February 14, 2011 Types of Acne – What Type of Acne Do You Have? Types of Acne – What Type of Acne Do You Have?Acne is not detrimental to one’s health. However, it can leave a permanent mark and can cause a decline in one’s self esteem. Acne is a common skin disease experienced more often by teenagers and then adults. It occurs when an increased oil production and dead skin cells due to a lot of factors are clogging the pores. There are actually different types of acne and it is important to have knowledge on each type in order to know how to eliminate or treat them. The several type of acne are categorizes into non-inflammatory and inflammatory types of acne. Non-inflammatory Acne Blackheads Blackheads are one of the types of acne that are technically called open comedones. In contrast to most beliefs of people, blackheads are not caused by dirt as it may look, but is actually caused by too much oil production plugging the follicles. It then pushes up towards the surface making it exposed to air then eventually turns black or sometimes yellow because of the buildup of melanin. Melanin is responsible for the pigments of the skin and hair. Oil production is a normal process for the skin; it is just unfortunate that blackheads are the end product of this process. Blackheads may also be caused by dead skin cells. If the skin is not cleaned in a proper manner, dead skin cells accumulate and clog the pores which in turn cause oil accumulation or buildup. External factors may also cause blackheads such as oil-based cosmetics and moisturizers. While it is not forbidden to use such products, it is however best to consult a dermatologist to find out which cosmetics are right for one’s own skin. Since people have varying skin types, knowing the right cosmetic for the specific skin type is essential for a healthier skin. Other external or environmental factors that may cause blackheads include pollution, humidity and grease in the working environment. These factors will contribute in breakouts to happen. It is also important to know that excessive scrubbing can actually irritate the areas. Some people may think that they are cleansing the face with scrubbing. Therefore, excessive scrubbing and other irritations will trigger the skin to produce more oil to compensate which will further cause more blackheads. Cleansing the skin should only be in a thorough yet gentle manner. Whiteheads Whiteheads is another form included in the types of acne. These are technically called closed comedones. Whiteheads normally appear as whitish, small umps, with oil and dead skin being enclosed by layers of skin. Just like blackheads, these are caused when there’s excessive oil production and these accumulate in the pores. It then plugs the skin follicles and forms lesions turning into whiteheads. The only difference from blackheads is that the clogged areas are not exposed to air. As previously discussed with blackheads, the exposure to air causes oxidation thus making the clogged areas darken. Inflammatory Types of Acne Papules Papules area one of the types of acne that appear as small, pinkish cone-shaped bumps. These are the inflamed form of whiteheads which are tender to the touch as compared to the other types of acne. These do not contain pus in contrary to how it looks therefore it picking or popping these papules should be avoided. Doing so will only cause to irritate the skin and worsen other existing pimples. Doing so will also cause a permanent scar. Pustules Pustules are small round lesions appearing as red, yellowish or whitish on the center. Pustules are one of the types of acne which contains pus. These do not generally contain bacteria and are usually painless even though inflamed. The inflammation is merely due to chemical reactions from substances found in the blood and the skin and due to other causes. It is not advisable to pop a pustule for it may leave a permanent scar. It is best to let a dermatologist remove the pus in a proper way. Nodules and Cysts Nodules and cysts are somewhat similar types of acne. Nodules are severely inflamed hard and large lesions on the deep layer of the skin which are sore to the touch. Cysts on the other hand are smaller and softer pus-filled lesions lodged deep within the skin. While these two are somewhat similar, they can exist independently or can occur together as nodularcystic acne. When papules and pustules collapse severely causing inflammation of the surrounding skin and affecting other follicle, nodules or cysts occur. Nodules and cysts form when comedones get too irritated, going deeper under the skin. The immune system reacts to this by producing pus. These types of acne often have a genetic predisposition. For parents who experienced these types of acne, their children are more likely to experience it too. If these are left untreated, it will eventually leave a permanent scar. It is best to seek a dermatologist’s help for proper treatment. Dr. Lawrence Jaeger is a well known and respected board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who is the medical director of Advanced Dermatology Associates of New York. Dr Larry Jaeger specializes in all aspect of medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology.