Dr. Nelson Novick, MD

Physician (MD, DO)


Cosmetic Dermatology,
Dermatologic Surgery

Provide Feedback
Nelson Lee Novick, M.D.
500 East 85th Street
Suite P-1
New York, New York 10028 [MAP]
For an appointment, call (212) 772-9300
Learn More

About Me

Nelson Lee Novick, MD is a board-certified NYC dermatologist providing care to patients in New York City with offices in the Upper East Side.

Dr. Nelson also serves as Clinical Professor 
of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Attending Physician, and a former OPD Clinic Chief within the department of dermatology of the Medical Center.

Dr. Novick has been honored with listings in Who's Who in America for more than two decades, and he has been listed in Consumer Research Council of America’s Guide to America’s Top Physicians--2003-2006 and Guide To America’s Top Dermatologists--2007-2008.

He has also received awards from his peers, including for Excellence in Teaching; Outstanding Patient Care; and the American Academy of Dermatology’s prestigious Leadership Circle Award.

Dr. Nelson Novick has been the author and senior editor of numerous scientific articles, medical textbooks and chapters. In addition, he has written nine trade books, over a hundred articles, and more than a half dozen audiotapes on skin care. He has by-lined for many popular magazines and newspapers, such as Good Housekeeping and Reader’s Digest, served as an FAQ expert for WebMD.com.

Medical Expertise

Dr. Novick specializes in cosmetic dermatology with particular expertise in the use of non-surgical aesthetic procedures, non-surgical facelifts, botulinum toxin (Botox), and dermal fillers (Juvederm).

Conditions Treated

Aging Skin & Wrinkles
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis
Hair Loss (Balding)
Seborrheic Keratosis
Skin Cancer

Procedures & Services

Botox® Cosmetic
Laser Hair Removal
Laser Resurfacing
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Latisse® (bimatropost ophthalmic solution)
Sculptra® Aesthetic
Tattoo Removal
Tissue Tightening
Tumescent Liposuction

Tips & Wisdom

Treating Acne with Over-the-Counter Medications

Over the counter (OTC) anti-acne therapies do have their place in acne control.

Typically containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or astringent -- ingredients which have proven safe and effective through the years -- nonprescription acne medications can be especially useful for those suffering from minor, scattered acne breakouts.

On the other hand, for those plagued by persistent and widespread flares or deep, cystic, painful, and potentially scarring outbreaks, there can be no substitute for a consultation with a dermatologist to tailor the use of prescription medications in order to treat the specific problems of the patient.

Fortunately, we have the relatively recent introduction of a variety of topical prescription preparations that have proven quite effective for controlling and suppressing acne. These include combinations of topical antibiotics and retinoids, topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxides, as well as new delivery systems to increase the penetration and efficacy of the individual ingredients while minimizing their potential for causing skin dryness or irritation.

There is also a next generation set of oral antibiotics that offer the advantages of potentially fewer side effects and even the convenience of once-per-day dosing.

Visit Dr. Nelson Novick's website at Younger Looking Without Surgery.

Latisse for Longer Eyelashes

In my experience, Latisse® has proven to be an effective and relatively easy-to-use product for promoting true eyelash growth and lengthening.

Since there is no FDA requirement for prior ophthalmologic examination, and reports of eye problems quite rare, most of us who prescribe the product routinely do not request an eye check prior to initiating treatment. However, as a rule, I am cautious about prescribing it to anyone with a history of eye inflammation of any kind, rosacea (an adult acne condition that is sometimes associated with eyelid irritation), and dry eyes. In such instances, I typically insist that they get clearance from their eye doctors before beginning Latisse®.

Superficial Chemical Peels: The Appealing Peels
I have been using all kinds of alpha-hydroxy chemical peels since 1984, on all areas of the skin, including the face, neck, chest and even the legs, without any problems.

During this time, I have found that concentrations below 50% do little for the skin. For this reason, for more than 25 years, I have used full-strengh glycolic acid peels.(70% is the maximum concentration).

