When suffering from acne scarring, patients must undergo some form of dermatological treatment in order to get rid of them; if left untreated acne scars can be permanent. New York based dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger, founder of Clear Clinic, explains that laser treatment is often the optimal solution. “The best lasers for addressing acne xscarring are Fractional CO2 lasers and the Fraxel laser. Both represent fractional resurfacing lasers—these actually boost collagen production within the skin to help smooth out the appearance of acne scars.”
The Fractional CO2 laser is an ablative resurfacing laser. Essentially, during this treatment, there are tiny holes poked into the skin’s surface. This in turn serves to stimulate collagen production. Boosted collagen helps fill in the scars and smooth out the overall appearance of the skin. With this type of treatment, NYC patients usually only have to come once—there is approximately five days of healing following this procedure.
The Fraxel laser is a non-ablative resurfacing laser. Energy is sent into the skin but without disrupting the surface. Unlike the Fractional CO2 laser, this one will only require 2-3 days of downtime. However, repeated treatments (4-5) are usually needed to get maximum results.
With either laser treatment you will see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of acne scars. Visit our New York office and we will consult with you to see which would be best for your situation.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most commonly used over-the-counter acne treating ingredients available at the drug store. However, many people don't understand the difference between these two unique acne-fighting medications. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most effective OTC medications for acne; for this reason, it is important to understand how and why each ingredient treats acne, in order to choose the most effective OTC option for your acne."
Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria on the skin. It comes in many formulations, including spot treatment creams and gels, and medicated cleansing washes.
Salicylic acid works by cleaning out the plugged follicles of the skin, therefore preventing the formation of the precursor to acne. The dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil) that build up in the follicles are removed by salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is also available in a variety of formulations, including spot treatment creams, medicated cleansing washes, and pads.
Finding the best OTC treatment for your acne often requires some trial and error, which is why we recommend visiting a dermatologist at the first sign of acne. While you are searching for an effective OTC treatment, your acne may be worsening and could lead to permanent scarring. A dermatologist will be able to get you on an appropriate acne-fighting regimen to eliminate acne quickly, before it leads to permanent marks on the skin.
Click here to read more about OTC treatments for acne.
The Clear Clinic is proud to offer its Clear Club membership to patients seeking comprehensive and effective acne treatments. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "We implemented the Clear Club in order to offer patients the best treatments for acne, without unnecessary fees and confusing treatments. Every patient in the Clear Club pays a discounted monthly fee, which includes not only acne treatments, but also a personal acne coach to answer any questions and make certain that our Clear Club patients understand the treatment regimen they are following. There is never a time when questions can't be answered or any reason for a need to go unmet."
The Clear Club offers multiple tiers of treatment regimens, depending on the severity of your acne. All treatments include prescription medications and in-office physical acne treatments such as the Isolaz laser therapy, Blue light PDT, and Blue/Red light therapy. Clear Club members also are entitled to same-day appointments, if they would like. This is helpful when an unwanted pimple pops up and you need a cortisone injection or other treatment. Additionally, Clear Club patients will have their prescription medications delivered directly to their home, saving the time and effort of waiting at the pharmacy.
Our goal is to guide Clear Club patients to the clear, acne-free skin that they have been trying to achieve. Many of our patients have visited numerous dermatologists in search of an effective acne treatment, and many of our patients are experiencing acne for the first time. Regardless of what treatments, if any, acne treatments you have had in the past, the Clear Clinic's Clear Club can offer you a unique and effective acne treatment.
The Clear Clinic is excited to announce its new Fly In for Clear Skin program. We have received numerous requests for referrals around the country to dermatologists who perform the FAST treatment for acne scars. This treatment was pioneered by Dr. Schweiger and, at this time, there are no other acne scar experts trained in the FAST treatment for acne scars. For this reason, we created the Fly In for Clear Skin program, so that patients with acne scars around the country can visit the Clear Clinic to have their acne scars treated.
The FAST treatment for acne scars utilizes the fractional CO2 laser to treat focal areas of acne scarring in an effective manner, without significant downtime. This innovative technique yields better results than traditional acne scar treatments, while shortening the healing time required after traditional laser resurfacing treatments.
