Laser Skin Resurfacing in San Francisco, CA

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About Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a minimally-invasive skin-rejuvenating technique that uses laser technology to stimulate collagen and grow healthier, younger looking skin. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, our team of skin care professionals uses laser resurfacing to treat wrinkles, crepiness, sun spots, and acne scars. Our team of medical professionals use the most advanced resurfacing lasers available - Fraxel Re:pair and Fraxel Dual - to help our patients achieve stunning results. In fact, Dr. Andrea Hui Austin is the #1 provider of Fraxel Re:pair treatments in the United States.

Prior to treatment, a provider will consult with you to determine which laser and settings will address your needs and give you the best outcome. Fraxel re:pair typically recommended for skin showing severe signs of skin damage such as deep frown lines and wrinkles, crepiness, sun spots, and redness caused by sun damage. The Fraxel re:pair uses a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to vaporize microscopic columns of tissue deep within the skin. Recovery time is around three weeks.

Soon after treatment, the skin will be softer, brighter, and more even-toned. Then over the next four to six months, as the skin continues to heal, new collagen forms to creating healthier, younger looking skin.

For skin showing less severe signs of aging, a light or moderate Fraxel re:pair treatment may be recommended. Lighter settings are less invasive, penetrating more superficial layers of the skin and reducing the overall recovery time.

Light or moderate Fraxel re:pair treatments are appropriate for patients with less sun damage and more shallow lines and wrinkles. Lighter treatments may also be used preventatively, to keep wrinkles and other signs of aging at bay.

Fraxel Dual is a non-ablative laser that effectively treats older skin cells while leaving the skin’s protective barrier intact. Fraxel Dual is FDA approved to treat wrinkles around the eyes, acne scars, surgical scars, age spots/sun spots, melasma (irregular patches of brown skin on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and nose), and Actinic Keratoses (precancerous lesions).

The Fraxel Dual has less downtime than deep Fraxel re:pair treatments - about 3-5 days. However, more than one treatment may be necessary to see maximum results. Here at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, we have a variety of laser skin resurfacing options to address your skin’s specific needs.

I highly recommend Dr. Steven He. I have had melasma and Nevi of Ota from on my cheeks and temples for the past 15 years. I’ve tried treatments from other dermatologists, including hydroxychloroquine cream, with no improvement. I’ve also met with other laser treatment centers, who presented cookie cutter treatments. However, I’ve seen friends and family get rebound hyperpigmentation on their face from aggressive dose of laser therapy. For Asian skin, sometimes the dose of laser and strength of chemical peels have to be adjusted due to skin sensitivity. As an Asian female physician, I was cautious about who to trust. I chose Dr. He because I heard he has lots of experience with Asian American patients. I started seeing him a few months ago, and I am extremely confident in his skills. He is thoughtful about his approach and tailors his treatment plan to the individual patient. I have had 5 treatments, starting with chemical peels to remove superficial melasma, and now transitioned to laser treatments for the darker spots. The spots have significantly lightened. I recently saw my family, who had been hounding me for years about my spots, and they could not even notice the spots! I am extremely satisfied with Dr. He’s care. He is a knowledgeable, conscientious, effective physician.

W.T. Yelp

Dr. Steven Y. He is absolutely amazing! I have visited several dermatology offices around the country and Dr. He is the first to really make a difference and listen to my concerns no matter how big or small. If you have Rosacea (honestly any skin concern run to Dr. He!) I have had 3 vbeam laser treatments by him and always feel at ease under his care. I appreciate his vast knowledge, and attention to detail. I ask many questions and I never feel rushed. He takes his time and really cares about his patients. Just recently he even noticed a mole I had never noticed while he was doing treatments and cares not only about the cosmetic side of dermatology but the true health and safety of your skin. I notice a huge difference in my rosacea and can’t wait to continue more treatments under his care. He has a less is more approach, and patience which I appreciate. Thank you Dr. He for helping my skin glow and making me feel my best without any makeup!

