The Different Types of Acne

Acne is the common name most of us use for Acne Vulgaris. Many of us must have suffered from acne at least once in their lifetime. The most common forms of acne are the ones that we commonly understand as whitehead, blackhead and pimples. They appear mostly on the face, neck and chest. Both women and men suffer from acne; moreover there is no particular age for the appearance of acne. Even adults suffer from this problem though it is very common among youngsters or teenagers. But, you would be surprised to know that apart from the above types there are many different forms and varieties of acne affecting people.

Acne Vulgaris

When most people talk about “acne” as a general term, they usually mean this specific type. Below are the common effects of this condition.

  • Whiteheads – Affecting teenagers the most, this is the most common type of acne. Whiteheads are formed when the pores on the skin are blocked due to dirt or excess oil. The blocks are formed under the surface of the skin resulting in a pimple with a whitehead.
  • Blackheads – Very much similar to whiteheads, except that the top part of the pimple is open. Air gets in through the open area and turns the oil under the skin into black color resulting in blackheads. Blackheads are basically a non-inflamed blocked pore.
  • Papules – Papules are a type of acnes that get inflamed with small red colored bumps on the skin. Sometimes these acnes can be very sensitive to touch. As a precautionary measure you should not prick or try to break them as it may lead to scarring.
  • Pustules – Pustules are an inflamed variety of pimple that are hard, and full of pus with a white or pale yellow centre. One should avoid pricking or breaking these pimples. They are prone to cause dark spots or scars all over the skin.
  • Nodules – Nodules are categorized in the severe acne varieties. They are much larger than the above types of acnes, are painful, inflamed bumps, without pus and are hard to touch. They need to be treated by a good dermatologist as you may need to get rid of them with prescription drugs. Over the counter medicines do not work on these acnes.
  • Cysts – Cysts are also large in size, but contain pus and look very similar to boil. They are very painful to touch and you may need the help of a dermatologist. Nodules and cysts are considered the severe forms of acne affecting people. Never try to prick or break cysts as the bacteria can spread over to other unaffected regions on the skin and you are more likely to get more cysts and nodules.

Other Types of Acne

There are several other kinds of acne that are much less common than Acne Vulgaris. Here is a list of these types.

  • Acne Rosacea – The spots or pimples in an acne rosacea are very much similar to the above types of acne that come under the Acne Vulgaris variety. They generally are formed like a rash that is red in color covering the nose, forehead, chin and cheek region. It is known to affect women above 30 years of age and is pretty common among these groups of people.
  • Acne Fulminans – This type of acne generally affects young men causing scars along with symptoms like joint aches and fever. It comes all of a sudden usually after an unsuccessful treatment for acne conglobata.
  • Acne Conglobata – Acne Conglobata is the most severe type of acne, which is generally found in males than in females. You may find large lesions on the skin that are interconnected. It is usually formed on chest, upper arms, face, thighs and buttocks. Acne Conglobata is rare, but can cause severe scars and damage to the skin.
  • Acne Mechanica – Acne Mechanica is usually produced due to excessive heat caused by friction and pressure against the skin. This type of acne affects sports persons and is also referred to as sports induced acne caused due to excessive wearing of helmets and sports cap. One can prevent this from occurring by wearing some breathable material under the sports gear and showering immediately after a game.
  • Pyoderma Faciale – They cause large nodules and pustules that can cause severe damage to the skin. It is very much similar to Acne Fulminans, but affects women between the ages of 20 to 40 and affects the facial area. It can be treated, but can take a longer time.
  • Excoriated Acne – They are caused usually due to pricking, scratching the blemishes. It is one of the main causes for Acne Vulgaris. Constant pricking can cause open sores. They look like red colored bumps to open red sores.

The above conditions can all cause undue stress and anxiety and can even be rather painful. However, there is no need to worry if you suffer from any of the above acne types as most acne is curable and can be treated successfully. Though, different types of acne will require different types of acne treatments. It is ideal to consult your doctor, specifically a dermatologist, to analyze the type of acne you are suffering from and in order to find the correct treatment.

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