The Fly In for Clear Skin program includes round trip airfare to NYC, a one night hotel stay near the Clear Clinic in Manhattan, and the FAST treatment for acne scars. Dr. Schweiger developed the FAST treatment for acne scars and is pleased to finally be able to offer the treatment to patients around the country.
If you are interested in participating in the Fly in for Clear Skin program, you can contact our office at 212-828-3000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the treatment further. All travel arrangements will be facilitated by our staff, which allows you to focus on the acne scar treatment itself!
Click here to read the official Fly in for Clear Skin press release.
Click here to read more about the FAST treatment for acne scars.
Topical medications for acne can sometimes cause dryness on the skin. This can be problematic enough, but what if you already have dry skin? Acne expert Dr. Schweiger explains that, "The best way to treat dry skin while using acne treatments is to use the acne medications sparingly. Only a small amount of topical acne medications is necessary to cover the entire face; I often find that patients who experience dryness are using too much of their medications, without realizing it. Secondly, I recommend that patients apply a moisturizer immediately following their topical acne medication. This helps to both seal in the skin's moisture and add moisture, to prevent the topical acne creams from causing more dryness to the skin."
Patients with dry skin should begin by using any potentially drying topical acne treatments only three nights a week (during your initial visit, we will review which medications may cause dryness on the skin.) If three nights a week does not cause dryness, it is acceptable to add one night a week as tolerated. Some people may be able to use topical acne medications every night, but many people with dry skin need to increase their frequency of use slowly. As Dr. Schweiger mentioned, only a pea-size amount of medication is necessary to treat the entire face. Once the medication is applied, a thin layer of moisturizer can help to prevent dryness from the medication.
Click here to learn more about the best way to treat dry skin while using acne treatments.
Retin-A is one of the most well-known acne medications; many people recognize its name from use either as a teenager or as an adult. It is no accident that Retin-A is such a well-known medication. Retin-A is an example of a topical retinoid medication, a category of topical medication for acne that is very effective and beneficial. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Topical retinoids help clear acne by one main mechanism; they increase skin cell turnover. Increasing skin cell turnover helps to clear out follicles, which may be plugged with excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. When these materials are allowed to remain in the follicle, they can attract acne-causing bacteria. By removing them from the skin's follicle, the precursor to acne is eliminated."
It is important not only to understand how topical retinoids help clear acne, but also to understand the best way to use topical retinoids. When used too aggressively, they can cause dryness and irritation to the skin. However, nearly everyone can tolerate the use of a retinoid, when the medication is used sparingly. We recommend using only a pea-size amount to treat the entire face. A moisturizer should be applied either immediately before or after application of the retinoid (or both before and after for very dry skin.) Most patients will be advised to begin use of a retinoid only three nights a week. If they do not experience dryness using the retinoid three nights a week, they should increase the frequency of use slowly.
Click here to learn more about topical retinoids for the treatment of acne.
The Clear Clinic was recently featured on Fox News, in a feature story about the mission of the Clear Clinic and its unique methods of treating acne. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "At the Clear Clinic, we see patients who have never seen a dermatologist and patients who have seen every dermatologist in town. Our goal is to provide effective treatment options, as well as education about those options, so that our patients see improvement in their acne quickly. The patient featured in the Fox News segment is just one of many excellent examples of patients who used a combination of acne treatment modalities to clear up acne that had been present for many years."
The Clear Clinic is unique in that it focuses on treating acne and acne scars specifically. For many dermatologists, acne treatment makes up just a small portion of their practice. We believe that treating acne is important, as both acne and acne scars can have a remarkable impact on your confidence and mental wellbeing. For this reason, we have a psychologist on-site, to meet with any of our acne patients who feel that they need emotional support. Some patients need strategy recommendations on how to stop picking at their acne, while other patients need counseling for depression and anxiety related to their acne or acne scars.