J.B. Yelp

I am not exaggerating when I say that Dr. Andrea Hui Austin is a LIFE CHANGER. I’ve been seeing her for almost two years now for treatment of my rosacea and acne and skin is clearer than it’s ever been, clearer than I ever hoped it would be. I first started seeing Dr. Austin in 2019, a few months after I turned 31. I’d been diagnosed with rosacea in middle school and had otherwise had fairly clear skin until I reached college. In college, I started breaking out more and more frequently until my acne was basically chronic. Some people in my family had late-bloomer acne, so I told myself it would probably just clear up as I got older, and I tried to take the best care of my skin that I could in the meantime. I tried every OTC treatment under the sun, went on different diets, and saw a series of dermatologists who put me on a range of topical medications and oral antibiotics. Nothing made much of a difference and by my late 20s I’d was so close to giving up and resigning myself to having bad skin for the rest of my life, although it made me feel miserable.That’s when I realized that the one thing I hadn’t tried was seeing a dermatologist who specializes in treating rosacea. I did some googling and Dr. Austin’s name came up again and again, so I scheduled a consult. My expectations weren’t high, given how little luck I’d had before. But Dr. Austin completely blew me away in the consult. Not only was she able to explain why my rosacea was causing these breakouts, but I was blown away by her empathy; she started the appointment by asking me to tell her about my history of rosacea and acne and after I went through the litany of things I’d tried she said, "I’m so sorry you had to go through that." It made me tear up to feel like someone cared and understood how much having bad skin can take a toll on self-esteem.She started me on a routine of oral medication and new topical skincare products, and did an excellent job of answering all my questions and explaining how each product or medication worked and why it was necessary. I noticed a difference in my skin within weeks, and once the breakouts were more under control we began a series of laser treatments to help tame the rosacea. As my skin continued to heal and improve, the treatments became less frequent, and I’m now at the point where I only have them a few times a year. My skin has healed enough that she’s also able to address the scarring I have from acne and, honestly, that’s a milestone I never thought I’d reach until I started working with her. She’s continued to be a thoughtful and kind person, celebrating the milestones with me as my skin healed, remembering details about my personal life, and engaging me in conversation during the treatments; I feel like she really cares.As a bonus, the whole BACD staff is competent, professional, and friendly. They keep things running smoothly, call/email back quickly, and have a very flexible auto-ship program that sends my topical products to me four times a year. BACD has done a sterling job of adapting to the pandemic--they’ve put up signage, spaced out appointments, created physical distance in the waiting room, and changed their payment process so you pay in the treatment room. I’ve noticed some other places get lax with these types of measures as the pandemic has gone on, but BACD has been incredibly consistent, which I appreciate.If you have rosacea and acne, Dr. Austin is your gal. She’s truly and completely changed my skin in a way I never thought possible. I highly, highly recommend her!(The photos I’ve included from her office are from before the acne scarring treatment; the personal photos I included are after one acne scarring treatment. No digital filters, no makeup or concealer in any of these photos!)

L.S. Yelp

This review is long overdue! Dr. Austin is incredible at treating rosacea!! Dr. Austin has been life changing for me and my skin. I found her online from searching frantically for someone for years in the Bay who had experience working with rosacea. Rosacea started for me in my early 30s, what felt like out of no where during grad school. After trying many other things, including strictly cutting out foods that were irritating I was still having intense rosacea breakouts. Dr. Austin took pictures, explained what was happening and we went over my skin routine. I learned how there are different types of rosacea, she explained what can irritate it (which can include natural oils!) and then she gave me a very specific skin care routine with products. I saw results almost immediately after using sticking to the topical routine. I recently saw her after 3 years of sticking to my regimen and my skin has greatly improved. I flare maybe a few times a year with stress but it will usually go away that day with combo ointment meant for rosacea. I have even seen lines on my forehead go away with one of the topicals, an added bonus! She is also very encouraging, has a warm bedside manner. If you have been dealing with skin issues and the confidence behind that look no further, Dr. Austin is worth it!

K.P. Yelp

5 stars for Dr. Kathleen Welsh. She has performed numerous procedures on me for the past 20 years; from fillers to laser abrasions etc. I went to someone more inexpensive in the past and had to return to Dr. Welsh to correct the work. When you ask her opinion she will give you an honest assessment.

C.J. Google


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What to Expect

Even though laser skin resurfacing is nonsurgical and is considered noninvasive, there generally is some downtime associated with the procedure depending on the depth of the treatment. To ease any discomfort during treatment, provider may choose to numb the skin using either a topical numbing cream or injections a local anesthetic. A sedative may also be given to relax the patient. During laser skin resurfacing, the provider will deliver brief, pulsating beams of light to the treatment area.The laser will provide controlled wounding to the chosen depth of treatment, stimulating collagen growth. 

Other Considerations

After the procedure, the treated skin will appear red, swollen, and raw. With deep Fraxel re:pair treatments, pinpoint bleeding, as well as oozing for up to 48 hours, are common post-procedure side effects. Other temporary side effects include mild itching, dry skin, peeling or flaking. Crusting can also occur, so the patient must refrain from picking since this can lead to permanent scarring.

Directly following treatment, a medical assistant will apply a thick, protective ointment and cover the area with gauze to protect the treated skin. During recovery, the treated area will need to be kept clean and protected. Detailed Post Care Instructions will be given to the patient prior to leaving the office.

New skin is usually generated in about one to two weeks. Following a Fraxel Dual treatment, swelling lasting about one to two days and redness lasting about three days, are the most common side effects. Skin may also appear temporarily bronzed. Itching, peeling, and flaking skin are also experienced.

Once this process is complete, new skin will appear in its place that is healthier, brighter, younger looking, and more even-toned.

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About Us

Our office offers numerous laser resurfacing options for sun-damaged and aging skin. Laser skin resurfacing can be a great option based on the patient’s individual condition, aesthetic goals, budget, as well as pain tolerance and allowance for recovery time. Call our office today to find out if laser resurfacing is for you!

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.