Sunday, November 6, 2011

Types of Acne

Mild to moderate acne is most commonly a form of acne known as Acne Vulgaris. The types of lesions that occur as a result of Acne Vulgaris can vary though. Some people who suffer from acne may have one kind of lesion associated with acne or multiple kinds. By identifying the type you have, you may also have greater success treating your acne and preventing future breakouts.

Blackheads and Your Skin

Blackheads are easy to distinguish, as their name is the best way to describe them. Part of the pore suffers blockage, which leads to this type of blemish. A combination of oil, dead skin cells and bacteria slowly drain towards the skin’s surface and create this problem. As with any skin blemish, you should not simply use your fingers to squeeze the debris clear.
To remove a blackhead, the best options are a pimple extractor, steam or washing the affected area with a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts. As for preventing blackheads, the best approach is to make sure you wash your face with a mild cleanser at least twice daily. Keeping your skin free of oils can help eliminate blackheads.


Unlike blackheads, whiteheads happen when the pore of the skin is completely blocked. The same substances become completely trapped under the skin, which causes a small white spot to surface. Whiteheads generally disappear quicker and easier than blackheads, but also tend to happen much more frequently.
Squeezing whiteheads for extraction can be very harmful to the skin as it may cause the skin to break, which can result in scarring. You can try to use an extractor, but cleansing is the best way to treat and prevent whiteheads. Using a gentle exfoliator can help to open up and dry out blemishes, including whiteheads. By keeping the skin clear, as in washing at least twice a day, you reduce the chance of experiencing whiteheads. Steam can also help with the prevention of whiteheads as it draws out oil, bacteria and dead skin cells that become lodged in the pore and cause the whiteheads. Steaming also opens the pores to prevent materials from becoming trapped in the first place.

Papules and Pustules

Both of these types of blemishes are inflamed, red bumps. Pustules, however, also have a white or yellow tip, the result of trapped pus. For treating these two types of acne, benzoyl peroxide has proven to be an effective approach. You can use a cleanser or cream, or other products intended for acne that contain this ingredient. As with other forms of acne, it is best to not touch papules or pustules and let them run their course. They are the blemishes with the shortest life span, and generally clear up quickly if left alone.

Severe Acne Vulgaris

The two main blemishes associated with severe Acne Vulgaris are cysts and nodules. Nodules are, usually, larger blemishes that can be painful. These bumps are hard and can cause serious skin damage if one attempts to extract the contents by hand. A cyst is much like a nodule, except it contains pus instead of hardened debris. These can also be painful and are more likely to result in acne scarring.
It is advisable, for both of these types of blemishes, to allow a dermatologist to determine the best approach for removal. For nodules or cysts, a doctor will often use an injection of cortisone to reduce the swelling and reduce the inflammation. This is the best way to prevent scarring or further complications related to severe Acne Vulgaris.

Acne Rosacea

Though this can look similar to forms of Acne Vulgaris, there are differences. Many who are over the age of 30 and suffer a form of acne are actually experiencing Acne Roscea. Redness, bumps and visible blood vessels are common traits of this form of acne, but blackheads are not something that accompany Acne Roscea.
It is fairly important to determine if you have Rosacea or Acne as treatments for regular acne can cause the Rosacea to worsen. Topical treatments, oral treatments, Retinoids, laser therapy and Photodynamic therapy are all methods that can be used to treat or attempt to prevent Acne Rosacea. Check with your doctor to decide which type of acne you may be suffering from so you can use the best approach for treatment.
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