It is our goal to provide comprehensive and unique treatments for acne and acne scarring, in order to treat acne as quickly and effectively as possible. We offer cutting-edge technology, in the form of laser and light-based treatments for acne, as well as more traditional prescription medications for the treatment of acne.
Click here to see the Fox News feature on the Clear Clinic.
Blackheads and whiteheads both fall in the category of non-inflammatory acne, or comedones. However, this does not mean that they are the same thing. Blackheads and whiteheads are actually distinct types of acne on the skin. So, what is the difference between a blackhead and a whitehead?
To start with, blackheads and whiteheads are comedones, which are essentially clogged pores. When the opening of the hair follicles on the skin become full of excess oil and dead skin cells, a comedone can form. Blackheads are referred to as 'open comedones,' because they remain open on the top part of the skin. Since the contents of the follicle are exposed to the air, the debris inside the follicle oxidizes and becomes darker in appearance, thus the name 'blackhead.' Whiteheads are referred to as 'closed comedones,' because the follicle is completely plugged, so that its contents are not exposed to the air. The oil and debris trapped inside the pore remains a whitish color, which is why they are referred to as whiteheads.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Although blackheads and whiteheads can initially appear mild, they may eventually lead to the development of inflammatory acne lesions. It is important to treat blackheads and whiteheads, so that they do not attract acne-causing bacteria and progress to more severe acne. The best treatments for blackheads and whiteheads are topical retinoids, the Isolaz acne treatment, microdermabrasion, medical facials, and chemical peels. All of these treatments help to clean out the follicle and prevent the formation of comedonal acne."
Click here to learn more about treatments for blackheads and whiteheads.
Cystic acne must be addressed differently than blackheads or whiteheads on the skin. Cysts are inflammatory lesions located deeper within the skin; therefore many of the treatments that are effective in treating blackheads and whiteheads do not improve cystic acne in the same way. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Cystic acne can be painful and even lead to permanent scarring on the skin. It is important that cystic acne be treated by a dermatologist; your dermatologist will be able to review all of the options on how to treat cystic acne."
Treatments for cystic acne include:
Oral antibiotics: Antibiotics, such as Minocycline, Solodyn, Doryx, Doxycycline, and Zithromax, are commonly used to treat cystic acne. They reduce inflammation and kill the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria of the skin.
Oral anti-androgens: Many women experience acne that is caused by changes in their levels of androgen hormones. Spironolactone is an anti-androgen medication that decreases the androgenic influence on the skin, therefore preventing hormonal cysts.
Topical antibacterial medications and retinoids: Topical medications are effective at preventing the microcomedone (precursor to acne) from forming, which can help to prevent the eventual development of cystic acne. They can also kill the p. acnes bacteria on the skin, which lead to the development of acne.
Laser and light-based acne treatments: Treatments such as Photodynamic Therapy and Isolaz Acne Therapy treat cystic acne by killing the p. acnes bacteria, and in the case of the Isolaz, also cleaning out excess oil and debris from the pores.
Isotretinoin: When other treatments have failed and your acne is moderate-to-severe in nature, isotretinoin (commonly referred to as Accutane) is an effective option to be discussed with your dermatologist.
Everyone wants acne off of their face quickly, but trying to pick at or pop your pimples only leaves marks on the face for a longer period of time. Commonly, picking at or popping your pimples leads to more inflammation on the skin, which causes the pimple to stick around for longer. Picking at your skin can also cause scabs to develop as the areas heal; unfortunately, these scabs can be as unsightly as the original pimple. According to acne expert Dr. Schweiger, "The formation of scabs on the skin indicate that the skin is healing. It is important not to pick these scabs off of the skin, which can cause scarring."
If you develop scabs on your skin after picking at acne, there are a few tips to follow to best heal acne scabs. We recommend using a gentle cleanser in the morning and evening, which should be applied with your fingers. Do not scrub at your skin with a rough washcloth. After cleansing in the morning, be sure to apply a moisturizing sunscreen. In the evening, a rich (but non-comedogenic) moisturizing cream should be applied to the skin to promote healing. If acne is still present on the skin, you can apply a small amount of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to the spots to get rid of the active acne quickly.
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