Struggling with acne? all you need to know about acne types

Acne affects around 80 percent of adolescents and young adults. it is usually associated with hormonal fluctuations experienced during your teenage

years, but adults can experience acne, too.  it is one of the most common skin conditions among both children and adults. Identifying which type of acne you’re experiencing is the key to successful treatment.

Acne comes in varying severity and it affects everyone differently. but most of them respond to medications and home treatments, however, people with severe acne should consult a dermatologist as soon as possible

Types Of Acne

  1. BlackHeads
  2. Whiteheads
  3. Papules
  4. Pustules
  5. Cysts
  6. Nodules

Read on to learn more about the types of acne…


they are noninflammatory types of acne, which means they are not painful and they do not cause swelling.

they are comedones that are open at the surface of the skin.they are uninfected, clogged follicles that appear as a dark bump on the skin. They are filled with excess oil and dead skin cells.

The black hue results from the irregular reflection of light coming from clogged hair follicles. The coloration is not a result of trapped dirt. Blackheads are simply whiteheads that have opened and widened. When the contents of a whitehead are exposed to air, they darken. the good news is that blackhead can frequently be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Blackheads are also called open comedones. They may appear as slightly raised bumps. the center of the blackhead is darker than the surrounding area while the skin around a blackhead looks normal.

so you should keep in your mind that blackheads are the result of sebum clogging up inside our pores, and the surface oxidizing due

to the air so what are some of the causes behind these frustrating

blackheads?  1- improper exfoliation: without proper exfoliation x’ the skin’s pores are blocked by dead skin, and it makes harder for oil to leave the pores making blackheads occur, 2- excessive oil production: it  can equate to excessive sebum production which can then equate to blackheads, 3- harsh irritation of the pores: easily lose their elasticity and widen when you try to squeeze out blackheads and whiteheads when your pores have widened it’s easier for blackheads to form.

 whiteheads (closed comedones):

They usually have a white circular center, they  are more difficult to treat, they are small, flesh-colored bumps,

Whiteheads can also when a pore gets clogged by sebum and dead skin cells. But unlike with blackheads, the top of the pore closes up. It looks like a small bump protruding from the skin.

The skin around a whitehead may appear to be tight or wrinkled, especially when the whitehead is large or especially raised.

Whiteheads can also form when a pore gets clogged by sebum and dead skin cells. But unlike with blackheads, the top of the pore closes up. It looks like a small bump protruding from the skin.

so basically they are pimples that form when there’s excess sebum and the sebum can’t go out because of the piled up dead skin on the surface so basically, three factors1- buildup of that skin that blocks pores,2- excess sebum created due to dry skin is unable to escape the pores 3- a damaged skin barrier or an imbalance skin.

Inflammatory Acne


Papules are comedones that become inflamed, they are bumps under the skin’s surface. They are solid, tender, pink, and raised, and the skin around a papule is usually slightly swollen and red. they are inflamed lesions that may appear red and can be sensitive and painful. forming small red or pink bumps on the skin. They are solid, tender, pink, and raised,  Picking or squeezing can make the inflammation worse and may lead to scarring. A large number of papules may indicate moderate to severe acne.

Papules occur when the walls surrounding your pores break down from severe inflammation. This results in hard, clogged pores that are tender to the touch. The skin around these pores is usually pink.

they can be several millimeters in diameter and it is sometimes painful sometimes not at all painful maybe sometimes itchy

Unlike whiteheads, papules have no visible center. Unlike blackheads, the pores of a papule do not appear to be widened.

Papules develop when whiteheads or blackheads cause so much irritation that they damage some of the surrounding skin. The damage leads to inflammation.


Pustules are inflamed lesions that are generally pus-filled. Pustules are larger, tender bumps with a defined circular center. They may appear white or yellow, and popping pustules can lead to acne scarring. they are another kind of inflamed pimple. They resemble a white head with a red ring around the bump. The bump is typically filled with white or yellow pus.typically look like much larger and more inflamed whiteheads. Avoid picking or squeezing pustules. Picking can cause scars or dark spots to develop on the skin.

Pustules can also form when the walls around your pores break down. Unlike papules, pustules are filled with pus. These bumps come out from the skin and are usually red in color. They often have yellow or whiteheads on top.

The center of the Pustules is filled with whitish or yellowish pus, and the bump has a pink or red base. Immune cells and bacterial cells collect to form this pus.


Nodules are a severe form of acne lesion that develops under the skin; occur when clogged, swollen pores endure further irritation and grow larger. are hard, painful, inflamed lumps located deep within the skin?

Unlike pustules and papules, nodules are deeper underneath the skin. they don’t generally contain pus but are hard to the touch.

They should be treated by a dermatologist, they are and they can cause skin complications such as dark spots or scarring. because will likely prescribe the oral medication isotretinoin (Sotret). This is made from a form of vitamin A and is taken daily for four to six months. It can treat and prevent nodules by decreasing oil gland size within the pores.

This type of acne lesion develops when clogged pores damage tissues and cells deep beneath the skin’s surface.

Because nodules are so deep within the skin, you can’t typically treat them at home. but Prescription medication is necessary to help clear these up.


Cysts are a severe form of acne lesion that is inflamed and filled with pus. They are generally painful and require professional medical treatment.

