Causes and Treatment of Acne

According to the Mayo Clinic (, acne, which is a distressing condition that heals slowly, occurs when hair follicles become plugged by oil and dead skin cells. Since this condition can lead to emotional distress and scarring of the skin, it is best to seek treatment early.

There are two major categories of acne: non-flammatory lesions and inflammatory lesions.

The non-flammatory lesions (whiteheads and blackheads) are follicles clogged with oil, dead skin, and sometimes bacteria.

The inflammatory lesions include papules (inflammations or infections in the follicles); pustules (red, tender bumps with white pus at the tips); nodules (large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin); and cysts (painful, pus-filled, boil-like infections beneath the skin which can cause scars).

Acne is caused by the over-production of oil, irregular shedding of dead skin cells, and/or the build-up of bacteria.

A few factors can trigger or aggravate acne, including increased hormone production (during puberty or pregnancy); certain medications containing corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium; and dietary substances, such as dairy products or carbohydrates that increase blood sugar.

There are a few other risk factors, also, such as skin contact with oily substances or cosmetics; family history of acne; and friction or pressure on the skin by objects such as phones, helmets, tight collars, or backpacks.

Stress is not normally a cause of acne but can worsen an already-existent outbreak.

If you have been experiencing this distressing condition, you should consult with Dr. Usha Rajagopal—a well-respected plastic surgeon with over 17 years’ experience—about the best treatment for you.

Usually acne is treated with a combination of topical treatments and procedures. If one has new scars that are still red or scars that are hyperpigmented (dark), Dr. Rajagopal may recommend microdermabrasion, Refinity peels, or bleaching cream. She may also recommend laser skin resurfacing, which is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that refinishes the look and texture of the skin

If one has deep, pitted acne scars, Dr. Rajagopal, may recommend they be excised (removed by scalpel), stitched, and then treated with dermabrasion, during which the outer layer of skin is scraped away while the patient is under general anesthesia.

Alternatively, Dr. Rajagopal may recommend the use of Fraxel laser, DeepFX, or a CO2 laser treatment. These treatments can also be effective in treating deep, severe, or older acne scars.

Since each patient has different needs, if you are considering therapy for your acne, you should make an appointment with Dr. Rajagopal for a skin evaluation at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery and Laser Center before you purchase any skin care products or making an appointment for other treatment.
To schedule a free consultation, with Dr. Rajagopal, simply visit her site at

And if you want to see what her patients have said about her, check out   Dr. Usha Rajagopal’s Yelp Reviews.

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