Park Plaza Dermatology: Dr. Pinkas E. Lebovits MD, PC

Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY & Uptown Manhattan, New York, NY

Acne and scars can be embarrassing and negatively affect your self-esteem. Whether you have a scar you’d like to get rid of, or you’re battling whiteheads during puberty or hormonal cystic acne as an adult, Pinkas Lebovits, MD, PC, and the team of NYC dermatologists at Park Plaza Dermatology, in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan, have the right treatment for your skin. To request an acne/scar consultation, simply call Park Plaza Dermatology or book an appointment online today.

Acne/Scars Q&A

What is acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs when your skin’s oil glands and hair follicles become clogged with clumps of sebum (oil), hair, and dead skin cells, leading to pimples. Although anyone can get acne, it’s most common in teenagers and young adults.

Are there different types of acne?

All types of acne start out as comedones, or clogged hair follicles (pores). As they develop underneath your skin, however, they can branch off into several different types of acne, such as:


A papule is a small, raised, red bump that looks swollen and feels tender to the touch. Papules are often grouped together and form a rash, like dermatitis.


Blackheads occur when the comedo is open, rather than closed, causing the oil to oxidize. Though blackheads are typically flat and small in appearance, they’re also quite dark.


A whitehead is a closed comedo that builds on top of your skin to form a small, white bubble full of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.


Much like a whitehead, a pustule forms a white bubble that contains bacteria, dead skin cells, and other material. The main difference, however, is that a pustule is inflamed and full of pus.


One of the most painful types of acne, a cyst develops deep within the skin and forms an infection. Although they are filled with pus, cystic pimples often don’t develop whiteheads and are slow to heal.


Nodular acne is just as severe and painful as cystic acne, but these large, raised bumps aren’t filled with pus. They don’t always turn red — nodules can match the color of your skin — and often take several weeks to disappear without treatment.

What causes acne?

Acne can develop anywhere on the body — including the neck, chest, back, and shoulders — but it’s most common on the face.

Clogged hair follicles directly cause acne, but there are many risk factors for developing this painful skin condition, including:

  • Stress
  • Diet (sugar, processed foods, simple carbohydrates)
  • Irritants (perfumes, tight clothes, harsh cleansers, etc.)
  • Poor hygiene

If your skin feels oily and dirty at the end of the day, there’s plenty of opportunities for bacteria to grow and invade your pores. Wash your face twice a day to keep bacteria at bay, and make sure to disinfect other items that come in contact with your skin regularly — pillowcases, sheets, phone, clothing, hands, hair, etc.


Hormonal acne affects 29-49% of adult women, though it occurs in men, too. The greatest culprit behind hormonal acne is the androgen hormone testosterone, which can stimulate sebum production and clog hair follicles.


Although there isn’t an acne gene, it is often a hereditary condition that runs in families. If your parents struggled with acne growing up, your family might have a hereditary tendency to overproduce dead skin cells or sebum.

How is acne treated?

The type of treatment you receive at our NYC acne clinic depends entirely on the type of acne you have. After a full skin evaluation, the provider can make a number of acne treatment recommendations, including:

  • Birth control pills
  • Antibiotics
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane)
  • Acne removal/cyst drainage
  • Laser therapy
  • Chemical peeling

You might require more than one acne treatment to achieve the best outcome.

What are scars?

Scars are areas where skin grows over wounds. They are common among people with acne and may be more visible on skin that is redder, pinker, thicker, or more raised than the surrounding tissues. Scars might eventually fade over time, but treatment helps you achieve the smooth, clear skin you long for.

Examples of scar treatments include laser treatments, chemical peels, creams, injections, and dermabrasion, to name a few.

If you’ve tried every at-home treatment to clear your acne, without success, call Park Plaza Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online.