Acne and Cyst Treatment in San Francisco, CA

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About Acne/Cyst Treatment

AviClear is considered a ‘universal skin type laser’ which means we can safely and effectively treat all skin types and colors.Seventeen million Americans currently suffer from acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country. Also known as acne vulgaris, acne is a skin condition that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

It appears on the surface of the skin in the form of blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts and nodules). Three factors contribute to acne formation: overproduction of oil, irregular shedding of dead skin cells within the pore, and buildup of bacteria. Acne occurs when the oil produced by sebaceous glands does not reach the surface of the skin, but becomes trapped in the tiny follicles of the skin. This microscopic plug may close off the pore, causing the follicle wall to bulge, which creates a whitehead. If the pore remains open, the top surface of plug may become darkened, causing a blackhead. In both cases, the bacteria, P. acnes thrive in clogged follicles.

When this bacteria leaks out of the follicle into the surrounding tissue, the lesions become inflamed resulting in pimples, pustules, cysts, and larger nodules. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, our team has the knowledge and experience to help you achieve clear, glowing skin.


We now have an a drug-free option for acne treatment: the AviClear laser. AviClear is considered a ‘universal skin type laser’ which means we can safely and effectively treat all skin types and colors. It can be especially beneficial for those looking for an alternative to more traditional courses of oral antibiotics or Accutane. Curious if you're a candidate for AviClear? Book a consult with one of our board-certified dermatologists or PA-C to get started. 

Best Candidates

A “flare-up” of acne can occur for a number of different reasons, including hormonal fluctuations associated with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. In addition, certain medications and drugs, as well as stress and a poor diet can also cause acne. Once the causes, of acne are diagnosed, a proper treatment plan can be established. No matter what is causing your acne, we can help you have clearer skin.

Teenage Acne

No one has more trouble with acne and cysts than teenagers. Blemishes on the face can potentially lead to long-term self-esteem problems. While there are plenty of over-the-counter acne medications and treatments, these do not take into account the root causes of acne (hormones, genetics, certain medications, oil-based makeup, or stress). Instead of wasting money on ineffective over-the-counter treatments, teens can get better results with the expertise of one of our board-certified dermatologists or our physician’s assistant. Our medical professionals will assess your skin and develop a customized treatment plan to treat your acne. 

Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology is an office I trust to have the equipment, skills and experience to take care of all of my medical and aesthetic dermatological needs. They stay up to date with the most current technologies and techniques, so I know I’m getting the best treatment the medical profession has, to help address everything from acne to sun damage and the effects of aging on my delicate skin. I’ve been a patient of this office for decades, and regularly have people comment on how youthful and healthy my face looks (has a bit to do with genetics but much more to do with the care I get from BACS). I *strongly* recommend you schedule a visit to BACS for top-notch medical care that will keep your skin healthy, and will help you maintain a highly natural youthful aesthetic.

L. Google

Ari did a fantastic job treating my acne scars. She is so highly skilled and kind to boot.

M.K. Google

Dr Austin took my decent mid-50's skin and flagging self-esteem and made them really, really great. She flawlessly filled old acne scars, removed pre-cancer bits and rosacea, smoothed wrinkles, snatched up my jawline and explained how anatomy and biochem work during my visits. She's made a long-term plan for me and all her patients that seem like the minimum of highly effective things, so we all look startlingly better but still believable and healthy. Dr Austin is gentle, rational and super trustworthy. She's like a wizard. Her team is awesome, too.

K.K. Google

I flew from Boston to see Dr. Austin and it was absolutely worth it! Hands down, I get the best outcome and value every time I visit BACD and I’ll be back!

E.S. Yelp

I have been seeing Dr. Austin for 4 years now. I initially saw her when I was experiencing some difficult to treat acne in my early 20s. She listened to my concerns and really educated me on proper skin care. Since then she has continued to help provide new products/recommendations based on my needs at that time. I have also been seeing her for filler and botox treatments for the past two years. She has always listened to what I wanted and given me incredible results. She keeps things natural and really has an amazing eye for the face and facial structure. Beyond her work, she is a really incredible doctor. Her bedside manner is unparalleled and she is always evidence based in her practice. She is a beautiful person who works hard to help others feel beautiful. 11/10 would recommend.

A.S. Yelp


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What to Expect

-Research shows that over-the-counter ointments are not proven to effectively treat severe acne. Our dermatology office offers many treatment options to control and manage acne and clear its symptoms.

For milder cases of acne, prescription topicals that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, and/or spironolactone can help. We compound prescription-strength acne products right here in our office, so there is no need to go to the pharmacy. There are also oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline that may clear up the skin. For more severe cases of cystic acne, our prescribers may recommend a course of Isotretinoin (Accutane). Our team is experienced with the FDA-mandated iPledge program and are able to accommodate all of the requirements of the program.

In addition to topical and oral prescriptions, microdermabrasion treatments, such as HydrafacialMD or DiamondGlow can help clear up skin and prevent further breakouts by deep cleaning the pores and exfoliating the skin. Laser treatments can help reduce redness, scarring and and hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels and microneedling may also help depending on the type of acne. Once the patient’s acne is clear, we have several cosmetic options to diminish acne scarring including the Fraxel re:pair skin resurfacing laser and the Candela Vbeam Perfecta laser. 

Other Considerations

Our patients who have the best results closely follow their recommended skin care regimen and treatment plan. At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, we have found that the key to clear skin is consistent use of recommended prescription and cosmetic products and regular follow up appointments with one of our dermatologists or our physician’s assistant. The great news is that with our help plus your dedication, you can have acne-free skin! 

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About Us

Treat Your Acne Today

We truly believe everyone can have better skin. Stop suffering from painful and embarrassing acne and call our office today to schedule an acne consultation. We will provide a thorough skin analysis and create a tailored treatment plan to help clear up your complexion as quickly as possible.

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