Different Types of Acne
Acne is an unwelcome guest in many people's lives, especially teens. However, acne can affect anyone at any age. Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples and blackheads (also referred to as ‘Acne Vulgaris’, ‘Acne Rosacea’ and ‘Adult Acne’ depending on the type).
Acne is a genetic, inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands (the tiny glands that produce oil in your skin) and can affect anyone, regardless of age.
The different types of acne are:
- Acne Vulgaris – Commonly known as teenage acne, is the most common form of acne and is often seen during puberty, or adolescence. It occurs when hair follicles become blocked by dead skin cells and oil and this leads to skin inflammation and the formation of pus-filled spots.
- Acne Rosacea – This form of acne is more common in people with fair complexion and usually affects the face, mainly the nose, cheeks and chin.
- Cystic Acne – Finding the right acne treatment can feel like an endless quest. Acne is not just about pimples. Sometimes, you get cysts in addition to pimples. Cystic acne, also known as nodulocystic acne, is an advanced type of acne.
- Nodules – Nodular acne are large, inflamed bumps that feel firm when touched. They develop deep inside the skin and can often be painful. Nodules should be treated by a dermatologist since they can cause scars. The presence of bacteria (specifically, "Propionibacterium acnes", or P. acnes) is the main cause of acne. This bacteria feeds on oil and dead skin cells in pores clogging them up by shedding cells inside them.
What is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is a severe and persistent form of acne. It can be extremely painful. The main difference between cystic and closed comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) is the inflammation of the skin. There are several causes of cystic acne such as:
- Hormonal imbalance
- Unhealthy diet
- Improper skincare
Cystic acne most commonly develops during puberty due to an increase in androgen production that leads to an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is an oily secretion that lubricates and protects hair and skin. When sebum production increases beyond its normal rate, it fills the hair follicles and pores. This leads to the penetration of bacteria and white blood cells into the hair follicles and pores, causing inflammation. The inflammation leads to the formation of painful pimples, which are the hallmark sign of cystic acne.
Cystic acne is defined as a severe form of acne that is characterized by large inflamed pimples that are filled with pus. These are deeply rooted in the skin, are painful, usually take longer to heal, and cause scarring.
How to Treat Cystic Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that affects the face, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. People who have cystic acne may feel embarrassed and want to know how to get rid of it. The good news is that acne can usually be cleared up with proper care.
Overall, there are four types of acne: comedonal (pimples), inflammatory (pus-filled bumps), nodular (thickened skin) and cystic (deep, inflamed lumps beneath the skin). Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. It can be deep and painful and take weeks or months to heal.
The main causes of cystic acne are hormonal imbalance and genetic predisposition. In most cases the cysts are triggered by stress and diet is a possible factor. For some people, cystic acne causes pain and psychological distress even self-rejection during the period when they are most visible.
In order to treat it, there are several methods, but before you start using any of them, it is important to consult with your doctor. The doctor will inspect your cystic acne and determine the best treatment method, taking into consideration factors such as your age and heredity.
Treatment methods may include:
- Topical or oral contraceptives
- Isotretinoin for severe cystic acne
Once the doctor prescribes a treatment method, it is very important to use it properly in order to eliminate cystic acne. As a rule, you can apply home remedies after washing your face with water and cleansing it with a mild soap.
In order to shrink your acne, you can try these remedies:
- Wash the face with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser to remove excess oil, makeup and dirt.
- Use a cold compress by wrapping an ice cube in a cloth and applying it to the affected area for 5 minutes.
- Use a warm compress by soaking a clean cloth in hot water and gently pressing it to the affected area for 5 minutes.
- Use an anti-acne gel that must contain niacinamide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, aloe vera and zinc peroxide to prevent future outbreaks from occurring by unclogging the pores and preventing scarring and other more serious complications of major breakouts.
Acne is a condition that affects the skin’s sebaceous glands, which are made up of fatty tissue that produces oils. Sebum usually travels along the hair follicles to the skin's surface. When sebum combines with skin cells, it often forms a blockage known as a comedone or “zit.” If you notice any of the following types of acne, speak to your doctor immediately.