Acne is one of the most common of all skin conditions. Unfortunately, many of us are not up to date with all that is involved in treating the condition.
When one talks about acne, they may be referring to different but related skin conditions. In fact, people develop different types of acne and never even realize it.
As most of us understand, acne is zits that appear on the skin. They have something to do with blocked pores. Further than that, details are vaguely understood.
The perhaps unfortunate thing is that effective treatment has a lot to do with how much a particular type of acne is understood. Luckily, you can always learn the important details on forums like this.
Types of acne pictures; what type of acne do I have?
It is on multiple occasions that you may find yourself wondering, ‘what type of acne do I have?’ Well, acne can be categorized in two main categories:
This type is the mildest the acne can get. Blackheads and whiteheads are the main examples. We will discuss them as we move on, so just stay on board as we move on.
These can stay open at the top or closed.
If open, oxygen from the atmosphere will chemically react with sebum trapped in the pores. This will turn it into a hard and dark substance. With time, the hard sebum will integrate with the part of skin that gives the skin its color. Subsequently, a blackhead will form. They are very common and not painful.
A whitehead, on the other hand, has its top closed. Therefore, the trapped sebum will stay protected from chemical reaction with atmospheric oxygen. Since only a very thin skin layer separates the sebum from the skin surface, a whitish appearance is predominant.
The main difference between this and the former type is that bacteria are among the trapped residue in this case. Presence of bacteria invites a response from the immune system.
In attempt to get rid of bacteria, a lot of dirt accumulates inside affected follicle. With time, inflammation, pain and redness will occur. Cysts, papules, nodules and pustules are the examples in this category.
All the different types of acne
Note that we are talking about acne as a condition and not about the bumps that form on skin as the primary symptom.
- Acne Vulgaris – this is the most common type. It can be broken down into six subgroups, which we will discuss here. The subgroups are; blackheads, cysts, nodules, whiteheads, papules and pustules.
- Acne Mechanica – this appears in form of tiny bumps which can become inflamed sometimes. Sources of skin trauma such as irritation and heat encourage or worsen it. It is common in athletic performers.
- Acne Fulminans – this is most common on back and chest. People are most predisposed during adolescence. Most cases are painful, extending to pain in joints and other complications.
Different types of acne on face
On the face, the acne vulgaris is most common. Let’s look at the subgroups we introduced earlier.
- Whiteheads – their name comes from the fact that sebum can actually be seen from the surface. It is this feature that gives them a white appearance on the top. A very light layer of skin covers them.
- Blackheads – on images of acne types, you can identify them by a dark tip or bump above skin surface. They are usually free from bacterial infections.
- Papules – it is from here that things may start to get complicated. In this case, you will notice redness and inflammation around the skin surrounding the affected follicle. The redness in most cases will indicate existing or impending pain.
- Pustules – by the time acne gets to this stage, bacteria has entered the pores. Bacteria are almost synonymous to pus, pain and inflammation. Their appearance varies from yellowish to whitish.
- Nodules – the forms we have discussed so far occur above the skin and can be felt upon touch. This type is different however. It develops inside the skin and rarely felt upon touch.
- Cysts – this is the worst acne can get. They carry gallons of pus, making them angrily inflamed and terribly painful. Since they form very deep into the skin, they neither should be popped nor squeezed. In fact, treatment at home is ill-advised. It is from these that the most difficult to get rid of scars develop.
Types of medications for different types of acne
Different types of medication for acne can be chosen from or prescribed depending on the type and severity being dealt with.
For non-inflammatory acne, available options include:
- DIY face mask for acne – this is a home treatment option which involves taking care of the skin with natural remedies.
- General cleansing – some warm water and disinfectant soap will help in unclogging blocked pores and also in bringing sebum more to the surface. It may also kill bacteria.
- Benzoyl peroxide – the compound has for a long time been used to cure all types of acne.
- Salicylic acid – it works by getting rid of dead skin and corroding off the layers of acne.
These types of medications can be applied at home without a doctor’s guiding directions. Should they fail, medical attention may be needed.
Other treatment for all types of acne on face and other body parts
Inflammatory acne, especially cysts do not go away without a challenge. Below are other types of medications and procedures that may work:
- Antibiotics – either in oral or ointment forms, they work by controlling the spread of acne causing bacteria. Antibiotics can also be used to maintain mild genital warts from getting infected. The problem is that they don’t really address possible causes of acne, such as oily skin.
- Retinoids – these are vitamin A-based medications used against all types of acne. They are very effective although with side effects. The medications even also can be used for psoriasis on the anus.
- Azelaic acid – more effective and used where salicylic acid may have failed to work.
- Surgery – a doctor can always choose to perform a minor surgery and drain the pimple. Surgery is usually the last line of defense. It usually works, even for more complex skin conditions such as retinal hemangioma.
Acne scars types and treatment for types of spots
There is always the issue of acne scar types and treatment when a detailed discussion on acne is involved.
The types depend on the state of the scar left behind. They include:
- Dented scars – here, depressions are left behind once the acne is healed. They resemble tiny pits on the skin. An ice-pick scar is deep with but narrowed. A rolling scar is wide and takes slopes for edges. A boxcar scar on the other hand will have a regular edge and is usually wide.
- Flattened scars – an atrophic scar is best example in this case. It is usually flattened but can form a slight dent where it occurs.
- Raised scars – a keloid scar is the most likely candidate in this class. It forms a thickened scar which may feel like rubber.
As to treatment, a dermatologist will be best suited to prescribe the best treatment method.
The change in pigmentation that occurs after acne heals naturally under 6 months. In fact, there is no true typical acne scar.
Available treatment options include:
- Skin brighteners – products in this category are meant to address the issue of irregularly occurring skin pigmentation.
- Excision – varying versions of this procedure can be conducted depending on the type of scar being treated. It is most effective for narrow scars.
- Laser treatment – laser treatment is more effective against raised scars. It may not succeed in removing the scar altogether but will improve on the same.
- Dermal fillers – they are perhaps the best treatment method and can be used even on the deepest and broadest scars.