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Different Types Of Acne

Updated on October 22, 2011

Acne is a common skin disease which is characterized by the appearance of pimples on skins. These pimples are formed when the hair follicles under the skin get clogged up with oil and dirt. Acne usually forms on face, neck and chest. Although any one can get acne at any age, they are more common in teenagers and youngsters.

The exact cause of acne is not known, however many factors such as hormonal changes, excess dirt accumulation on skin, oily and fattening foods and even stress are called responsible for acne. All these factors are responsible for the accumulation oil dirt and bacteria in the hair follicles, which cause the formation of pimples.

There are many types of acne each caused due to different reasons and factors. Following are some types of acne:

Benzoyl peroxide gel, used for treatment of mild acne.
Benzoyl peroxide gel, used for treatment of mild acne.

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is a very common type of acne. There are two kinds of acne vulgaris: mild and severe.

Mild Acne Vulgaris

Mild acne vulgaris includes formation of white heads, blackheads, papules and postules.

  • White Heads

    White heads are caused when the pore of the skin becomes completely blocked by oil, bacteria and dead cells. They are short lived and can easily be treated.

Black heads on nose.
Black heads on nose.
  • Black Heads

    Blackheads are caused when a pore of the skin is only partially blocked; this allows the trapped oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. Once they rise to the skin, the skin's own pigment, melanin, reacts with the oxygen in the air giving the dirt its black color hence causing a blackhead. A blackhead takes a much longer time to clear than the white head and is a much more stable structure. 
  • Papules

    Papules too are caused by the blockage of pores but they appear on the skin as inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head. Unlike blackheads and white heads these can not be popped out and they must not be played with. 
  • Pustules

    Pustules are common zits which appear on skin as red inflamed circles with a yellow and white centre. They can be squeezed out, but one must be careful while squeezing them.

Hair follicle
Hair follicle

Severe Acne Vulgaris

Severe acne vulgaris include the formation of nodules and cysts on the skin.

  • Nodules

    Nodular unlike the mild acne vulgaris spots are much larger, long lived and can be very painful. They are recognized by large, hard bumps under the skin's surface. They can form scars and if left unresolved they might reappear on skin again and again. Nodules must not be squeezed out. They are given a special treatment. 
  • Cysts

    Just like nodules, cysts are also painful and long lived. It is pus-filled, and usually has a diameter of 5mm or more. They too are given a special treatment by dermatologists and should not be squeezed out.

Acne Rosacea

Acne rosacea is often confused with the acne vulgaris as the two may look the same some time; however the two types of acne are very different from each other in terms of their causes and treatments

Where acne vulgaris includes formation of single type of lesions, acne rosacea is recognized by a red rash which normally appears on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. The rashes are accompanied by bumps, pimples, skin blemishes and blood vessels also become visible in some cases.

Acne rosacea can affect the people of any age but is commonly found in people above 30. And are more severe when found in men than in women. Acne rosacea must be immediately treated because it is left untreated, it can cause the growth of excess tissue, resulting in the swelling of nose.

This condition is called rhinophyma. Treatment of acne rosacea is also different from the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Acne Conglobata

Acne conglobata is the most severe form of acne and most commonly found in males. It is recognized by the appearance of numerous large lesions on the skin. These lesions are interconnected having widespread blackheads.

They usually start appearing between the ages of 18 to 30 and are found on the face, chest, back and thighs. Acne conglobata can cause a severe damage to the skin leaving permanent marks. The cause of acne conglobata is not well known, however if treated at right time it can be cured. It must not be left untreated for long.

The above are the common types of acne. The above mentioned acne can be treated if shown a good dermatologist. If you have any of the above acne you must immediately consult a dermatologist before it gets too late.


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    • guy1973 profile image

      guy1973 7 years ago from victoria

      great hub, i enjoyed reading it.for those who have severe form of acne that is hereditary, they need to seek medical advice and medical treatment to prevent further spreading of condition