may not cause acne to occur, they can create more problems for people with acne-prone skin.
The severity of your acne will dictate how aggressive the treatment will be. Treatment options for acne will range from topical and oral medications to laser therapy.
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Azelaic acid
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Minocycline)
- Hormone (androgen) blockers (Spironolactone)
- Isotretinoin (Accutane) – requires ongoing monitoring while on the medication
- Cortisone injections – used for shrinking lesions and accelerating healing
- Chemical peels – control acne by removing outermost layers of skin
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – utilizes light therapy to kill bacteria and shrink oil glands
- Laser treatments for acne – We offer a wide range of laser devices, as well the experience and expertise to customize your treatments for best results. Laser devices include:
- Isolaz – combines wavelengths of light with suction to clean out pores and reduce acne-causing bacteria
- Smoothbeam – targets the sebaceous glands with wavelengths of light to reduce oil production
- Excel V – addresses skin redness that often accompanies acne breakouts
- Nd:YAG – a Q-switched laser that also treats redness and inflammation common with active acne
We also offer a new technique that combines the Excel V with the Nd:YAG in a single treatment to further enhance your results. To learn more about acne treatment, watch our recent webinar video.
Does Acne go Away?
Although acne treatments can offer very long-lasting results, it is always possible the acne might return. Some people might find that after overcoming acne in adolescence, it makes a return in the adult years. Our physicians at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York have the experience and expertise to customize effective acne treatment plans for patients at any age.
Younger patients may find that once they stop their acne treatment, the breakouts return. This is a more common issue with topical treatments and much less frequent in Accutane users. However, it is important to understand that since there is no cure for acne, you could experience symptoms even after stronger treatments are completed.
Will Acne Result in Scars?
In addition to dealing with active breakouts, individuals are also often left with residual scarring once the condition has cleared. The more severe the acne, the more visible the scars can be. This is one good reason to have acne treated early, to avoid permanent damage to the skin.
Multiple treatments are available to improve the appearance of acne scars at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. Options for acne scar treatment have improved dramatically over the past several years thanks to cutting-edge laser technology. While acne scarring cannot be “cured,” most of our patients experience substantial improvement with laser treatment. We are a leading research facility for dermatology, including acne scar treatment. Our Clinical Director Roy G Geronemus, MD recently conducted research on the Cherry 3D Imaging Device for monitoring acne scar repair.
The best treatment option will depend on the types of scars and the unique characteristics of each patient. Hypopigmented, red, hyperpigmented, elevated, or depressed and sunken scars can all typically be improved with the appropriate selection of laser treatments. We also have lasers that are safe for patients with darker skin types.
Our physicians use a wide variety of lasers and devices to treat acne scars. Some of the devices used for this purpose include:
Non-ablative fractional resurfacing:
Ablative fractional resurfacing:
In many cases, a combination of lasers are used to achieve the best results with acne scarring. To learn more about acne scarring, visit ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
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