Acne Specialist, Dermatologist NYCAcne is a skin condition in which your pores or hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. These clogged pores can appear on your face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. The difference between having a few pimples and an acne diagnosis is that acne can be persistent and take a long time to heal. Often, new pimples appear while the old ones are still healing.

There are different levels of severity, which has to do with how clogged the pores are and how many clogged pores you have. For example:

  • Mild acne is the most common. It includes blackheads and whiteheads. If you only have a few clogged pores or they’re in an isolated spot, your acne is “mild.”
  • Moderate acne means you have more pimples than blackheads or whiteheads. With this type of acne, you may notice that some of your pimples have red skin or inflammation around them.
  • Severe acne is when you have nothing but pimples, both those that are small bumps and those that are yellowish and filled with pus. Additionally, severe acne can include nodules or cysts.

Because hormones may play a role, acne is most common among teens during puberty, when hormones increase in both boys and girls. Infants can get acne as a result of unsettled hormones after birth. Some women find that menopause causes acne even if they didn’t have it as a teen.

Acne should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

The Obvious Symptoms

Acne covers a wide range of symptoms:

  • Blackheads are open but clearly clogged pores that have a dark center. These are blockages that have made their way to your skin’s surface. When the oil makes contact with the air, the blockage turns dark.
  • Whiteheads are hair follicles that are blocked and bulge. They form a cap, as it were, that’s white. Whiteheads occur below the skin.
  • Papules are just small bumps on the skin, usually pinkish in color, but tender to the touch.
  • Pimples, also known as pustules, are papules that are topped with pus. Pimples usually have visible red inflammation in the surrounding skin.
  • Nodules are clogs deep beneath the skin. They don’t have a “head,” as a blackhead or whitehead do. They are painful, larger than pimples and solid to the touch.
  • Cysts are also deep beneath the skin, but are filled with pus and can leave scars.

The Subtle Symptoms

While acne symptoms are typically hard-to-miss eruptions on your skin, many acne sufferers may experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Dark spots on the skin are common with acne. They can fade, but only after months or years.
  • Low self-esteem often comes with acne. You might feel anxious or worried about how you look, and self-conscious about the lesions on your face. These feelings are normal; your dermatologist in New York can help you through this part of acne.
  • Depression is a serious medical condition because it can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you’re suffering from depression because of your acne, contact your New York City doctor, therapist or a friend immediately.

The Causes of Acne

There are four main causes that NYC dermatologists look at when examining you for an acne diagnosis:

  • Oil production
  • Dead skin cells
  • Clogged pores
  • Bacteria

Stress impacts your body in many ways; many people find that their acne flares up when their stress is high. Additionally, certain medications can cause acne as a side effect. Make sure you tell your Manhattan dermatologist about all the medications that you’re currently taking for a determination if any of them are causing your acne. A change in medication may be all that’s needed.

Myths of Acne Causes

Controversy surrounds some suspected causes of acne. For example, chocolate is often thought to make acne worse, although there are no studies to support this theory. Other foods thought to cause acne include dairy products and greasy foods. Neither causes acne nor do they impact how much oil your skin produces. Preparing greasy food, however, can cause skin issues as grease often flares up out of vats and pans, getting on your skin and causing irritation.

Dirty skin doesn’t cause acne either. Using harsh skin cleansers or scrubbing at your skin can actually make your acne worse. Cosmetics on their own don’t cause acne either, especially if you use cosmetics labeled “noncomedogenic,” which means they don’t have oil in them to contribute to the oil on your skin. Removing your makeup every night before bed may be the healthiest thing you can do for your skin.

Treating Acne

The general rule of thumb is that the earlier you start treatment, the less likely you are to have scars. There are many over-the-counter face washes and skin treatments that can help treat acne, but if you’ve used them for several weeks or more with no improvement, it’s time to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist in Manhattan works with you to control the acne you have, helps you to avoid scarring your skin and has suggestions to make your scars less noticeable.

You have several options available to you when it comes to treatment. Your Manhattan dermatologist can review each in detail. Depending on the severity of your acne, he’ll guide you through treatment options that are best for you and your body. There are three general options for treating acne:

  1. Topical medications are often the first line of defense. Your NY skin doctor can recommend over-the-counter lotions or creams. A prescription topical medicine is another option. Topical treatments typically contain retinoids, antibiotics or dapsone.
  2. Oral medications can be effective, especially when your acne isn’t responding to topical medications. Your choices include antibiotics to control inflammation and bacteria growth, combined oral contraceptives, an anti-androgen agent or the drug isotretinoin. Your NYC dermatologist can explain what each does and what the risks are.
  3. Other therapies may be right for you:
  • Light therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Whitehead and blackhead extractions
  • Steroid injections
  • Soft tissue fillers
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Skin surgery

Some acne treatments your dermatologist NYC may suggest can have serious side effects. Be sure you’re prepared when you go to see your doctor. Bring a list of questions so you can pick the best possible treatment for you.

Acne should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Acne? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Dermatologist, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic dermatologist.

Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 411
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 889-2402

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class dermatologist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.