She also diagnoses and treats the full spectrum of routine dermatologic issues, including acne; skin cancer; sun damage; rosacea; spider veins and varicose veins; unwanted scars, birthmarks, tattoos, and hair; wrinkles and skin laxity; sun spots and brown spots; and melasma.
Dr. Karen is co-director of CompleteSkinMD, the private practice that she founded in 2014 with her sister Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, also a Castle Connolly Top Doctor. Prior to that, she was with Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York for six years.
Dr. Karen says she and her sister have the same philosophy of patient care: It’s about keeping patients’ skin healthy and helping it look its natural best over time.
“We came up with the idea for CompleteSkinMD when we were running a half-marathon together, and the name really captures what it’s about: exceptional, compassionate, and comprehensive skin care,” Dr. Karen says.
“It’s become kind of a trend to give up the medical care and focus more on the aesthetic treatments, but we definitely stress the medical, too — continuing with things like skin-cancer checks, managing dermatologic issues, and helping patients age naturally and gracefully.”
Dr. Karen earned her medical degree (Alpha Omega Alpha) at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. She completed a three-year dermatology residency at NYU Langone Health, serving as chief resident in her final year. She completed a fellowship in procedural dermatology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/NYU School of Medicine.
Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Karen is licensed to practice in New York.
Dr. Karen has received many professional recognitions, is highly respected in her field, and is featured frequently in the national media. She has shared her knowledge and experience with publications and outlets that include Forbes, Vogue, Martha Stewart, Oprah.com, Parents, Cosmopolitan, Sun & Skin News (Skin Cancer Foundation), Real Simple, TODAY, T Magazine (The New York Times), and InStyle.
Outside of her practice, Dr. Karen has many other professional activities and roles. These include serving as a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health, an attending dermatologist at the Manhattan VA Hospital, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology Core Curriculum Task Force, and a member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society editorial committee.
In addition to the many academic articles and book chapters she has had published, Dr. Karen — along with Dr. Hale and Dr. Perry Robins — wrote the Handbook of Dermatologic Surgery. The 2014 book is used by dermatology trainees, practicing dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons, and medical students rotating through dermatology.
NYU School of Medicine
Dermatology, 2004 - 2007
Dermatologic Surgery, 2007 - 2008
Q: What are you known for in terms of the care and services you provide?
A: Medically, we’re probably best known for the comprehensive nature of our skin-cancer checks. Aesthetically, I’d say we’re known for achieving a really natural, rested, not-frozen look, and for not taking a cookie-cutter approach to cosmetic treatments. In addition to skin cancer and anti-aging treatments, I also perform a number of spider and varicose vein treatments.
Q: Can varicose veins be a symptom of a vascular (blood flow) problem?
A: Large, bulging varicose veins — especially when associated with pain, cramping, heaviness, swelling, or restless legs — may indicate underlying venous insufficiency, a condition in which the venous system is no longer efficiently returning blood to the heart from the farthest-away parts of the body.
If I suspect a patient suffers from venous insufficiency ("backward flow"), I will obtain ultrasound images to delineate the nature of any venous disease. I perform the non-invasive imaging in my office to help determine whether a patient requires sclerotherapy (injections into the unwanted veins) or endovenous laser ablation, a minimally invasive laser procedure in which we seal the damaged vein shut from the inside out.
At NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, our doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals use a team approach to provide the highest level of care to people from New York City and around the world. We want our patients and their families to feel comfortable during their stay.
At Tisch Hospital, we have more than 300 beds for people who need inpatient care. We also have 66 state-of-the-art operating rooms, an advanced critical care unit, a labor and delivery unit in which more than 6,500 babies are born each year, and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for our tiniest patients. We are also home to the Comprehensive Stroke Center and Ronald O. Perelman Center for Emergency Services, where our emergency medicine specialists provide advanced care for adults and children.
Opened in 1963 as University Hospital, our facility was renamed Tisch Hospital in 1989 in recognition of two prominent and generous benefactors—brothers Laurence A. and Preston Robert Tisch.