Acne Types and Symptoms

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Mar 7, 2018 // By:admin // No Comment

Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. A few of the characteristics of acne include black heads, pimples, cysts, infections, and sometimes scarring. Acne frequently occurs during adolescence in both men and women. It starts during puberty and tends to be worse for people with oily skin types. Acne can be severe in teenagers and mild to moderate in adults.  It is most commonly found on the face but can also occur on the neck, chest, back, and shoulders.  Most forms of acne are the result of heredity and hormonal problems. It most cases, diet and poor hygiene are not the cause of breakouts.

Types of acne

While all types of acne are similar, the way each type affects our body differs from one individual to the next.  A basic lesion that physicians call a comedo is the beginning of acne.  The comedo is an enlarged hair follicle that is clogged with oil and bacteria.  The bacteria reside on the surface of the skin but sometimes make their way under the surface through pores.  When the skin produces more oil, the bacteria grow within the follicle.  This causes an inflammation response as your body tries to fight off the bacteria.  A whitehead eventually forms as a result of this.  There are two types of common acne: inflammatory and non inflammatory.

Non inflammatory acne.  With non inflammatory acne, you have either a closed or open comedo: The term “closed comedo” means the clogged follicle stays below the surface of the skin.  With this type of acne, small whiteheads appear all over the skin where these type of closed comedos are located.  With an open comedo,  the clogged follicle enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin.  A lesion is formed that is called an open comedo.  Usually, these are dark in appearance due to the buildup of melanin pigmentation in the skin.  These are known as blackheads.

Inflammatory acne.  With inflammatory acne, you either have a papule a pustule, or a cyst.  A papule appears on the skin as a pink bump.  These are tender in nature and are considered the intermediary between non inflammatory and inflammatory lesions.  Pustules are round inflamed lesions that contain pus.  These appear red at the base with a yellow or white center.  The inflammation is caused by a chemical irritation from sebum, which is oil released by sebaceous glands.  Cysts are large lesions that are filled with pus.  They can be very painful and extremely inflamed.  Cysts are produced by the comedo spreading over the surrounding skin and the immune response of the body to fight bacterial growth.  Cysts can often leave scars.


The most common symptom of acne is reoccurring and persistent red spots on the skin known as pimples.  Pimples often become inflamed and fill with pus.  Whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pustules, etc.. are all different ways that acne can occur.  By understanding each type, you can more effectively communicate with your physician and help determine which course of treatment is right for you.

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