About Levulan Kerastick
Levulan Kerastick is a medical procedure that uses aminolevulinic acid and a laser treatment to treat pre-cancers, called Actinic Keratoses (AK) Most commonly used on the face, and scalp, and neck, the procedure has three steps. First an esthetician treats your skin with microdermabrasion, which prepares your skin for the aminolevulinic acid, making it exfoliated and extra absorbent. Next, a provider applies the kerastick solution to the affected area, which makes the AK cells extremely sensitive to light. The final step is a laser treatment with one of our registered nurses. The light from our IPL or Vbeam laser will effectively destroys only AK cells, keeping the surrounding, healthy skin in tact.
"I went to Bay Area Dermatology because a few of the girls in my office recommend it. I had developed a really bad case of melasma on my cheeks and upper lip. When I made an appointment they had asked me if I had a preference as to who I wanted to see. I told the receptionist that I had Asian skin so if I could get someone that is familiar with treating common Asian skin issues that would be fantastic. I was scheduled an appointment with Dr. Hui.At my first meet with Dr. Hui she confirmed that I did indeed have melasma and that my next step was to start getting chemical peels 4-6 weeks apart. Wow. Holy smokes! So far I've received 3 chemical peels and the melasma is almost gone. It's at the point where I am able to cover it up with just foundation. Yippee! At my most recent appointment I received my first laser treatment with Mary. I had a 1pm appointment and was seen quickly to start the numbing process. I am one of those people that benifit from the extra time with the numbing cream so I appreciate that the ladies got me started immediately. I was so numb that I barely felt a thing. Definitely one of the easiest laser procedures I have ever done."- J.C. / Yelp / Dec 01, 2017
"Dr. Hui Austin is amazing!! She has honestly changed my life. I have been struggling with melasma for the last five years and have tried so many different treatments spending thousands of dollars with minimal results (cosmelan peel, chemical peels, acupuncture, etc.) After our first initial consultation I felt like I had hope with this condition that had consumed me for years. Her confidence in her work and the results she expects to see I believe is the kind of confidence every doctor should instill in their patients. She came up with a skin care plan for me that included at home care and in office treatments and the results have been life changing. I now get compliments on my skin! Not only has it cleared up my melasma but no more blemishes, less fine lines and shrunken pores are all added bonuses with my skin care regimen. If you have melasma you know how debilitating it can be and Dr. Austin is so incredibly knowledgable on the subject and takes the time to explain how each treatment works while making you feel at complete ease. I can't say enough how thankful I am that I found her and wish all my doctors had the kind of dedication Dr. Austin has to both her work and patients. I always do my homework before having anyone near my skin (I'm talking hours in the blackhole of reading reviews) and after having read other people's success with melasma with Dr. Austin I decided to book a consultation. Six months later I am so happy I did and wanted to return that favor with my own review for any others out there that might be struggling with melasma - there is hope!!!"- C.D. / Yelp / May 20, 2019
"I have had large dark patches (melasma) on my face for years. I've tried many treatments in the past but it was only remedied by Dr Hui. She has a wealth of knowledge on the condition and created a simple and realistic plan for my skin, including key advice on things to avoid and supplements to boost my skin. Her treatment has cured my melasma and I couldn't be happier. I now live in Australia and travel 12,000 kilometers to see dr hui-Austin. My confidence and skin glow is awesome and people no longer stare at my melasma mask. Thank you!!"- J.B. / Yelp / May 18, 2019
"Joining Yelp and providing a review for Bay Area Cosmetic is long overdue. I have been a patient of Bay Area Cosmetic for more years than I can remember (think back to Laurel Village when the office was the size of a closet!!!). Dr. Kathleen Welsh and Dr. Andrea Hui Austin are the consummate professionals when it comes to dermatology and I trust my face and my skin to no one else. For over 15 years I saw Dr. Welsh exclusively but in recent years, and as a result of a more robust practice, I have transitioned to being a patient of Dr. Austin. Through regular visits I am able to maintain a rejuvenated appearance with a clear complexion. Dr. Austin has a tremendous understanding of the bone structure and muscle placement of the human face. Her skill in administering delicate injections is something to behold. The results to my skin are subtle but with noticeable improvements both in appearance and texture. I never leave the office looking 'done', rather I leave feeling refreshed and more youthful whilst at the same time looking natural. On many occasions after receiving injectables I have been able to attend work functions the very same day. Minimal bruising, no down time and a natural appearance. I have read through many of the reviews for Bay Area Cosmetic, in particular, the 1 and 2 star reviewers who mention long delays in the waiting room. Unfortunately this happens sometimes, even for long standing loyal patients like myself. Based on my experience this is because both Dr. Welsh and Dr. Austin are focused when they are in the treatment room with each patient. When I am in the treatment room with the doctor I have never felt rushed. On the contrary, both doctors take time to listen and then, most importantly, take their time to administer treatments. It is because of their highly personalized service and attention to detail with treatment protocols that sometimes they can get a bit behind on the schedule. Over the years I have recommended many people to Bay Area Cosmetic with confidence and will continue to do so. I trust my dermatological needs to no other practice in San Francisco."- A.B. / Yelp / May 07, 2019
"Where do I begin?! Dr. Andrea Austin is a talented dermatologist who is passionate about what she does. I have struggled with acne and severe redness since I was a teenager, and have seen many dermatologists. Dr. Austin immediately diagnosed rosacea, and put together a plan of action. For the past year, I have done a combination of VBeam laser, topical, and oral medication. The difference has been astounding. What I thought was straight hormonal acne was really rosacea related. My skin glows now, and I rarely wear make up. Now that my skin is under control, Dr. Austin has helped me take it to the next level, and we have started a regime of retin A, botox, and restalyne. She has an artist's eye, and truly makes you look like a younger, better-rested version of yourself! The office is very professional and easy to work with. I appreciate the fridge full of seltzers, and their well stocked over the counter products. Thank you Dr. Austin!"- S.S. / Yelp / Apr 24, 2019
What to Expect
On the day of the procedure, you may be asked to wear a hat to protect your skin from the sun. The entire procedure, described above, will take about three hours to complete, depending on the size of the treatment area. Following Levulan Kerastick treatment, it is imperative that the the patient avoids the sun and bright lights, as this can damage the newly treated skin. Upon fully completing treatment, patients may experience irritation and redness at the treatment site for up to four weeks.
Following Levulan Kerastick, treatment patients may experience some side effects including redness, swelling, scaling/crusting, hypo/hyper-pigmentation, itching, stinging, and/or burning. The side effects should subside within four weeks after treatment. However, should they persist, contact our office immediately. Most patients will not have any aftercare requirements, such as medications, unless directed by one of our dermatologists.
Plan Your Procedure
Learn You Options
Levulan Kerastick is an effective procedure that treats multiple AKs in just one treatment, saving time while preventing skin cancer. Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists to find out if you are a candidate for the Levulan Kerastick treatment.