In properly selected patients, these superficial chemical peels, when performed in a series of 6-8 at twice monthly or monthly intervals, work well for clearing acne, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, folliculitis on the chest and back, fading postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, “sun spots” (solar lentigines), melasma, as well as for other indications. They can also contribute to an all around smoother and more lustrous appearance with essentially no downtime, when performed properly for chronically sun-damaged skin.

These superficial peels typically engender little to no downtime and patients literally can return to work or social activities immediately following treatment–making these peels the ultimate “lunchtime beauty fixes.”

Patient satisfaction tends to be extremely high, and superficial chemical peels have stood the test of time. They have, in fact, recently making a strong comeback in spite of all the marketing hype and glitz for lasers, including Fraxel, and other energy-based devices that are relatively expensive treatments and a good deal more device manufacturer backed marketing hype than hard science..

Daily, at-home use of topical glycolic acid products in lower concentrations may further enhance skin luster and radiance, complement the fading process, and accelerate the overall pace of improvement.
Dermatologist-Recommended Soap Tips
Toilet soap, which is available in opaque bars, is plain old soap and is composed of the salts of animal or vegetable fats and olive oils (tallow). Palm kernel or coconut oils are often added to enhance lathering. About half of all currently available toilet soaps are milled soaps. Milling is the process by which soap chips are thoroughly blended and then compressed by machinery into bars to ensure that moisture is removed and the basic ingredients and additives are evenly distributed. Ivory is probably the best- known brand of toilet soap.

In general, toilet soaps do what they are supposed to do—that is, they help to clean off grease, grime, and cosmetics. They also tend to be quite inexpensive. However, these soaps as a rule are rather alkaline (basic, as opposed to acidic) and have the potential to be irritating; overusing them can lead to irritation by affecting the skin’s acid mantle. Fortunately for most people with normal skin, natural skin acidity returns to normal very shortly after the soap is rinsed off. If you have especially sensitive skin, or if you are using drying acne medications, however, you may find basic toilet soap too irritating.

There is an additional problem with toilet soaps for those who live in a hard-water area—that is, one where the water contains naturally high amounts of calcium or magnesium minerals. Sticky and potentially irritating residues resulting from the chemical interaction between toilet soap and hard water may be deposited on your skin and in sink basins. If you choose to use toilet soaps under these circumstances, I advise you to rinse your skin with copious amounts of water. Using synthetic detergent soaps (pages 34—35) or conditioning your water are alternatives.
Acne Skin Care Tips
  • Use mild soaps and don’t overwash or overscrub your skin.
  • Avoid abrasive sponges or washcloths.
  • Use only oil-free moisturizers, oil-free or gel foundations, and powder or gel blushes.
  • Don’t pick, squeeze, or pop your pimples.
  • When in doubt, or if your problem is severe, seek professional help.
  • Restrict astringents to occasional and sparing use.

It is important to reemphasize here that vigorous scrubbing, the use of harsh soaps (and so-called acne soaps), and the use of washcloths or polyester scrub brushes, in a misguided attempt to wash away or dry up acne, leads to dry, chapped, flaking skin— skin that is too dry and tender to withstand the often slightly drying side effects of most antiacne topicals. The notion of scrubbing away at acne is so ingrained in many people that when their skin does grow dry and chapped from overwashing, they choose to give up using their medications rather than cut back on washing.

Without question, certain cosmetics, particularly heavy, oily makeups, aggravate acne by clogging pores. Dermatologists call this condition acne cosmetica. At one time, many doctors advised patients with acne to avoid using any makeups at all. Nowadays this need no longer be the case. However, when choosing cosmetics, be sure to look for oil-free or water-based formulations and specifically for products advertised as noncomedogenic (i.e., noncomedone forming, nonacne forming). These have been tested by daily application to the skin of a rabbit’s ear for several weeks to determine whether or not they cause acne. Allercreme, Almay, Clinique, Dermage, and Revlon produce noncomedogenic cosmetics for people with oily or acne- prone skin.