They are  red bumps with a center that is white so we call it a zip, most often the pustule is an accumulation of white blood cells in the center of that inflamed red bump

Cysts can develop when pores are clogged by a combination of bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells. The clogs occur deep within the skin and are further below the surface than nodules.

These large red or white bumps are often painful to the touch. Cysts are the largest form of acne, and their formation usually results from a severe infection. This type of acne is also the most likely to scar.

The prescription medication isotretinoin (Sotret) is commonly used to treat cysts. In severe cases, your dermatologist may surgically remove a cyst.

Cysts are large, pus-filled lesions that look similar to boils. Like nodules, cysts can be painful and should be treated by a dermatologist. People who develop nodules and cysts are usually considered to have a more severe form of acne.

Cysts are soft, painful, red or white lumps situated deep in the skin. 

 one of the hardest types of acne to successfully treat. Unlike pimples, acne cysts form deep below your skin tissue and do not come to a head. Cysts are similar to nodules, except for the presence of pus. Cysts are almost always painful to the touch and can cause great discomfort, and they don’t necessarily look like a pimple. They may just appear as a large, swollen, and red lump on the skin. They may occur independently, or you may find your skin has large clumps of cysts grouped together.

They are less prevalent; where general acne affects 70 out of 1,000 people, cystic acne affects 2 in every 1,000 people according to Medical News Today. This severe form of Acne Vulgaris usually requires the help of a dermatologist in conjunction with self-care and preventative measures.

Inflammatory acne takes much longer to heal and can have permanent effects on the skin, so it’s important to determine the best treatment methods for your skin condition.

Cysts from deeper within the skin than nodules, and they are the most severe type of acne blemish. Cysts can also cause skin complications, such as scarring.

Topical therapy is acne medication that is applied directly to the skin, like gels or creams. Over-the-counter topical products can often help mild acne. They may contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur. Prescription products such as antimicrobial or retinoid creams can treat mild to moderately severe acne. These can be prescribed alone or in combination with other ingredients.

No matter the severity or type, individuals dealing with any type of acne breakout and other skin conditions often struggle with emotional effects as a result. For teenagers early in their social development, skin ailments such as acne can cause self-esteem issues and in severe cases, depression. Even with the best young adult acne treatment put to use, acne breakouts and scarring can mar a young person’s self-image as physical appearance becomes important to feelings of self-worth.

The threat of emotional damage doesn’t stop in adolescence, however. Adults who deal with different kinds of acne can also face negative emotional impact as a direct result of their skin condition. One study performed by the Indian Journal of Dermatology found that adult females with mild to moderate acne experienced higher levels of emotional and social impairment.

Whether you deal with the occasion blackhead or have been experiencing severe and painful breakouts, acne is a daily struggle for many in the United States, with millions across the country struggling with this painful skin condition. When acne flares, causing physical discomfort and pain and negative psychosocial effects, treatment is vital. Be sure you know how to figure out your skin type as this understanding can aid you in any treatment you pursue. Narrowing in on the acne types you struggle with will enable you to select an effective treatment that clears your skin and prevents future breakouts.

In cases of minor-to-moderate acne, a person will generally have to use home and over-the-counter remedies consistently for 4–8 weeks before they see results.

More severe inflammatory types of acne tend to take much longer to clear up.

Dermatologists can also remove lesions that are very large or persistent. They can also remove those that do not respond to other forms of treatment.

Always see a doctor or dermatologist about nodules and cysts, because these require medical care.

Untreated nodules and cysts and those that have been picked or popped can cause scarring.

Severity Grades

When it comes to acne diagnoses, Acne Vulgaris is measured on grades of severity and can be diagnosed in four different classifications.

Grade I

Patients diagnosed with Grade I acne generally exhibit mild forms of this skin condition. Their skin may have whiteheads, blackheads, and small pimples. There’s not usually inflammation present with this type of acne breakout, and mild cases like these can often be self-diagnosed. Usually, this type of breakout occurs on the nose and forehead and most often appears in adolescence. Adults may also experience this type of acne, usually with blackheads on the nose or forehead.

Grade II

Moderate acne falls under a Grade II severity qualification. Those with this grade of acne will likely exhibit a plethora of comedones on the skin. There will be more frequent breakouts, likely accompanied by pustules and papules that may be more sensitive to the touch.

Grade III

This grade of acne is accompanied by a large amount of inflammation in comparison to the lesser grades. The skin will exhibit numerous papules and pustules, and there may be nodules present.

Grade IV

This is the most severe form of acne and will see skin filled with nodules, cysts, pustules, and papules. With this severity grade, acne tends to be spread across more than just the face; the back, chest, neck, and buttocks may also experience frequent breakouts. Acne of this severity can cause significant scarring and may disfigure the skin if left untreated. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, oral isotretinoin is the only medication approved to treat severe cystic acne.


Acne is divided into three categories: mild, moderate, and sever (cystic). There are five skin features expression that show up in acne: the whiteheads, blackheads, papules (pimple), pustules, and cysts. Whiteheads, blackheads, and papules are typical in mild acne. In moderate acne, papules might have a stronger impression, and pustule is also going to be found on the skin. Cysts, larger pustules, and the other three expressions are evident in severe acne.

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