Dr. Arielle N. B. Kauvar is Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at New York University (NYU)’s Langone Medical School and founding director of New York Laser & Skin Care. After receiving a degree from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Kauvar completed her dermatology residency at NYU, followed by a fellowship in Mohs micrographic (skin cancer) surgery and laser surgery. She is active in the leadership of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, the American Society for Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Kauvar serves on the editorial boards of several medical journals, including the Dermatologic Surgery journal, and is an advisor to several biomedical manufacturers.
Dr. Arielle N. B. Kauvar’s interest in dermatology was sparked while studying specialized skin structures – Langerhan cells - in a laboratory. Originally she thought that she would be a laboratory scientist, but her mentors in that lab were also dermatologists, and they guided her towards medicine and subsequently, skin cancer surgery. There she discovered that she loved the artistic element of procedural medicine. “It is very satisfying to see a wound from skin cancer successfully heal with virtually no scarring”.
Dr. Kauvar’s scientific research background has helped her to pioneer new technological approaches to skin care and scar healing. She helped perform the original research on laser resurfacing in the early ‘90s and was part of the first study on the use of Infrared Pulsed Light (IPL) in treating dysfunctional leg veins. Besides skin cancer surgery, her other clinical research interests have included tattoo removal, photodynamic therapy, hyaluronic acid injectibles, chemical peels, wart treatment, and treatment of vascular anomalies such as telangiectasias.
“Technology, in particular- ablative and non-ablative lasers- have opened a whole new world of possibilities for treating scars,” stated Dr. Kauvar. “Both acne and surgical scars respond particularly well.” In addition, Dr. Kauvar’s experience has taught her that successful scar treatment can open new possibilities for the patient. In one particularly memorable experience, a patient whose acne scarring was treated started a process of transformation that included losing sixty pounds of excess weight and a promotion at her work.
While scar types, origins, and treatment vary widely from person to person, there is universally important advice from Doctor Kauvar to follow (See Take Action box). Two guiding principles apply- the first is to get intervention early if a scar is forming: “the old concept that you should wait a year before treating a scar is not true,” Dr. Kauvar states. The second is to avoid situations that may cause preventable skin cancers from arising in the first place. So, avoid that tanning booth and use sunscreen, no matter how tempting that dark tan may be!