Types of Acne: Zits Happen, But What Kind Do You Have?
November 10, 2021

Types of Acne: Zits Happen, But What Kind Do You Have?

If you haven’t had acne, pimples or breakouts… lucky you! But I'm assuming you have because you’re here. 

Acne comes in different forms, so knowing what type of acne you tend to have is important so you can treat it appropriately. Here’s the breakdown: 

Comedonal Acne 

This may sound super unfamiliar but you definitely know what it looks like. You know those small bumps on your forehead or your chin? They’re flesh-colored acne papules; a raised area of skin tissue - also known as whiteheads or blackheads. 

  • Whiteheads: they’re “closed comedones” ; these show up when your pores are clogged. 
  • Blackheads: unlike whiteheads, the surface of the pores in this context are open and are clogged with oils and dirt. Because the pores are open, it is more visible and darker. 

Treatment: Use skincare products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These ingredients are the best to remove excess oil, dead skin cells and other dirt that accumulates in your pores. 

Inflammatory Acne 

Bacteria is what makes these annoying pimples show up. When bacteria gets in               your pores and mixes with the dirt and oil that accumulates in your pores, gets infected and becomes inflamed. 

Usually this type of acne is swollen, red, inflamed and obviously makes your pores clogged. There’s sub-types of inflammatory acne: 

  • Pustules: this is basically a big zit or pimple, full of pus; yellowish or white fluid. This is not only seen on faces but can actually form on other areas of your body like your chest or back.

There’s two possible reasons why this type of acne forms: when your blocked pores get infected or simply, hormonal changes. 

  • Papules: this isn’t as gross as pustules because they’re not filled with pus. They’re just tiny, raised bumps on your skin. 

  • Treatment: Cleansing regularly will help your skin protect itself from blemishes, clogged pores and excess oil. You can also use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to help with this type of acne. 

    Nodulocystic Acne 

    This type of acne is severe compared to the other types of acne. They tend to be more painful and are likely to leave scars. Nodulocystic acne is also called nodular acne or cystic acne.

  • Nodular: this is the type of acne that develops below the skin and stays there. 

  • Cystic: these are large and painful and form deep under your skin. 

  • Treatment: You can also use benzoyl peroxide to treat this type of acne along with retinoids, but because of its severity it’s recommended that you visit your dermatologist who will provide you with oral antibiotics and pills. 

    Aside from the topical and oral treatments, don’t forget to check your diet, which can also aggravate acne. A diet rich in nutrients from vegetables will go a long way.