Everyone has had a day when they’re getting ready for a big event, perhaps a first date or a big presentation, only to be met with a breakout. Acne is a naturally occurring skin condition that affects more than 40 million Americans. Although it is usually not a cause for concern, those with acne should know the different types and when it’s time to seek the help of a professional. 

acneWhat is acne? 

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with items such as oil or dead skin cells. Acne can cause pimples, whiteheads or blackheads. It most commonly is found on the face, chest, and upper back. While it is most prevalent in adolescents, some adults may experience acne too.  Acne typically is considered “mild” if a person has fewer than 20 whiteheads or blackheads. 

What are the types of acne? 

There are a variety of acne types that can cause various effects on the body, but early treatment can minimize the effects. 

  • Acne Vulgaris: The medical name for common acne, Acne vulgaris is the presence of blackheads, whiteheads and other pimples. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medication, but severe cases should be treated by a dermatologist
  • Comedone: This is a hair follicle that is clogged with oil or dead skin. They can trigger whiteheads and blackheads. 
  • Blackheads: Blackheads are comedones that are filled with excess oil or dead skin cells and are open on the skin’s surface. 
  • Whiteheads: These are comedones that are closed at the skin’s surface because oil and skin cells prevent a clogged follicle from opening. 
  • Papules: These are comedones that become inflamed. They often form red or pink bumps and are sensitive to touch. 
  • Pustules: These are inflamed pimples that often appear as red-ringed bumps. The bump is usually filled with pus. 
  • Acne Conglobata: This is one of the most severe types of acne. Inflamed nodules are often connected under the skin to other nodules. It can affect much of the body and it often leaves scars. 

Why visit a dermatologist? 

Most mild cases of acne can be treated with over-the-counter medication, but if self-care remedies aren’t working for you, it may be time to seek out a dermatologist. Untreated nodules and cysts are severe forms of acne and can easily cause scarring. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe medications and pinpoint anything that could be triggering your acne. Seeking the help of a professional can help you avoid wasteful spending on products that may not work and get you back to feeling confident in no time. 

Complexions Dermatology is here to help with acne and other skin conditions. Request an appointment on our website or call one of our two locations.