What Are the Different Types of Acne?

types of acneIf you suffer from acne, you probably don’t care which type you have–you just want it gone. But what if we told you that knowing the type can help you more effectively treat it? Our dermatologists are experienced with creating custom treatment plans that are tailored to the severity of an individual’s acne. Depending on the kind of acne that is afflicting your skin, and how widespread it is, the best solution for your needs will vary. To learn how to identify the different types, and what each entails, see below for a brief guide:

Comedones take the form of whiteheads or blackheads. Whiteheads are typically small and have white “heads” that develop as the pores are blocked with sebum and dead skin cells. While these are closed, blackheads, on the other hand, are open. As a result, the sebum and debris that collects in the pore turns black as it is exposed to air.

Papules are what people commonly refer to as pimples. They are the stage past whiteheads when the acne has become inflamed, appearing more red and swollen. Papules are typically not filled with pus and, therefore, cannot be popped–a habit we highly discourage for any acne type.

Pustules are basically papules that are filled with pus. They are another form of inflamed acne and are painful to the touch. Papules look like a bigger, more irritated version of whiteheads.

Nodules develop deeper under the skin than the previously mentioned acne forms. They feel hard to the touch and tend to be especially painful. Nodules occur when a pore loses its connection to the surface of the skin and oil and bacteria infects surrounding follicles.

Cysts (also known as cystic nodular acne) are similar to nodules in that they develop deep and tend to be fairly large. However, cysts are softer and are filled with pus. The condition is often genetic and can cause permanent scarring.

Whether you suffer from acne in the form of whiteheads, cysts, or somewhere in between, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adam J. Mamelak or Dr. Miriam L. Hanson to learn how you can best treat the condition and prevent permanent scarring. Please contact Sanova Dermatology today!

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