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nomo123456789

Acne Scar Doctor in the Bay Area

I have acne scars and was wondering if anyone knows who the best acne scar doctor is in California. I'm from the Bay Area, but I don't mind traveling to Southern California if the acne scar doctors are better there. I'm thinking of doing infini RF for my scars. I have slight indents from acne scars. Who is the best at microneedling RF in California? Thanks!

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@nomo123456789 There are no great "acne scar," Dr's in the SF Bay Area. You can try the chain of price fixed dermatologists (most of them) called California Dermatology or Dr Ransom in SF - He is a plastic Sur, and has the Infini (but not overly great with manual methods). This is why people fly to Rullan to get manual treatments before going the energy device route that you can do anywhere. Acne Scars are based on your individual case and plan, and directional lighting photos help us come up with that, ... otherwise try the above.  

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I went to Dr. Gladstone in San Ramon. He is very conservative and has written books on dermatology. He specializes in subcision. He understood my laser damage and customized his subcision without any add on because he didnt want to risk my skin. 

I liked that he has a social moral compass as he offers free skin cancer treatments for the needy. 

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I live in San Francisco, and I'm actually currently in San Diego recovering after a second round of treatment with Dr Rullan. I have also flown to Florida for treatment at Dr Weiner's office. These ended up being more cost effective for me, because the prices of the treatment are less outside of the Bay Area, and I generally use points to travel with, so the travel cost are minimal.

In the Bay Area, Dr Steven Swengel in Los Gatos for acne scarring. He uses the Infini RF machine. I have not had treatment by him, so cannot vouch.

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Dr Gladstone is a terrible Dr, the worst (my opinion by helping many)! I would much rather goto Rullan SD than him. Gladstone advertises, pays off bad reviews (look at his old review prior to the pay off), goes for those who will pay the most in the lucrative valley area $$$$$ - expensive. His treatments for scars do not make since. He uses profound which will ruin your face, terrible device, and pushes laser for scars. Might as well go for Dr. Ting nearby he is all about the $$$$$$$ I think he's on his 4th major luxury vacay home he talks about ;-) Bay area Dr's are terrible, and Hollywood Plastics. The bay area is price fixed with California Dermatology working with most Dr's offices to "get" patients. These are all general derms that own lasers. These Dr's are not on the faq recommendation for acne scar Dr's list for a reason ;-) IF your in a pinch I suppose you can get subcision from them, funny Ting and him charge the same cost for sub (CA Derm price fixing). I don't know what is wrong with these Stanford educated Drs as time goes on. 

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For acne scars, microneedling RF, lasers, TCA cross would Jason Emer be good? Or is Dr Rullan still the best in CA when it comes to treating acne scars? Or should I just fly to a different acne scar doctor in a different state? :( I also have a little bit of stubborn acne I'm trying to get rid of before I pursue acne scar treatment.

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@nomo123456789 I had a consultation with Dr Emer, and the pricing was just completely absurd. The first round of treatment alone was over $7k, which included multiple aggressive + expensive treatments and peels. In addition, they wanted me to buy several topical creams which were each around $150 a bottle. I ended up flying to Dr Weiner to Florida, and Dr Rullan in San Diego. Both have been great. No aggressive sales pitches, and both are experts in acne scarring.

You can read my thread here:

 

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Hey @superburrito thanks for posting your story! I read it and it was very insightful! I'm Asian too and am looking to do acne scar treatments. But how did you know to go to Dr Weiner for certain treatments and to go to Dr Rullan for other treatments? Did you first meet with a dermatologist who told you which doctor specializes in what type of treatment? Also, do you know who the best dermatologist in the bay area is, at getting rid of acne? I visited Dr. Andrea Hui a few months back because her reviews were really good, but after talking with her during the checkup, she really didn't seem to know much about acne and acne scars. I was curious to see what she thought of Microneedling RF for acne scars, but she said it's a bad treatment for Asian skin types because it causes hyperpigmentation (I believe she said this because her office doesn't provide this treatment). I've done a lot of research into acne scars and know that microneedling rf is pretty safe especially if used correctly, so I didn't go back to her. So now I'm looking for a doctor who can help get rid of my acne. I have moderate acne, but it's very stubborn. I've tried topicals and even accutane. Currently, I'm using tretinoin 0.05% at night (this was 1 of the many expensive items that Dr. Andrea Hui wanted me to buy).

