Types of Acne

Types of Acne

Identify what type of acne you have so that you can help clear it the right way.

- Whiteheads
These appear as a white spot on the surface of your skin. They are caused when a pore is completely blocked, trapping in oil (sebum), dead skin cells and bacteria. They usually heal much faster than other types of acne.

- Blackheads
These occur when a pore is only partially blocked leaving a portion open to the surface causing the trapped oil, bacteria and dead skin cells that contain skin pigment to drain to the surface of your skin and oxidize, then turning it brown or black in color. A common misconception is that blackheads are caused by dirt. This is untrue, they cannot be washed away.

- Pustules
These are also a very common type of acne. They appear as a red inflamed bump with a white or yellow center. While best practices say you should never squeeze a pustule, if you must then it is a good idea to follow the advice of medical professionals who suggest gently poking the pustule with a sterilized needle and draining the pus with tissue-covered fingers.

- Papules
Papules are inflamed red, swollen and often tender bumps that have no head. These occur when there is a break in the follicular wall. White blood cells rush in and the pore becomes inflamed. It is very important not to squeeze a Papule because it will make it worse and even cause scarring.

- Nodules
Nodular acne is much larger other forms of acne and can be very painful. They are large, hard bumps under the skin surface. they often cause scarring and impaction which can lead to future flare ups. As with papules, these should never be squeezed because you can cause severe trauma to the skin and the lesion may last for months longer than it normally would.

- Cysts
These appear similar to a nodule, but they filled with pus. They can be extremely painful and cause scarring as well. Squeezing a cyst may cause an infection and lead to more painful inflammation which will last much longer than if you had left it alone. Some skin conditions like; Rosacea, skin allergies and Eczema can closely mimic acne. There are also more severe, unusual types of acne like Pyoderma Faciale, Gram-Negative Folliculitis and Acne Conglobata that do not respond well to conventional acne treatments. If you are uncertain of whether or not you have common, manageable acne or something different, your dermatologist should be able to quickly diagnose your condition and prescribe the best treatment regimen for you.

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