Acne can be quite frustrating. It’s a condition of the skin, and it occurs when hair follicles get plugged with dead skin cells and oil, resulting in blackheads, pimples, or whiteheads. Despite being very common among teenagers, it can affect individuals of all ages.
Having acne can cause people to have low self-esteem if not treated well. Acne treatment is available even though the condition can be persistent. The swollen bumps and pimples heal at a slow rate, and when one might seem to be going away, that’s when others begin to pop up. Treating them earlier is highly recommended to avoid emotional distress and scars on your skin.
People must get to know and understand the exact type of acne they have to seek the right acne treatment as early as possible. The most common types of acne are;
- Acne vulgaris
- Comedonal acne
- Inflammatory acne
- Cystic acne
- Hormonal acne
Types of acne
1. Acne vulgaris
This is the formation of papules, nodules, comedones, and pustules following inflammation and obstruction of hair follicles. It can come in the form of inflammatory lesions, noninflammatory lesions, or even both. It mostly affects the face, chest, and back. One of the major causes is hormones, and for this reason, it affects people most often during puberty.
Most of its symptoms are moderate to mild but, in some cases, can be severe. Blackheads come with a dark center, while whiteheads have whitish blemishes. Those affected can have pimples that are round and inflamed whiteheads.
Those with moderate acne might have many pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
For severe acne, there might be many blemishes with cysts or nodules that are bigger than regular pimples. Cysts and nodules are typically more painful than pimples. If not treated fast, moderate and severe acne may lead to scarring.
It is caused by bacteria, oil, and hormones. While in puberty, a hormone by the name androgen increases. On the other hand, the sebaceous glands produce extra oily substance sebum. Dead skin cells and sebum get released from the body through hair follicles and skin pores. If sebum and the dead skin cells can’t escape through the pores, they cause acne.
Treatment depends on how severe the acne is. Mild acne can be treated using topical medicines like gels and creams. Benzoyl peroxide treats acne caused by bacteria. Retinoids can be used to treat blackheads and whiteheads. Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of severe acne.
2. Comedonal acne
These are tiny flesh-colored acne papules. In most cases, they develop on the chin and forehead. Comedonal acne comes in the form of whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads have closed comedones, while for blackheads, the comedones are open.
It mainly comes about when hair follicles are blocked and primarily affects those with oily skins.
Topical treatments can combat this type of acne. Some of these topical treatments include retinoids, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, sulfur, and benzoyl peroxide. Always wear sunscreen when using topicals.
3. Inflammatory acne
If your acne comes with red and swollen blemishes, then you have inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne can be mild or severe. Some of the severe inflammatory acne are nodular acne and nodulocystic acne.
All types of inflammatory acne are caused by pore blockages known as microcomedones. These blockages can’t be seen by the eye, and they later turn into inflamed pimples.
There are various treatment options available. For mild acne, you can use products containing salicylic acid. For severe and moderate acne, you should consider consulting a dermatologist.
4. Cystic acne
This can be regarded as the most severe type of acne.
It’s caused by the development of cysts under your skin. It mostly affects those with oily skins and is more common in women, teens, and adults experiencing hormonal imbalances.
Since it is the most severe type of acne, prescription medications are required for treatment. Therefore, it means checking in with a dermatologist.
5. Hormonal acne
It is caused by fluctuations in hormones, mostly during puberty, but can also affect adults of any age. It is most common among women.
It’s caused by changes in hormones from menopause, menstruation, increased androgen levels, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Oral medications are used for treatment. Standard options are anti-androgen drugs and oral contraceptives.
For mild cases, topical retinoids can be used for treatment.
It can also be treated naturally using green tea, tea tree oil, and alpha hydroxy acid.