Struggling with acne? Here is everything you need to know about different types of acne.
What is acne?
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. According to a report by the American Academy of Dermatology, around 85% of young adults experience acne. But they are not the only ones affected—acne can occur at any stage of life. In recent years, acne has increased in adults, affecting up to 10-12% of women.
A lot of us struggle with acne at some point in our lives. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what acne is and how to treat it. It’s a complicated skin condition involving the oil glands at the base of hair follicles.
What causes acne?
To break it down, acne happens when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin cells, or bacteria, but there are multiple factors that could cause this. Acne can be caused by hormones, lack of hygiene, dry skin, sun exposure, poor diet, medication, allergies, and the list goes on. So treating it can be complicated and even frustrating.
Most people think the solution is washing their face more or applying harsh active ingredients, but oftentimes this isn’t the case, which is why it’s imperative to seek professional acne treatment.
What are the different types of acne?
While people commonly think that acne is synonymous with breakouts, in reality, there are many different types of acne. These different types of acne vary in size, colour, and level of pain. The two common types of acne are:
Inflammatory acne: Inflammatory acne refers to types of acne that are red and swollen. Sebum and dead skin cells contribute to inflammatory acne. However, bacteria can also play a role in clogging up your pores. Bacteria can cause an infection under the skin’s surface. This can result in painful, swollen acne spots.
Here are the different types of inflammatory acne:
Papules: A papule is a small red bump with a diameter of less than five millimetres. These occur when the walls surrounding your pores break down from severe inflammation. This leads to hard and clogged pores that are tender to the touch. The skin around these pores usually appears pink.
Pustules: Pustules are also formed when the walls surrounding the pores break down. When a papule is filled with pus, it transforms into a pustule. Pustules are small bumps on the skin that contain fluid or pus. They usually appear as white or yellow bumps surrounded by red skin.
Nodules: These types of acne develop beneath the skin surface. Nodules occur when clogged and swollen pores endure further irritation and grow larger. Since nodular acne occurs deep beneath the skin, it is one of the more severe types of acne. If left untreated, nodular acne can last for weeks or even months.
Cysts: It is one of the most serious types of acne, caused by a serious infection. Large, pus-filled cysts occur when a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells get trapped in your pores. This type of acne is more common in people with oily skin. The cysts develop deep within the skin and are further below the surface than nodules. Cystic acne is painful to touch and often leaves scars.
Non-inflammatory acne: Unlike other types of acne, non-inflammatory acne does not cause any swelling. This type of acne is relatively easy to treat. Salicylic acid works wonders on these types of acne.
There are two different types of non-inflammatory acne:
Blackheads: Blackheads occur when your pores are blocked by a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. In the case of blackheads, even though the pore is clogged, the top of the pore remains open. These are clearly visible as they are black in colour.
Whiteheads: A whitehead is one of the types of acne that occurs when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within one of your pores. But unlike with blackheads, the top of the pore closes up. It looks like a small bump protruding from the skin.
To learn more about different types of acne, book a consultation with me here.