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Best Individualized Acne Treatments Available in NYC by a World-Renowned, Board-Certified Dermatologist

Debra Jaliman, MD

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman sees in her Manhattan, New York City office. Acne is the term used for blocked pores resulting in comedones (whitehead/blackhead), papules (some with pus), cysts, lumps and nodules that occur on the face, nose, back and shoulders. Debra Jaliman has successfully treated thousands of patients of all ages with acne using different types of therapies.In her office she offers a range of services and advises each patient that this is a process and offers a long-term solution. She has a team of laser specialists and facialists. Her treatments have improved not only their appearance but also their self-esteem and overall mood. 

Teenagers are usually affected, but age is not a factor, as many adults have acne breakouts as well. If proper treatment is not instituted, acne can be devastating and can leave permanent acne scarring. 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, PRP (platelet rich plasma), microdermabrasion and fillers like Juvederm or Restylane. Dr. Jaliman finds that combination treatments that utilize all the tools available are most effective.

There are many different kinds of acne treatments available. Acne treatment is individualized for all patients and treatments may vary from patient to patient. It is important to schedule a consultation to learn about the treatment options available, the risks and potential benefits.

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Acne Management Tips

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 undereye 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 daily in her office.

At what age can I get acne?

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

What areas can acne occur?

Normally, acne is on the face. But it can be seen in multiple locations on the body: the neck, on the chest and on the back.

What are the causes of acne?

It is caused by an overproduction of oil (sebum) by sebaceous glands, a blockage of pores by dead skin cells. It is also caused by too many bacteria, which are called p.acnes bacteria (propionibacterium acne).

When should you see a dermatologist for your acne?

If you have mild acne (a few pimples) 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 dermatologist's help with a customized treatment plan.

How to choose a specialist for acne?

When choosing a dermatologist for acne, you want to choose a doctor who is a specialist in acne. 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 in patients who have acne-prone 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 a cleanser and toner. An individualized skincare regimen will be devised especially for you.

What about other beauty 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, makeup, moisturizer, serum, micellar water, anti-aging products and any other wrinkle cream you may be using. Oily hair products can also block oil glands on the forehead and cause the development of pustules, bumps and pimples along the hairline. You can have the best skin care regimen, but if one of the products you use contains oil it will block your pores, you will still break out. She will give you advice and detailed information on the way to cleanse your skin and how to take care of it.

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 for 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. Another ingredient that exacerbates acne is shea butter.This is found in a lot of skin care products.

What is a hydrating ingredient that is noncomedogenic?

Hyaluronic acid is a good hydrating ingredient for acne-prone patients. It adds moisture to the skin without clogging the pores. You can find it in a wide variety of products, including serums, creams and cleansers.

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, which isn’t used to treat anything else. If the acne is very severe, then Accutane (Isotretinoin) can be used. This is prescription medication that is taken twice daily by mouth for 20 weeks. It is usually used to treat severe cystic acne. It is very effective but does have side effects that Dr Jaliman will discuss with you. It is an excellent treatment if the severity of your condition warrants it. Many patients see improvement after 2-3 months of treatment.

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 procedures can be used for acne?

Medical facials can be used to clean out the pores of acne. This is called extraction. It is used for whiteheads and blackheads. Injections of hydrocortisone can be used for the cysts.

Are chemical peels helpful for acne?

Light peels containing salicylic acid can be very helpful for acne as the acid helps unclog pores. This is good to exfoliate the dead surface skin cells. It is also 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 hyperpigmentation as well as for de-bumping the skin.

Is light therapy 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. It usually takes approximately 4-6 treatments.

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

The Genesis laser is very helpful in reducing redness and improving texture. This laser stimulates collagen production in the outer layers of the skin. It can be used for redness as well as for acne scar treatment. It has no downtime. Everyone can be treated, even individuals with darker skin color. A series of 4-6 laser treatments is usually necessary. These are done two weeks apart. This is a very effective laser technology. It should only be done by someone with expertise in these techniques.

How early should I treat my acne?

It is better to treat your acne earlier to prevent scarring and other permanent damage to the deeper layers of the skin.

Does food affect my acne?

Some studies show that dairy products should be limited, especially cow's milk containing hormones. High glycemic foods like cookies, cake and candy should be avoided.

Can lasers be done during pregnancy?

The laser is not approved for use during pregnancy. There are some topical preparations as well as some prescription topical medications that can safely be used during pregnancy. It is essential to have a good skincare routine to follow and to use a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen with a high concentration of zinc oxide. It is also important to avoid the midday sun. Topical Vitamin C can also be used to help minimize brown discoloration which can occur from the inflammation of acne.

Does insurance cover dermatology for acne?

Call board certified dermatologist Dr Debra Jaliman to schedule an appointment. Our phone number is 212-517-8855. 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.