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@nomo123456789, I found Dr Weiner on Dr Davin Lim’s website. He has a list of recommended doctors on his website. I found Dr Rullan via @beautifulambition’s list of recommended doctors in the thread below:

 

Dr Weiner specializes in energy devices and fillers, whereas Dr Rullan specializes in manual techniques like subcision, cross, microneedling, and peels. Dr Rullan also treats a lot of ethnic skin types, include many of Asian of descent.

I do not know of a good doctor for acne. Tretinoin has worked for me, I currently get my acne medication via Curology, which is fairly affordable and includes other actives. It’s $20/m. You can send them pictures of your acne and they will prescribe a combination of actives that they think will work best for your skin and type of acne. 

All of this is a slow process and I’m finding it takes a lot patience. Hang in there!

Hope that helps!

Edited by superburrito

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Hi there - I'm also based in the Bay Area and haven't found a great acne scar doctor, but have been going to Quita Lopez in Oakland who does TCA cross combined with dermapen. She's the only one I've been able to find who does TCA cross in the area. You might want to try her if you're looking into CROSS.

That said, while I've been to a few sessions and have seen slight improvement, I'm not where I want to be yet and am considering subcision as my next step. @beautifulambition I'm curious - do you say the California Dermatology chain is not good just based on price or also quality of work/results? I also looked at the California Skin Institute chain and it looks like they are one of the other few places that do subcision in the Bay Area, but curious if you've heard anything about them.

@superburrito For seeing Dr. Rullan, what's recovery time like for subcision? Could you say, go in on a Friday and be back at work by Monday or Tuesday? I only have 2-3 indented scars I'd want treated so I imagine it wouldn't be as extensive as others.

Thanks!

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@sparklingjuice For subcision, the main factor to down time will be bruising, and everyone is different in that regard. For me, since I do Cross together with subcision, and microneedling the downtime is about a week. I took off work this past Thursday, and will return to work on Thursday. Bruising wasn’t too bad for me, though the crust that forms from microneedling can look like a bruise.

There is also significant swelling with subcision, but I was given a kenalog shot in my hip, and it reduced the swelling almost completely in less than 24 hours. If you don’t bruise too much, you could probably do subcision on Friday and be back at work on Mon/Tue. 

 

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59 minutes ago, superburrito said:

@sparklingjuice For subcision, the main factor to down time will be bruising, and everyone is different in that regard. For me, since I do Cross together with subcision, and microneedling the downtime is about a week. I took off work this past Thursday, and will return to work on Thursday. Bruising wasn’t too bad for me, though the crust that forms from microneedling can look like a bruise.

There is also significant swelling with subcision, but I was given a kenalog shot in my hip, and it reduced the swelling almost completely in less than 24 hours. If you don’t bruise too much, you could probably do subcision on Friday and be back at work on Mon/Tue. 

 

What is Kenalog? Did you ask for it? How does a shot in the hip reduce facial swelling? 

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@sparklingjuice California Dermatology chain = California Skin Institute chain (The reviews as you can read are sad, people are treated like cattle).

Ting, Gladstone, etc... They can all do subcision. A) Their prices are extremely expensive as they are a chain price fixing - outsourcing the bay areas derm offices, B-)They are not very good at acne scar treatments and say laser,laser,laser and many tell people they do not need manual methods (quick and easy laser money for them), C) they are not very aggressive with subcision. IF your in a pinch and don't want to travel sure get the $700 subcision done with them if they agree to do it. Call their call center main number, say the treatment you want, and they have Dr's who will do it in the bay. Filler and Subcision prices are typically cheaper in LA, and it's much more competitive. Rullan is a top 1% acne scar Dr hence why people travel. 

