Not all acne is created equal. Although it’s safe to say that acne is pretty much always caused by your oil glands pulling overtime and clogging up those otherwise gorgeous pores, there are actually several different types of acne, each with a unique cause behind it.
Here are the 4 acne biggies (no pun intended) and they range in their degrees of severity.
Types of Acne by Severity
When your pores produce too much sebum AKA oil, this kind of gross thing can happen where that excess oil mingles with dead skin cells. The result is blockage or “plugs” called comedones that live at the base of your hair follicles. Blackheads are “open” comedones that have turned a black color because they’ve been oxidized in the air.
You can definitely clear up blackheads with the right skincare routine using a product line like Clear Face, but don’t try to pick at the plugs. This could cause scarring.
Whiteheads are like the sister of blackheads. In fact, both are considered to be non-inflammatory and are, consequently, mild forms of acne. Whiteheads are very similar to blackheads, except for they’re “closed” comedones. This means that they’re totally blocked.
Whiteheads tend to be a bit bigger and more swollen than blackheads because the blockage is completely underneath the pores. The whitehead has to drain itself (I know, gross) of the trapped debris before it goes away.
It’s super important to NOT pick at these. Not only can it cause scarring, but it also leaves your skin open to an infection and worse types of acne.
Maybe it’s just me, but I simply don’t like the way this word sounds. Papules. Papules.
At any rate, papules are formed when the walls around your hair follicle break and your body rushes to combat an infection. This process creates inflammation and makes the papules hard. The American Academy of Dermatologist (AAD) even says that a cluster of papules “can make your skin feel like sandpaper.”
Pustules (not much better than papules, sorry) are very similar to papules except for they’re filled with pus because your pore’s cavity has become extremely infected. They are also more of a yellow color. These traits make pustules more blister-like than pimple-like.
Pustules are considered to be a fairly severe form of acne and can be treated with a variety of things, including antibiotics and over-the-counter creams and lotions like the Clear Face Care Gel. If you develop pustules and they don’t go away with regular care, it’s a good idea to consult your dermatologist. If they become large and painful, seek medical attention.
Beyond Understanding the Types of Acne
If you want deets on the general cause of acne and how to care for it, head on over to my blog post on Acne Causes & Care Tips. Also check out that AAD article I referenced above for more information. Because knowledge is awesome.