Excerpted from Super Skin–A Leading Dermatologist’s Guide to the Latest Breakthroughs in Skin Care, by Nelson Lee Novick, M.D.

Aging Skin - What You Need to Know

Most people could easily describe the outward appearance of an aging face: changes in facial shape; increased prominence of certain features, such as the nose; decrease in the vertical height of the mouth; recession of the gums and teeth; and loss of hair and skin color. In addition, you frequently find accentuation or wrinkling of the natural action lines of the face, sagging, jowl and pouch formation, generalized dryness (often severe), and laxity and inelasticity of the skin.

Dermatologic researchers and others interested in the aging process are actively investigating the precise nature of the structural and functional alterations in the skin that account for aging. Although we have learned much in the past decade, we do not, unfortunately, have all the answers yet. We do know that as skin ages, it tends to produce fewer new cells, and that damaged cells are repaired less quickly and less effectively. At the same time, cells in the horny layer lose some of their ability to adhere to one another. The epidermis and dermis become thinner, and the horny layer becomes less protective, dryer, and rougher. Furthermore, melanocytes become fewer in number, accounting for the development of patchy areas of skin-color loss.

Aging also results in changes in the fat distribution of the skin. Thinning of the subcutis occurs in certain areas, particularly the face, hands, feet, and shins, which means that the skin no longer feels as thick as it did before. Fat is typically redistributed to the waist in men and the thighs in women. At the same time, basal metabolism slows and life-styles become increasingly more sedentary. These changes result in the appearance and persistence of unsightly bulges.

Age affects both hair color and hair growth. Hair graying and whitening, like skin color loss, is linked to age-related decreases in melanocyte numbers and functioning. Most people (women as well as men) also experience thinning of their hair, perhaps a slowing growth rate of their hair, and even the thinning of the caliber of their hairs in certain locations. Conversely, in some areas, such as the ears, nose, and eyebrows of men, and upper lip and chin of women, previously fine, barely perceptible hairs often become thicker, more visible, and cosmetically compromising.

Equally dramatic changes in the dermis occur with natural aging. Cell numbers generally decrease and the dermis becomes thinner; as a consequence, the dermis is less capable of retaining its moisture content. In addition, the number of dermal blood vessels decreases and nerve endings become abnormal, leading to altered or reduced sensation. Wound healing is likewise generally compromised and there is usually a reduced ability to clear foreign materials and fluids. Finally, increasing rigidity and inelasticity of dermal collagen and elastin fibers contribute to wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Although some people mistakenly maintain that the loss of tone in the muscles responsible for chewing, laughing, eating, and so on contributes to the development of wrinkles and sags, this is untrue. Performing muscle toning or isometric exercises has absolutely no beneficial effect in eliminating or reducing wrinkles and sags.

Finally, the amounts of eccrine and apocrine sweat secretion become diminished with age as the number of eccrine glands and the size of apocrine glands decrease. As a consequence, the need for antiperspirants and deodorants is lessened. Sebaceous gland output diminishes, contributing in part to the generalized dryness and roughness so characteristic of aging skin.

The more you know about your skin and what happens to it as the years go by, the less likely you will be to fall for exaggerated or phony claims for skin-care products or services. You will also find this information useful for better understanding the chapters that follow. Simply knowing something about skin basics enables you to be a more discriminating consumer, which in the long run can save you a lot of time, money, and dashed hopes.

