Identifying the Different Types of Acne
Though it's often portrayed as the plague of the teenage years, acne can affect people of all ages. According to the experts, about 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 experience breakouts.
Being aware of the various causes of acne can help prevent acne from arising. In many cases, acne is genetic. If acne is something your parents experienced, then it is likely that you will have acne. Clogged pores, hormone fluctuations, and stress are also common causes of acne. Identifying the type of acne present on your skin will help ensure that you treat it using the most appropriate and effective method. Keep in mind that acne types tend to be categorized as inflammatory and non-inflammatory. It can help you identify the types of acne by paying attention to whether your acne is inflamed or not.
Common Types of Acne
The most common and mildest cases of acne produce blackheads and whiteheads. The way to determine if the lesions are black or whiteheads is whether the plugged follicle remains open or closed. If it is closed, it is classified as a whitehead.
More severe forms of acne are:
- Papules – inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
- Nodules – large, painful, solid lesions lodged deep within the skin
- Pustules (pimples) – white or yellow pus-filled lesions that may be read at the base
- Cysts – deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring
Let’s Dig a Little Deeper Into the Types of Acne
Blackheads appear visibly as black bumps and are a non-inflammatory form of acne. This type of acne occurs because the pore's opening is unclogged while the rest of the pore remains clogged. Trying to pick or squeeze blackheads is not recommended because it usually leads to some scarring. When looking for a blackhead treatment, look for ingredients like Sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. These ingredients tend to be somewhat effective. These methods aid in excess oil from the skin.
Whiteheads are also a non-inflammatory form of acne. The difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that the whiteheads are clogged both into the pore and at the head of the pore. You can identify this form of acne because of the white bumps on the surface of the skin. Popping whiteheads also lead to scarring, so it is best to refrain from touching, squeezing, or picking at them. Topical treatments and treating your in with the same ingredients used for treating blackheads will help minimize the inflammation and remove excess oil from the skin.
Papules are a form of inflammatory acne. This type of acne has small red bumps that don't contain pus. When dead skin cells or excessive oil block a pore and mix with certain bacteria present on the skin, papules will form. The mix between the two factors causes the contents to spill out and create inflamed blemishes. Pustules are larger than whiteheads and are pretty painful. Exfoliants are known to improve non-inflammatory acne. However, you want to avoid scrubbing pustules as this can cause further irritation.
Nodules tend to form red or flesh-colored bumps deep under the skin's surface because the infection occurs inside of the pore. It is unlikely that over-the-counter treatments will work. Over-the-counter treatments tend to be more effective for acne that is present on the surface of the skin. Contacting your dermatologist or skincare professional is necessary to rid your skin of nodules.
Pustules appear in the form of bulging bumps that contain a white center because they contain pus. You will also notice that the skin that surrounds a pustule is red and inflamed. The most common areas for pustules are typically on the back, chest, or face. Pustules occur when a blocked pore becomes infected. Popping pustules is a no-no. Touching Pustules are larger than whiteheads and are pretty painful. Exfoliants are known to improve non-inflammatory acne. However, you want to avoid scrubbing pustules as this can cause further irritation.
Cystic acne tends to stem from an infection that is deep within the skin. Cysts are often considered the most severe acne. The infection produces bumps that are large, red, painful, inflamed, and filled with pus. One of the significant issues with cystic acne is that the cysts often burst, spreading the infection to the surrounding skin. Consulting with a skin expert can go a long way toward providing you with the appropriate treatment for the health of your skin.
Remember that despite your skin condition, you are still beautiful. To get your skin the treatment, learn the different forms of acne and identify the one you are experiencing to treat your skin correctly.