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Acne is one of the most common skin diseases that board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman sees in her Manhattan, New York City office. Acne is the term used for blocked pores resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, lumps and nodules that occur on the face, back and shoulders. Debra Jaliman has successfully treated thousands of patients with acne.

Teenagers are usually affected, but age is not a factor, as many adults have acne as well. If proper treatment is not instituted, acne can be devastating and can leave permanent scars. Acne is a treatable condition. The earlier you treat your acne, the better the prognosis. Acne scars can be prevented. If acne scars form, they can be improved and minimized by lasers, microdermabrasion and fillers like Juvederm or Restylane.

There are many different kinds of acne treatments available. Acne treatment is individualized for all patients and treatments may vary from patient to patient.

Some Important Acne Management Tips:

  • Clean your skin twice daily with a good cleanser. Use a baby washcloth or cotton round; don’t use your fingers.
  • Avoid oily comedogenic products that block the pores. Don’t use under eye concealer to cover blemishes. 
  • Diet may play a small role, avoid dairy products that contain hormones. Also avoid processed foods and foods with refined sugar.
  • Have medical facials, so as not to enlarge pores. 
  • Avoid picking skin as it may spread infection and leave scars. Have cysts injected immediately.
  • Try to avoid mental stress.
  • If using a birth control pill, use one approved to clear acne (YAZ).
  • Consult a dermatologist before scarring occurs.

Acne frequently asked questions

How common is acne?

During the course of one’s lifetime 85% of people in the United States will have acne. So it’s a very common condition and one that Dr. Jaliman sees in her office every day.

At what age can I get acne?

Some people get acne in their teens. Others get adult acne so it can occur from age 20 to age 50.

Where can acne occur?

Normally acne is on the face. But it can be seen on the neck, on the chest and on the back.

What are the causes of acne?

It is caused by an overproduction of oil, a blockage of pores by dead skin cells. It is also caused by too many bacteria which are called P. acnes bacteria.

When should you see a dermatologist for your acne?

If you have mild acne and over-the-counter products are working for you then you may not need to see a dermatologist.

When is it necessary to see a dermatologist for acne?

If you have acne cysts or large nodules on your skin you definitely need to see a dermatologist. If you have acne that is scarring, you should see a dermatologist immediately. Or if you have acne that you are not able to control with over-the-counter medications it would be a good idea to seek a dermatologists help.

How to choose a specialist for acne?

When choosing a dermatologist for acne you want to choose an acne specialist. 50 percent of the medical patients that Dr Jaliman treats are for acne. She is considered one of the best acne dermatologists in NYC because she has years of experience dealing with every type of acne, from cystic acne with scarring to mild acne with ultra sensitive skin.

How is acne treated?

Oftentimes acne can be treated with prescription topical medications. These include medications that kill the bacteria on the skin which are called topical antibiotics. There are also products that decrease the oil on the skin and help the dead skin cells to slough off the surface. These medications are called retinoids. Then there is a category of medication called dapsone which is an anti-inflammatory medication. There is a new medication which is a topical hormone blocker. This is the newest advance in acne treatment (Winlevi).

Will a dermatologist help me with my cleansing routine?

It is very important that you have the correct cleansing regimen when dealing with acne. This includes the proper choice of cleansers and toners. An individualized skin care regimen will be devised especially for you.

What about other products that I am using?

Dr. Jaliman will go over all the products that you use on your face. Including but not limited to your sunscreen, primer, make-up, moisturizer and anti-aging products. You can have the best skin care regiment but if one of the products you use contains oil it will block your pores you will still break out.

Why do I need to use non-comedogenic products if I have acne?

Noncomedogenic means that it will not block your pores. It is very important that all of the products you choose on your acne prone skin fall into this category.

What are acne pore-clogging ingredients?

These ingredients include many oils like avocado oil, apricot oil, mineral oil, almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax and silicone.

Are there any new topical prescription medications for acne?

There is a new prescription topical 4% Minocycline foam called Amzeeq. It is very safe and effective.

What prescription acne medications are used?

There are low dose time released antibiotics that can be taken orally that are effective. There are also acne antibiotics that specifically target just acne such as Sarecycline, that isn’t used to treat anything else. . If the acne is very severe then Isotretinoin can be used.

How is hormonal acne treated?

Women can be treated with birth control pills or spironolactone which is a hormone blocker pill.

Can I use birth control pills if I have acne?

It is important to tell your dermatologist if you are taking birth control pills. Some birth control pills make acne worse and some make it better. There are some birth control pills that have FDA approval to improve acne. These include Estrostep, Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Yaz.

What other treatments can be used for acne?

Medical facials can be used to clear out the pores in acne. Injections of hydrocortisone can be used for the cysts.

Are peels helpful for acne?

Light peels containing salicylic acid can be very helpful for acne as the acid helps unclog pores. They are also helpful for dark spots which can remain from acne. The Skinmedica Illuminize peel is a safe and effective peel that we use in our office for acne prone skin.

Is Microdermabrasion helpful?

Microdermabrasion can be helpful for the hyperpigmentation as well as for de-bumping the skin.

Is light treatment helpful for acne?

Blue light and red light treatments are very effective for acne. They help to destroy the P acnes bacteria and also help to decrease the inflammation in the skin.

Can anything be done from the redness that results from acne?

The Genesis laser is very helpful in reducing redness. A series of 4-6 treatments is usually necessary. These are done two weeks apart.

How early should I treat my acne?

It is better to treat your acne earlier to prevent scarring.

Does insurance cover dermatology for acne?

Call board certified dermatologist Dr Debra Jaliman to schedule an appointment. We participate with many insurance companies. Your office visits and prescriptions may be totally or partially covered depending upon your plan. Microdermabrasion, peels, and lasers will not be covered.