I think someone priced out that the cheap flight to LA, subcision. cross, needling, and PRF where cheaper than the bay area prices. Of course if you stay a night in a hotel may be expensive unless you drive home or something overnight. 

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@beautifulambition @sparklingjuice, I did a pricing comparison of Bay Area docs (including Dr Ting) vs Dr Rullan in San Diego and Dr Weiner in Florida. Even with airfare, it's still cheaper and you get much more expertise. My reasoning was this: "Why would I spend MORE money on someone closer who is LESS qualified?" So, in the end, I dismissed going to any doctors in the Bay Area. It was just too expensive, and some of them are even resistant to giving you pricing, without going in for a consultation.

For Dr Rullan in San Diego, if you are doing subcision and cross, the downtime is significant, so it means you have to stay in San Diego for a few days until you look like human being again. I typically stay down there 4 nights. There are plenty of low cost places on AirBnB to stay with private entrances. Of course, if you drive, then you can just head back home the next day. I wouldn't recommend driving or flying immediately after the procedure, because the swelling is significant and it just feels uncomfortable the first night.

For Dr Weiner in Florida, you can fly in on a Thursday night, have Infini done on Friday morning. I didn't have a lot of swelling and it mainly just looked like I had a bad sunburn, so I was able to fly back home on Saturday morning without anyone in the airport giving me weird looks.

In terms of subcision, different doctors will use different techniques. Dr Rullan is extremely aggressive with the subcision and will do large areas at a time. This causes more bruising and swelling, and is thought to have a better outcome on scars overall. Having experienced it myself, it's a little disturbing because you hear the cracking and popping as he does it. Fortunately, there's very little pain because of the anesthesia.

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@superburrito Did you first go visit both doctors for a consultation or did you just go straight to them for treatment? Did you just know that you had a certain type of acne scar and that you needed a certain treatment or did a doctor tell you the type of scars you have? I saw the diagrams of the different acne scars and what treatments there are for each type but I'm still not 100% sure what type of acne scars I have and what type of treatment (microneedling RF, TCA cross, subcision or something else) I need specifically for my different scars. 

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@nomo123456789, I just went straight to them after I sent both doctors pictures via email and they did an initial assessment remotely. I knew that I had boxcar and icepicks based on the various diagrams and tutorials on how to identify. When I came in, they looked at it again in person before treatments. In general, they will do a consult with you in person on your visit visit and you can decide together on the desired treatments.

You can post your pictures here in the forums and the community here can help you identify your scars, but only a good doctor will be able to give you an accurate assessment in person after viewing them in angled lighting. Dr Lim, the top acne scars doctor in the world, never provides assessments and treatment plans without looking at scars first in person.

I would recommend calling their offices on the best way to proceed as an out-of-town patient.

 

Edited by superburrito

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@superburrito Thanks for the info, this is super helpful. Yes, sounds like Dr. Rullan is the way to go...I'm just hesitant to take off work for a week, but guess I'll just have to suck it up and do it especially if he's most effective and cheaper.

@beautifulambition Good to know, and yes the California Skin Institute/Dermatology reviews are not the most confidence-inducing. Dr. Morganroth sounds like he might be okay with subcision though his bedside manner doesn't sound the best.

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@sparklingjuice Morganroth lately is laser laser laser, ... but maybe you can convince him. We had some patients go there and only wanted manual methods (hard to find) and he was not down (less money I suspect). Most bay area Dr's are sadly. 

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@tryinghard123 This thread is about doctors who can conveniently and effectively service patients in the Bay Area, and not specifically about Dr Lim, even if he is mentioned tangentially in earlier posts. Sounds like you had a bad experience with Dr Lim. Please start your own thread to discuss it constructively. Stop trolling in this thread.

On 2/2/2019 at 9:48 PM, tryinghard123 said:

dr lim is a fraud stay well clear of that thing

 

You already posted this

 

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