Six Types of Acne

Many people believe that acne is all the same, but there are actually a few different types of acne and they all require different treatment. Here is some information about the six different types of acne.

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne. According to a study in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, acne vulgaris usually begins during puberty, but often extends into the twenties, thirties, and beyond. It can appear all over the body, but is most common on the face, neck, chest, and back.

Types of lesions that are common in acne vulgaris are;

Papules – Red, inflamed bumps on the skin that feel tender and have no head are called papules. Squeezing a papule will not get rid of it faster and may cause scarring.

Whiteheads – Whiteheads result from a pore that is blocked completely. The trapped oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells cause a white head to form on the skin’s surface. They are often treated with over-the-counter acne products.

Blackheads – When a pore is partially blocked, blackheads often form. The trapped bacteria, oil, and dead skin slowly drains to the surface of the skin to form a blackhead. The dark color is caused by melanin in the skin reacting with oxygen. Blackheads typically take a longer time to clear than whiteheads.

Pustules – Pustules are the most common type of acne lesion. They usually appear as an inflamed red circle with a center that is white or yellow. They can be popped at home, but acne sufferers shouldn’t touch it with their bare hands and make sure that the material they are touching the skin with is sterile. Acne medications may be more effective after the pustule has been popped.

Nodules – Severe acne often causes nodules. Acne nodules are hard bumps under the skin that may be large and last for months. Scarring is a common side effect of nodular acne, so it’s a good idea for anyone with nodular acne to visit a dermatologist for proper treatment.

Acne Conglobata

Acne Conglobata is a very severe form of acne vulgaris. It usually presents itself as large lesions that may be interconnected. Blackheads may also be present in patients with acne conglobata. It is most common in males between 18 and 30 years old and can cause permanent damage to the skin. Acne Conglobata may be found on the face, back, chest, back, upper arms, and thighs. It is best treated with strong medication such as Accutane. Anyone with this condition should seek treatment from a dermatologist.

Acne Fulminans

When acne conglobata starts suddenly, it is known as acne fulminans. This type of acne often becomes ulcerated and severe scarring is common. Acne fulminans may be accompanied by aching joints and a fever. It usually doesn’t respond to standard acne treatments such as antibiotics, but may respond to oral steroids and/ or Accutane.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis

Gram-Negative Folliculitis is a rare bacterial infection that is characterized by cysts and pustules. Some dermatologists believe that Gram-Negative Folliculitis is a complication of taking antibiotics long term to treat acne vulgaris. Little is known about this condition, but Accutane seems to be an effective treatment.

Acne Rosacea

Acne Rosacea is often confused with acne vulgaris because they are similar in appearance. Rosacea is a skin condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is usually present as a red rash that is confined to the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead and the rash may be accompanied by pimples, bumps, and blemishes. Blackheads aren’t usually present in acne rosacea. If acne rosacea is not properly treated it is known to cause facial swelling. People with rosacea should be treated by a dermatologist because many traditional acne treatments aggravate this condition.

Pyoderma Faciale (Rosacea Fulminans)

Pyoderma Faciale is a severe form of acne that is only found in females. It usually presents itself as large nodules that may be painful, sores, and pustules. Pyoderma faciale may start suddenly and only presents itself on the face. It can affect women who have not had any previous acne issues. The treatment for pyoderma facial may include corticosteroid injections and Accutane. This condition may cause severe scarring, especially if left untreated.

Choosing Acne Treatment

The first thing dermatologists often do is determine the type of acne that a patient is suffering from. This helps them develop a treatment plan and avoid products that may be ineffective or exacerbate certain acne types. Less severe forms of acne may be treated at home with over-the-counter products. Acne affects people of all races and skin types and usually begins during the teenage years. This condition can last for many years and must be treated promptly so that it doesn’t worsen. Improper treatment of acne may cause scarring that can become permanent.

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