Laser Facial Treatments
Intense Pulse Light
Intense Pulse Light Details
Imagine a more youthful looking you. Both the pleasures and stresses of life, along with the simple passage of time, tend to cause our skin to appear older. The signs of aging and sun damage are typically most visible on a person’s face. While numerous treatments from simple creams to major surgeries exist to improve various facial flaws, skin specialists have always sought dramatic improvement with low risk and no “downtime.” Additionally, many conventional treatment options can only address one condition at a time, while they entail a prolonged recovery time, considerable pain and potential side effects. Intense Pulse Light, commonly known as IPL, is one of the most popular treatments at San Francisco Aesthetics. It is a non-invasive treatment that erases skin damage without disruption of the skin’s surface, hence, no “downtime.” IPL can simultaneously treat a wide range of facial concerns safely and effectively, such as broken capillaries, skin discoloration, age spots, freckles, mottled pigmentation and the symptoms of rosacea.
How does it work?
IPL is most often performed on the face, neck, chest, and hands to erase the signs of aging. Our lasers are clinically shown to reduce wrinkles and improve the tone of the skin by non-invasively stimulating new collagen production.
What can I expect after an IPL treatment at SF Aesthetics?
After an IPL treatment for sun damage, your freckles will turn dark and scab over. Imagine having a dusting of coffee grinds on your face. Over the course of seven to ten days, the scabs will flake off, revealing a more even complexion. The types of responses heard from patients are that they feel like their skin is lifted. There is a decrease in pore size, the skin feels tighter, looks brighter, and there is a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. By combining IPL and Laser Genesis at San Francisco Aesthetics, we take care of noticeable coloration defects and also provide the skin with the toning and textural improvement that patients are seeking. Non-invasive techniques for skin rejuvenation are being quickly established as a new standard in the treatment of mild wrinkles and overall skin toning. All patients show improvement after the treatment series.
Laser Genesis Details
Laser Genesis from Cutera is a versatile laser that Dr. Tsai uses to treat a variety of skin concerns.
- Flushing symptoms of Rosacea
- Surgical scars
- Texture and large pores
- Redness from acne breakouts
Laser Genesis is a gentle procedure with no down time. It uses a 1064 nm wavelength to gently heat the dermis which diffuses redness and stimulates collagen production. It’s an ideal treatment for someone who is beginning to see the signs of aging and wants to “freshen” their look without resorting to invasive procedures.
What can I expect?
Laser Genesis is a mild laser treatment that does not cause discomfort, bruising, swelling, redness, or peeling. Because the treatment is not uncomfortable, no topical anesthetic is necessary. The laser creates a warming sensation on the skin and after the session nobody would be able to tell you just received a laser treatment. The effects are subtle and usually a series is required to achieve optimal results.
Rosacea is a common condition of an unknown cause affecting the facial skin. It typically first appears when people reach their thirties to forties and manifests itself as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead that initially comes and goes. If left untreated, the condition can worsen over time, resulting in more persistent redness. Laser treatments performed at San Francisco Aesthetics such as Laser Genesis or IPL can improve the unsightly symptoms of Rosacea. Rosacea is a disorder of the face that results in redness, prominent blood vessels, swelling of pores, and skin eruptions similar to acne. Also called “adult acne”, the cause of rosacea is unknown. It occurs most often in fair skinned people, particularly those who blush easily. Women are more commonly affected, although men are more severely affected. Symptoms usually begin to appear between ages 30 to 50, and the disorder is most often seen in middle-aged or older people. Bumps and pimples appear and small dilated blood vessels may become visible. Conventional treatment for Rosacea is with antibiotics, combined with topical creams or lotions. Also, the use of a low concentration glycolic facial wash has been proven to be helpful. The signs of Rosacea are:
- redness of the face or cheeks similar to a rash
- a tendency to flush or blush easily
- increased vascularity (broken capillaries) of the face
- a red, often enlarged nose
- acne-like skin eruptions
- a burning or stinging sensation of the face
While Rosacea cannot be cured, its symptoms can be controlled and your appearance can be improved. The best way to control Rosacea is to avoid the triggering events such as prolonged periods of sun exposure, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Heat and rich foods can also contribute to the effects of rosacea. While topical creams may help control rosacea, the best way to improve your appearance is with light-based treatments such as laser. Treatments must be individualized depending on the severity of your condition and the symptoms you want treated. Dr. Tsai performs all of the laser treatments at San Francisco Aesthetics and she will design a treatment plan to meet your needs. The redness, broken capillaries, and enlarged blood vessels can often be reduced in only a few visits.
Photodynamic Therapy Details
What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic therapy is a medical treatment that uses light to activate a photosensitizing drug. In this case, the drug used is called Levulan Kerastick which is absorbed by the cells of damaged tissue and destroys the cells. Photodynamic therapy has a variety of dermatological uses; however Dr. Tsai primarily uses the treatment for moderate to severe acne.
First, the Levulan Kerastick is applied topically to the skin. The next step is the incubation period where the medication is left on the skin for a period of time recommended by Dr. Tsai. The third step is the administration of the Dusa BLU-U blue light to activate the Levulan.
Photodynamic therapy involves three mechanisms of action against acne, fighting it by:
- Killing the bacteria that triggers acne
- Exfoliating of the skin to unclog pores
- Reducing the size of the sebaceous glands underneath the skin
With repeated treatment, patients typically see a significant long-term reduction in acne symptoms including break outs, redness, and inflammation.
Am I a candidate for Photodynamic Therapy?
Dusa BLU-U and Levulan are considered a last resort acne treatment. Dr. Tsai recommends this to patients who have tried and failed a variety of other acne treatments. Patients who are considered to be appropriate candidates for photodynamic therapy for the treatment of acne have used the following treatments without success:
- Birth control pills or spironolactone (for female patients only)
- Topical antibiotics
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical salicylic acid
- Topical benzoyl peroxide
If you meet the above criteria and would like to discuss the treatment of your acne with photodynamic therapy, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsai by contacting SF Aesthetics and Laser Center at 415-885-2737.