Acne - The West Institute

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Acne

Acne Chevy Chase

All About Acne

Almost everyone has experienced an acne breakout in their teenage years or adulthood. These blemishes can be white, black, pink, or red and are commonly referred to as pimples. However, this label doesn’t properly represent the different types of acne.

In fact, acne can fall into two main categories, inflammatory and non-inflammatory, and six sub-groups.

Keep reading to learn more about the characteristics and therapies recommended for each type of acne from most superficial to deepest.

#1. Blackheads (Non-inflammatory)

Non-inflammatory acne exists without redness or swelling and includes blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are often caused by sebum and dead skin cells that clog a pore, but allow its top to stay open.

This type of acne usually responds well to at-home treatment with products containing salicylic acid.

#2. Whiteheads (Non-inflammatory)

Whiteheads are very similar to blackheads, but the clogged pore is closed and produces a white bump. As a result, they may be more difficult to repair and often require a topical retinoid.

#3. Papules (Inflammatory)

The most superficial type of inflammatory acne is papules. They’re caused by sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which cause severe inflammation and a breakdown of pore walls. Consequently, a hard, tender lump forms.

#4. Pustules (Inflammatory)

Pustules can be differentiated from papules because they are filled with pus and have a yellow or white top.

Both papules and pustules can be treated with benzoyl peroxide or an oral or topical antibiotic.

#5. Nodules (Inflammatory)

Nodules are a deeper type of inflammatory acne and occur when clogged pores become more irritated and swollen. They usually necessitate a visit to the dermatologist, who will likely prescribe an oral medication that will decrease the size of oil glands within pores.

#6. Cysts (Inflammatory)

Cysts are the largest type of acne and are caused by dead skin cells, sebum, and bacteria that clog pores and lead to significant infection. As a result, they are the most likely to scar.

Nevertheless, your doctor may prescribe a course of isotretinoin or even surgically remove the cyst.

For additional information about the different types of acne and their treatments, please call The West Institute today to schedule a consultation.