What are the different types of acne?
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What are the different types of acne?

Acne problems


Acne is a very common issue that we all face in our day-to-day life, it not only affects our personality but also has a major effect on our confidence. A lot of people go through low confidence due to acne-prone skin. 

Various types of acne can infect our face or body, not all types of acne spread all across our skin some may appear like bumps that get better on their own.  

Clogged pores are one of the major reasons for acne, here is how clogged pores affect our acne. 

  • This leads to excess production of sebum
  • This leads to bacterial infestation
  • This leads to hormonal imbalance 
  • This leads to dead skin cells
  • This leads to ingrown hairs

A lot of times acne is subjected to the teen years of our life, the time when our hormones are fluctuating, it is important to know all types of acne so that you can distinguish between them and can take on the right treatment. Here are some of the most common acne types.

  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • papules
  • pustules
  • nodules
  • Cysts

Types of acne 

Above we only talked briefly about the acne types, now let us dig deeper into all the different types of acne. 


Blackheads usually occur when the pores are clogged by a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. Excessive sebum product can easily clog the pores, if you see you will notice that the top of the pore stays open in a blackhead, despite the rest being clogged, that is exactly why you can notice a characteristic black color on this type of acne.


Whiteheads are also usually formed when a pore gets clogged by sebum and dead skin cells. But they are nothing like blackheads, in blackheads, the top of the pore opens up while in whiteheads the top of the pore closes up.

Whiteheads are more difficult to treat and work with as the pore is already closed and the product used may not be able to get in. you can use products that contain salicylic acid and topical retinoids can give you a good result. 


Papules usually occur due to extreme inflammation on your skin. This results in hard, clogged pores that are soft to touch but actually have a hard inside. The skin around these papules is usually pink, they can be painful too.


Pustules are a type of acne that forms when your pores break down. Unlike papules, pustules are filled with pus and can be extremely painful if not treated. These bumps come out from the skin, they are usually bigger in size and are red in color, they have yellow or whiteheads on top which are bigger than your usual whiteheads.


Nodules occur when clogged pores get swollen and become much larger in size. Unlike pustules and papules, nodules are way deeper underneath the skin. Nodules are much more complex and deeper within the layers of the skin that it is not possible to treat them at home, they require a prescription and a dermatologist who will guide you better.

To treat nodules your dermatologist will suggest medication that is made from a form of vitamin A. These medications will not only prevent nodules but will also decrease oil gland size within the pores.


Cysts usually develop when the pores are clogged by a combination of bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells. If you thought treating nodules will be hard then cysts take the cherry off the cake, cysts form even further within the skin which makes it even harder to treat.

They form large red or white bumps and are extremely painful to touch. Cysts are the largest form of acne, and their formation usually results from a severe infection. 

Causes of acne

After talking about the various types of acne now let us talk about some of the common causes of acne. 

  • Fluctuating hormonal levels
  • Air pollution and certain weather conditions
  • Using oily or greasy personal care products 
  • Stress, which increases the hormone cortisol
  • Medications
  • Genetics

How to treat acne? 

Treating acne depends on the type of acne you are dealing with, sometimes treating acne involves changing your face wash, and other times you may need to take various medicines, apply serums and chemicals to treat the acne. 

Treatment always depends on the severity of your acne so make sure you know what type of acne you are dealing with and accordingly you can choose your treatment. People with acne should keep their skincare routine minimum and do not unnecessarily try different products. 

Take Away 

It is important to know what type of acne has infested your face, but it is even more important to talk to your dermatologist. Taking the opinion of a specialist is important and necessary, make sure you take medicines and over-the-counter creams suggested by your dermatologist to treat your acne.