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Different Types of Acne Symptoms

Kinds of Acne

Acne is a familiar condition that many people suffer at least once in their lives.

It comes in many varieties, all of which express in similar ways. The hair follicles of the skin become blocked by dead skin cells or other material and become infected by bacteria. This causes swelling and redness at the site of the infection. 

There are several types of acne symptoms, defined by size and whether they are considered inflammatory or non inflammatory.

Acne lesions range from comedones, also called blackheads and whiteheads, to nodules and cysts. Comedones are what happens when follicles become plugged with dead cells. Open comedones are called blackheads because the plug in the follicle is darker than the surrounding skin. Closed follicles are called whiteheads because the follicle has closed around the foreign material and is light in color. It is common practice to pick these lesions open, but this is discouraged unless the procedure is performed by a dermatologist. The tissues around the lesion can be injured by picking or squeezing and develop secondary infections and dealing with the results of an acne cyst ruptured.

Papules are one of the many types of acne symptoms. They are small lesions elevated above the skin's surface. They can create a sandpapery feel to the skin. Pustules are larger lesions full of pus – a mix of white blood cells, the dead skin cells that created the lesion, and irritating bacteria. They may have a hair inside them. Nodules are round or irregularly shaped acne lesions that are accompanied by inflammation and pain. They can form in deeper layers of skin than the other types of acne symptoms and can cause severe scarring. Nodules are hard to treat.

Cystic lesions are another of the types of acne symptom. They are relatively rare, but cause permanent scarring. Cystic acne is characterized by large pus-filled lesions with severe inflammation. Scarring generally follows, since the lesions are anchored deep in the skin. Scars from cystic lesions may give the skin a pitted or crater-like appearance.

Macules are not properly acne lesions, but rather the spot caused by one that has healed. They are flat, and red or pink. They have an obvious border with the skin surrounding them. Macules may stay on the skin for several days before they finish healing. While not lesions themselves, macules can contribute to the inflamed appearance of the face of an acne sufferer.

Each of the types of acne symptom has its own characteristics. They can be treated differently and are of different levels of severity. The appropriate treatment for each type of acne lesion will depend on the cause. If you are unsure of what to do about particular types of acne, consult with your doctor to best find out what to do.

Types of Acne