woman checking acne

Acne is a skin issue that can affect anyone. It's different for everyone, and it can be mild or severe. To successfully treat your acne, you should recognize the different types of acne you are struggling with.

Major Acne Types

Here are the three main types of acne:

  • Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is a term for the most common type of acne. It encompasses different acne lesions, more commonly known as zits or pimples.

Acne vulgaris forms when hair follicles become blocked with extra sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells. This creates a comedo, also known as a clogged pore. It typically occurs on the face, back, and chest because those areas have the most sebaceous units.

The layer of skin cells on the face is always renewing itself. However, dead skin cells stay near the skin's surface and do not get pushed out by newer skin cells. If these dead skin cells come in contact with oil, sweat, and dirt, they could cling to the skin's surface and form a pimple.

  • Acne Fulminans

Acne is a chronic skin disease that can dramatically affect appearance and self-esteem, particularly for adolescents, who often experience it for the first time. Acne can appear on the face, chest, back, and shoulders, characterized by pimples, pus-filled cysts and nodules, pustules, whiteheads, and blackheads.

  • Acne Mechanica

Acne mechanica, or friction-induced acne, develops while pressure, heat, and friction are placed on the skin. It's often found among athletes and those with existing acne. In other words, this type of acne is triggered by excess pressure, heat, and friction on the skin.

Acne Vulgaris: The Main Culprit

As the most common acne type, acne vulgaris covers most of the acne problems people face, such as:

1. Pustules

Pustules are white or yellow pimples. They are inflamed and have a clear, yellowish liquid in the center.

2. Papules

Papules, or papulopustules, are slightly raised bumps, usually red. They are the mildest type of acne lesion but still cause significant inflammation.

3. Blackheads

Blackheads are open comedones with a black appearance. To get rid of blackheads, you need to extract them. However, remember that extracting blackheads can stretch the pores and even cause long-lasting acne scars.

4. Whiteheads

Whiteheads are closed comedones with a white appearance. Whiteheads cannot be extracted, but they can be made less visible. You can apply over-the-counter salicylic acid products to help loosen the plug.

5. Nodules

Nodules are more prominent and harder than papules. They often appear as a swollen, hard lump under the skin, and they can be as large as a small pea or several large peas.

6. Cysts

Cysts are larger, deeper acne lesions. They are firm, often painful, and full of pus. They may require professional medical treatment.

How Is Acne Treated?

The treatment of acne varies depending on the type of acne and its severity. The best way to treat acne is to identify its underlying causes and treat them. 

The general recommended treatment for acne vulgaris is a combination of antibiotics and topical therapy. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat acne, while topical treatments maintain clean and clear skin.

Conclusion

Acne can be a source of shame, distress, and anxiety. However, you should know that there is no bad acne. In addition, you might also have a few outbreaks of acne throughout your life. It's your job to treat acne properly, and it's your doctor's job to help you do that.

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