Acne is no longer considered simply a teenage annoyance. In fact, the mean age of acne patients has increased to 26.5 years. The many types of acne range from severe cases which may leave scars, to more mild conditions, which can still be damaging to your self image.
Understanding the different types of acne is the first step in treatment.
In its simplest form, acne is a red lesion or swelling of the surface of the skin, known as a comedo. This swelling is the result of an enlarged hair follicle that has been clogged with oil and bacteria.
As the skin continues to produce more oil, the bacteria flourish. Because of this, your white blood cells try to fight off the intruders, which results in the surrounding skin becoming more inflamed.
There are a number of types of acne that occur from this process.
The 2 categories of acne are:
Non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are the common name for a completely clogged and closed comedo. Whiteheads are named for their white appearance and commonly turn into pimples.
Blackheads are very similar but occur when the plug breaks through the surface of the skin, which is why they are known as an open comedo. Although they are black in appearance, it is not because of dirt, but actually from melanin, the skin’s dark pigment.
Inflammatory acne includes papules, pustules, and cysts.
Papules are a mild form of inflammatory acne and can give the appearance of rough skin. They are very small, pink bumps that can be sensitive to touch.
Pustules are also small, but unlike papules, they are secreted with pus. The inflammation is not caused by bacteria, but normally because of a chemical irritation from the sebum (an oily substance) components like free fatty acids.
Cysts or nodules, are larger and can be very painful and damaging, often leaving scars. They are puss-filled lesions located deep within the skin. Cysts are created when the contents of a comedo spill into the surrounding skin, causing the immune system to respond and produce pus. They are the most severe type of acne and can persist for weeks or months.
To treat both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne, consider using the Perricone MD Skin Clear Treatments, which are ideal for both teenagers and adults.