11 Different Types Of Acne And How To Identify Them? August 8, 2016

If you’re a teenager or a young adult, one of the biggest worries you may be facing is the appearance of acne or pimples. With changing hormones and growing up pangs, teenage and adolescence brings in quite a lot of changes for both boys and girls, some of it showing up in the form of acne and other skin issues.

Though acne and pimple are mainly associated with teenagers, today, almost anyone can have a mark on the face, an adult pimple or acne scars that refuse to go away. There are various types of acne and each requires specific treatment and products.

[ Read: Get Rid Of Acne ]

The following will help you understand what type of acne you have, so that you can select the treatment that will work best for you:

Different Types of Acne

1. Blackheads:

These type of acne are extremely common and are usually seen on the nose and nasal area. They look like tiny areas of black lumps on the skin, which are formed as a result of blocked follicles. The black lumps are usually formed when bacteria, dead skin and harmful substances clog the follicles and reach the surface. These react with the oxygen present in the air and result in the appearance of blackheads.

2. Whiteheads:


Image: Thinkstock

These are white spots on the skin that are, in fact, oil glands. Due to excessive oil production, the glands are clogged with oil and covered by skin. As a result, the oil cannot reach the surface and is trapped between the skin layers, resulting in the appearance of white spots.

3. Papules:

papules acne

By Marcio A Oliveira, Janaina B Medina, Flavia C Xavier, Marina Magalhães, Karem L Ortega PhD [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Papules are a type of acne that are inflamed and appear as small red dots or bumps on the skin. These may or may not be sensitive to touch, but refrain from picking on the rashes, as it can result in scars.

[ Read: Home Remedies TO Remove Blackheads Naturally ]

4. Pustules:

Pustules are inflamed acne that are hard to touch and are usually filled with pus. These appear as white spots and the center is mostly pale yellow. Refrain from picking or bursting, as it can lead to permanent scarring or leave dark spots.

5. Nodules:

This is one of the more severe types of acne which is much larger than papules or pustules. A nodule is a painful and inflamed bump. It doesn’t have pus and is hard to the touch. This can only be cured by proper medical treatment and usually requires the use of strong medicines.

6. Cysts:

cysts on neck

By Steven Fruitsmaak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Acne that is deep, appears big, and is pus filled, is called a cyst. It is quite painful to touch and needs immediate attention from a doctor.

All the skin outbreaks listed above are different forms of Acne Vulgaris- which is the most common form of acne that we see on a regular basis.

Other than the above, there are many different and severe types of acne as well:

[ Read: White spots on the skin ]

7. Acne Fulminans:

This type of acne is seen in young men. It is accompanied by symptoms like fever and joint ache and thus leaves scars.

8. Acne Mechanica:

It originates as a result of excessive heat and friction between the skin. It is usually seen in people involved in sports or those who wear helmets, caps or sports gear for prolonged periods of time on a regular basis.

[ Read: Remove Pimples On Eyelids ]

9. Acne Rosacea:

This is quite similar to acne vulgaris. It appears as a red colored rash on the cheek and chin.

10. Pyoderma Faciale:

This is a severe type of acne and is a combination of nodules and pustules. It is generally seen among women between the ages of 20 to 40.

[ Read: Foods That Cause Acne ]

11. Acne Conglobata:

This is the severest type of acne which is seen in both male and females. It appears as a large lesion on the skin which is interconnected and usually affects the chest, upper arms, face, thighs and buttocks. This is a rare type of acne and often leads to skin damage and permanent scars.

Now that you’ve got a fair idea of the various kinds of acne, do be careful when the rashes appear the next time. Remember not to pick or scratch, as it may lead to permanent scarring. And if the rashes persist, make sure you get some medical attention.

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  • Bansari

    Nice article :)