Acne is a really broad term that is used to describe a wide variety of skin ailments, and it’s something that millions of people deal with every year. You’re most likely to experience acne in your teen years, but it can linger into your adult life as well. There are actually several different types of acne, though, and understanding each one can help you identify the right treatment and options to get rid of it.
Common Types of Acne
All types of acne are the result of pores or follicles that get clogged with excess bacteria, sebum, or dead skin cells. The pores get clogged and acne is your body’s way of trying to clear it out. The most common types of acne are:
- Whiteheads – a clogged follicle that has a thin layer of skin over the top and appears like small bumps or spots
- Blackheads – pores clogged with debris and oil that builds up and turns black when sebum (an oily substance from glands in your pores) reaches the surface
- Papules – clogged pores that get inflamed and may remain below the surface of the skin, causing irritation and redness
- Pustules – lesion near the surface of the skin that fills with pus and looks white or yellow
- Nodules – lesions under the skin that never reach the surface, and feel hard to the touch
- Cysts – a more severe type of acne that gets inflamed, remains under the surface of the skin, and fills with pus; these are generally very painful and take longer to go away
How Acne Forms
No matter what type of acne you have, in most cases it forms the same way. Inside your pores right under the surface of your skin are sebaceous glands, which have an oily substance that helps keep skin and pores moisturized. If dirt, oils, dead skin cells, or other things clog the area they can attach to the sebum that comes from your glands and block the pore, resulting in an accumulation of bacteria and dead skin cells under the surface that appears as a pimple.
Treating Acne Effectively
There are a lot of things you can do to try and keep your skin healthy, but sometimes it’s more than just washing it every night. Stress, genetics, excess oil, hormonal changes, and more can have an impact on your skin and the production of sebum. Some things you can’t control, but for the things you can it’s important to have a good skincare routine that includes:
- Washing your face properly every day
- Learning how to deal with stress effectively so it won’t make breakouts worse
- Getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet
- Getting professional help with your skincare as needed
If you struggle with acne, our Acne Starter Kit is a great start or sign up for a Virtual Consultation and learn even more about acne and how we can help you get your skin clear.