Patient Education Resources

An All Natural Way for Eliminating Scars and Wrinkles
Dermaspacing, also known as subcision, by contrast, is a simple, safe and rapid office procedure designed to stimulate the skin to produce its own collagen. Until very recently, traditional treatments for wrinkles and depressed scars involved the use of soft tissue filler substances, such as injectable collagen replacement therapy or hyaluronic acid, also referred to as soft tissue augmentation. These treatments require the injection of purified materials directly under the wrinkles or depressions to elevate them to the surface. The materials are made in the laboratory, and in some cases skin tests must be performed before treatment in order to minimize the chance of allergic reactions. Moreover, repeat touch up injections are typically required every several months in order to maintain the optimum correction. With dermaspacing, no foreign or processed material is implanted. While it is uncertain how long the correction may be maintained in any individual, becau...
An All Natural Way for Eliminating Scars and Wrinkles
Dermaspacing, also known as subcision, by contrast, is a simple, safe and rapid office procedure designed to stimulate the skin to produce its own collagen. Until very recently, traditional treatments for wrinkles and depressed scars involved the use of soft tissue filler substances, such as injectable collagen replacement therapy or hyaluronic acid, also referred to as soft tissue augmentation. These treatments require the injection of purified materials directly under the wrinkles or depressions to elevate them to the surface. The materials are made in the laboratory, and in some cases skin tests must be performed before treatment in order to minimize the chance of allergic reactions. Moreover, repeat touch up injections are typically required every several months in order to maintain the optimum correction. With dermaspacing, no foreign or processed material is implanted. While it is uncertain how long the correction may be maintained in any individual, becau...
Cellulite - Overview
The term “cellulite” refers to unsightly, puckered or dimpled skin on the backs and sides of the thighs and buttocks. The appearance has been likened to that of cottage cheese or to a “peau d’orange” (an orange peel). Cellulite is largely seen in women, and current estimates suggest that more than 85% of women suffer from it. For this reason, it can perhaps be more aptly viewed as a normal female developmental characteristic. The exact causes of cellulite are still unknown. Under the microscope, we find fat deposits and tissue swelling within the subcutaneous (fat layer) of the skin bound between tight, horizontal fibrous tissue bands. The upward swelling of the fatty tissue is responsible for the puckered appearance and the downward pull of the fibers for the pitted look of the overlying skin. Contrary to popular misconception, cellulite is not a matter of being excessively overweight, since it can be found in individuals of a...
Chemical Peels - Dr. Novick
Having been around for over a hundred years, chemical peels cannot be called something new. Nevertheless, they are certainly still extremely popular. In fact, peels of all kinds topped the list of the ten most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S., reaching a total rate of nearly 850,000 treatments per year at the turn of the new millenium. Whether used by themselves or combined with other rejuvenation techniques, chemical peels, particularly "lunchtime peels," the subject of this chapter, figure prominently in most anti-aging treatment regimens and are arguably the paradigm "lunchtime beauty fix."  And if the predictions of the cosmetic surgical gurus are correct, they are expected to remain appealing for many years to come, despite advances in other areas of facial and neck rejuvenation. Why Are Chemical Peels So Appealing? There are many reasons for the unflagging popularity of chemical peels among both physicians and patients. For pati...
Cosmetic Uses of Botox
Few would argue that Botox injections are the fastest growing non-surgical cosmetic procedure, with over 3 million administered last year in the United States alone. Type-A exotoxin, or Botox Cosmetic®, marketed by Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA, is produced, perhaps surprisingly, by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum,  the cause of botulism. While skin researchers have demonstrated that wrinkles in the aging face are clearly related to the accumulated effects of excessive sun exposure, smoking, volume loss, and gravity, facial expressions, and animation, known as dynamic wrinkling, also play a major role in the development of many types of neck and facial lines and furrows. By binding to the junction between nerves and muscle tissue, Botox effectively blocks the release of acetylcholine, the chemical responsible for normal muscular contractions, weakening the ability of certain muscles to induce fine lines, wrinkles, frowns and furrows through their repetitive use. ...
Fungal Nail Infection (Onychomycosis) - Dr. Novick
