IPL Photofacial in San Francisco, CA

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about IPL Photofacials

An intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial treatment uses light energy to deeply penetrate the layers of the skin, minimizing the appearance sun spots, freckles, redness, and facial capillaries. The result is more even toned, youthful, and fresh looking skin. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, we offer the latest photofacial technology, using the advanced Cutera Xeo Limelight and Palomar Icon lasers. San Francisco Bay area patients who are concerned with sun damage, uneven skin tone, or skin pigmentation should consider scheduling a consultation to learn more about the benefits of the IPL photofacial treatment at our office.

Best Candidates

An IPL photofacial is perfect for anyone who wants more even toned, bright, and youthful looking skin. This Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved procedure is noninvasive and safely treats the face, neck, and decollete. Patients with redness, freckles, or brown spots caused by sun damage are also good candidates for this treatment.

What to Expect

Directly before the procedure begins, the patient will be given eyewear to protect them from the bright light of the treatment. One of our registered nurses will then apply a cooling gel on the treatment area and then place the IPL handpiece over the treatment area. Varying wavelengths will penetrate the skin in order to reach deep levels of the skin. Most patients experience a tolerable level of discomfort as the treatment feels hot and like a slight sting or rubber band snap. The time of the treatment varies on the size of the treatment area, as well as the condition of the patient’s skin.

Other Considerations

Since this is a noninvasive treatment, there is minimal downtime and most patients can return to their daily activities immediately after their appointment. Common side effects include some redness, splotchy areas, and skin darkening that usually subsides within a few hours. We offer all of our patients complimentary cover up makeup using our skin friendly mineral makeup powders and concealers. For about three to five days following the procedure, the patient may notice small flecks of pigment rising to the surface of their skin. As Dr. Welsh always says, it looks as though the patient has “cinnamon sprinkled on their skin.”  As the skin heals, these tiny pigment spots will naturally shed to reveal noticeably younger, smoother, and  more even-toned skin. To achieve the best results, a series of about four treatments, spaced one month apart is typically recommended.

I've been seeing Dr. Austin for nearly four years now and she is without a doubt the best dermatologist in SF. Dr. Austin is brilliant and ahead of all the latest, cutting edge treatments, warm and collaborative, and extremely perceptive. I go a few times a year for Botox and Clear + Brilliant treatments (mini laser to heal sun damage). My face tends to be very expressive when I talk, so before I started seeing Dr. Austin, I would accumulate frown/squint lines easily. I also have an active lifestyle and spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun. With the minimal number and dosage of treatments each year, my forehead wrinkles have disappeared, sunspots are gone, and my skin looks so healthy, smooth, and glowing to the point that I'm often told I look over a decade younger than my actual age. Dr. Austin is passionate about helping her clients look their best, and her positive, delightful energy pervades the clinic. She gets to know you as a patient and as a person, so the treatments are tailored uniquely for you, your lifestyle, and your goals for appearance. I want a natural, healthy look and we work together to choose treatment plans that best suit me. Dr. Austin is proactive in recommending the best options for your skin while also not over-prescribing, which I find especially helpful given good skincare is not inexpensive. The investment in my skin has been more than worth it.I can't emphasize enough the human touch throughout the office for a pleasant, welcoming, smooth experience. Dr. Austin always remembers to ask about my latest trip or my pup Pecan. All her team is terrific, unfailingly pleasant, professional and responsive. You are immediately made to feel welcome and comfortable, from the front desk to the medical staff working with you and Dr. Austin. (Special shout out to Monica, who does hydro facials and is wonderful). Communications are always transparent and policies are accurately disclosed upfront for no surprises. I look forward to each visit, and hope you will do something wonderful for yourself and visit Dr. Austin at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology too. Dr. Austin and her team are a treasure, and I am grateful to have found them.

E.M. Yelp

I have been treated by Arianna twice and both times, the care she provided was exceptional. She was able to get rid of some pesky red blood vessels on my nose in a single V-beam laser treatment. Her deep understanding and resulting treatment of the vessels resulted in a fantastic and surprising outcome. Her bedside manner is kind, caring, upbeat and professional and I am always happy to see her.

C.G. Google

Mary Krempa is the best, so thorough in her treatment and kind. I look forward to seeing her at each appointment and have benefitted tremendously from her laser hair and V-beam treatments.

E.F. Google

Had a great experience with Dr. Austin! She clarified where my product regimen was lacking, prescribed a medication to mitigate this dry patch that always shows up in the same spot on my chin. She did 2 different fillers for different parts of my face. It’s looks great! I have an appointment in 3 months for some laser & a chemical peel. Can’t wait! Thank you so much Dr. Austin.

S.S. Google

Love my Alex Laser sessions with Mary. She has been taking tender loving care of my skin for years now. She’s the best!

L. Google


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Turn Back The Hands Of Time

It’s time to go deeper with IPL photofacial to produce younger-looking, more even-toned skin. Schedule an appointment to learn how IPL at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology can transform your appearance.

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