How Many Types of Acne are There?

Learn about the Types of Acne

Not all acne is created equal, and there are, in fact, several type of acne conditions that people contend with. A list of the different types of acne reads somewhat like a biology textbook, so I’ll try not to bore you. However, understanding the different types of acne is important for anyone who suffers from the condition.

Different Treatment For Different Causes

Knowing the types of acne can be very beneficial for acne sufferers. Not every acne sufferer necessarily needs to visit a dermatologist, so knowing the differences between the types of acne can help acne sufferers determine when to seek the help of a dermatologist and when they can treat their acne with over-the-counter products.

Acne affects many teenagers so much so that it is unfortunately viewed as a rite of passage. The type of acne that most often affects teenagers is acne vulgaris, and there are several types of acne vulgaris.

The types of acne can range from mild to moderate to severe. Mild acne consists of whiteheads, blackheads, papules, and pustules. I realize that none of these terms sounds very appealing, but they accurately reflect the different types of acne. Whiteheads consist of a white bump on the surface of the skin. If your pore becomes blocked completely, oil and dead skin cells will get trapped beneath the surface and cause a whitehead. If you have blackheads, it means that your pores are not completely blocked. In a blackhead, only a portion of the pore is blocked. Some of the trapped oil and dead skin cells move to the surface and cause the black appearance.

Other types of acne, papules and pustules, have a more menacing appearance. Papules are red and tender. Their inflamed appearance makes them difficult to pop which you shouldn’t do anyway with any type of acne. Pustules are basically what we think of as pimples. The center of a pustule is either white or yellow, and it looks like an inflamed whitehead.

Severe acne is worse in appearance than mild to moderate acne and almost always requires a doctor’s care. Severe types of acne include nodules and cysts. Nodules are painful lesions that can persist for many months. Cysts are a little larger than nodules and are filled with pus. Both nodules and cysts can lead to scarring, so consult a dermatologist if you have either of these types of acne.

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