An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from onychomycosis, or nail fungus infection. Affected fingernails or toenails are typically discolored a dirty yellow and appear thickened, distorted or crumbly. In time large amounts of debris may accumulate underneath the nail plate leading to onycholysis, or separation of the nail from the bed below. Nail fungus infections can be caused by a variety of microscopic plant life. Dermatophytes, the same fungal organisms responsible for common superficial skin infections like “ringworm,”  “athlete’s foot,” and “crotch rot,” are responsible for the majority of nail fungus infections. The remainder are caused by certain yeasts and molds. All three types of germs, however, share the ability to flourish in moist, warm and dark environments like the shoes. Onychomycosis accounts for over 50 percent of all toenail problems in any age group. Individuals at higher risk for developing onychomycosis...
Getting Rid of Acne Scars
Acne scarring, which may result from severe cases of acne or from undue delay in getting appropriate treatment, is estimated to affect to a greater or lesser extent some 95 percent of acne sufferers. All types of acne, from simple pimples and pustules to the deep painful cystic varieties, can cause scarring. Therefore, appropriate anti-acne treatments must be started early enough to prevent this. Happily, these days, should scarring occur, one need not despair. A number of new and refined cosmetic dermatologic surgical procedures are available for dealing with even the toughest and most disfiguring forms of post-acne scarring. Scarring from acne is a direct result of acne inflammation within hair follicles (pores) and of the tissue destruction and loss that often follows. By far the majority of acne scars are of the atrophic type, meaning that there is a loss of underlying tissue. As scars mature and contract they draw in the surface lay...
Healthy Skin All Year Long
As we head toward spring, some of you may be wondering what you need to do for your skin to keep it healthy and younger-looking. Fortunately, no matter what the season, the three basics of healthy skin care remain the same. Only the emphasis and prioritization need change. They are adequate sun protection, appropriate moisturization, and proper cleansing. In the autumn and winter, with cold chapping weather outdoors, and drying heating indoors, you need to focus on keeping your skin well-lubricated at all times. This means remembering to apply your favorite moisturizing lotion at least twice daily, and best immediately after a gentle washing and drying, while the skin is still moist to wet.This helps to lock in the moisture soaked up by the skin during washing. Look for heavier creams and moisturizers as these will better protect your skin from the elements. You should avoid using polyester scrub sponges or even wash cloths since they may excessively rub and a...
Microdermabrasion - Dr. Novick
In a recent  American Society for Dermatologic Surgery survey of nearly nine hundred women conducted to determine what makes people comfortable about cosmetic surgery,  it was learned that safety, minimal invasiveness, quick recovery, few side effects and convenience were some of the more important concerns. Somewhat surprisingly, degree of improvement ranked lowest on the list, with fewer than 10% of the respondents expressing significant concern about this. This may explain the allure of microdermabrasion to the consumer and the rapid rise within less than five years in demand for this technique, which has become one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures. While the machines may be new, the concept isn’t. Prior to its relatively recent introduction in the United States, microdermabrasion had been used in Europe for many years. The procedure is essentially one of buffing, polishing or gently “sanding”  the skin with a rough material in o...
More than Plain Dandruff
Seborrheic dermatitis is one of those dermatologic conditions that is just SO common and widespread that is hard to even know precisely just how many people really suffer from it. Estimates are difficult to make since it is likely that many people with milder forms of the problem never seek medical attention. You may recognize this condition as either plain dandruff, or as  “dry,” red, intensely itchy scalp, or as a mounds of greasy scales  and painful, bleeding scabs. But seborrheic dermatitis may be all of those things and, to make matters still worse, can be quite socially embarrasing. The cause of the condition is still not definitively known. Since it is frequently seen in families, a genetic succeptibility was long suspected. More recently, a well-known yeast organism that inhabits the skin of most humans called Malassezia ovale has been implicated as a possible major causative or contributive player by releasing substances that trigger the infl...

Professional Affiliations

Nelson Lee Novick, M.D.

Dr. Nelson Novick provides dermatology care for patients in the Upper East Side of New York City and at the Cosmedispa location in Israel. 

Our office appreciates the opportunity to serve you and to meet your special skin care needs. Our goals are to combine personalized attention with the highest quality of professional care using the latest proven therapeutic advances, techniques and methods for:

  • Treating Hair, Skin, and Nail Problems
  • Achieving Total Facial, Neck, Chest and Hand Rejuvenation without surgery