Types of Acne

There are various types of acne, which a lot of people might not even know about or overlook altogether. For people, it is probably more important to know that they have acne than to know what type it is. After all, they might very well reason, no matter what type of acne they have, it will pretty much be an unpleasant sight for them as well as for other people. Still, it might interest those people to know that there are various types of acne, and it just might interest people who are suffering from acne to determine exactly which type they are suffering from! In a nutshell, the types of acne range in extremeness from just mild to severe, which can be very harsh.

Types of Acne – A Basic Guide

Let us start off with something called acne vulgaris, which is regarded as the most popular form of acne. The kinds of acne that fall under the banner of acne vulgaris are cysts, nodules, pustules, papules, whiteheads and blackheads. Acne vulgaris of a mild to moderate bent will include any of the following types of acne.

Types of Acne Detailed


types of acneWhiteheads are the end product of pores that are completely blocked off. This results in the trapping of sebum, which is oil, dead skin cells and also bacteria, thereby causing small, white spots to appear on the skin’s surface. The life cycle of whiteheads is usually faster than blackheads, meaning that people with whiteheads will have to put up with them for a shorter period of time than the people who endure blackheads.


Blackheads are the outcome of pores that are only blocked part of the way! This has the effect of letting a bit of the trapped sebum (the oil), the dead skin cells and the bacteria to slowly but surely drain their way to the skin’s surface. Some people errantly believe that the black color is there due to dirt, but this is not factual. In reality, it is the pigment of one’s own skin, called melanin, that is in fact responding with the oxygen that can be found in the air! Blackheads are known to be stable structures, and they can take a considerable time to clear up.


Papules are known as the inflamed, tender and red bumps that have absolutely no head. You are advised never, ever to squeeze a papule since it will not aid your acne situation and, on the contrary, might even worsen it to the point of scarring!


Pustules are inflamed, and they appear on the skin as red circles that feature yellow or white centers. In more layman’s terms: Pustules are one’s garden variety zits! Again, while it might be tempting to pop or to squeeze such a lesion, it is not recommended due to the scarring that that action can incur.

There are also more severe types of acne vulgaris.


In sharp contrast to any of the types of acne listed above, nodular acne is made up of spots of acne that are a lot larger, might be highly painful and might even last for a lot of months. Nodules are hard and huge bumps that are located under the surface of one’s skin. With this type of acne, scarring is, sadly, highly common. Nodules that are unresolved can, at times, leave behind something of an impaction. This impaction can, in turn, flare up time and time again. If you observe such a lesion on your skin, never try to squeeze or pop it under any circumstances because it would it will inflict extreme trauma to your skin. As a result, this type of acne may stay under your skin for months longer than it typically would.


Although cysts may appear like a nodule, it is really filled with pus. As a direct result of this, cysts can be quite painful, and scarring is even quite frequent. Squeezing this cyst might create an infection that is a lot deeper and inflammation that’s lots more painful. It will, therefore, take a lot longer to heal than if it had been left alone.

Acne Rosaceadifferent types of acne

The thing with acne rosacea is that it can resemble the above acne vulgaris, which causes confusion. Acne rosacea affects a lot of folks, many of whom are, believe it or not, older than 30! It starts out as a red rash that is usually confined to the chin, nose, cheeks and even the forehead. It is characterized by bumps, skin blemishes and pimples. It is not atypical for blood vessels to be seen with greater regularity. It is important to note that blackheads aren’t part of acne rosacea, and although it hits women more than it does men, it’s often more extreme when men suffer it.

There are also severe forms of acne. These are relatively rare, yet they cause those enduring them quite a good deal of adversity.

Acne Conglobata

It is found mostly in men and is the harshest type of acne vulgaris. It is typified by lots of big lesions that are at times interconnected; blackheads that are widespread can also happen. This type of acne is known to incur extreme damage to one’s skin, along with scarring that disfigures. You can get this on your butt, your face, your upper arms, your chest and your thighs. 18 to 30 is the age range when this type of acne can be a problem, yet this skin condition can stay around for years to come. Its cause is not understood, but its treatment includes isotretinoin.

Acne Fulminans

This is a sudden attack of symptoms that resemble those of acne conglobata, and it is normally affecting young males who are Caucasian. What is apparent here are the symptoms of extreme, ulcerating and nodulocystic acne. Like with acne conglobata, scarring that is harsh occurs frequently. This type of acne is very unique because it features both an aching in one’s joints along with a fever. Treatment for this type of acne can involve hospitalization that can last up to 5 weeks, too! It fails to respond favorably to antibiotics, and oral steroids are usually prescribed for this type of acne.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis

A bacterial infection that is typified by both cysts and pustules, gram-negative folliculitis potentially happens as a hardship stemming from the long-term treatment of acne vulgaris by way of antibiotics. A rare condition, this type of acne is not known to occur any more in either females or males, at this time, anyway. Isotretinoin has been successful in treating this skin condition.

Pyoderma Faciale (Rosacea Fulminans)

This is an extreme type of facial acne, and it only targets females who are between the ages of 20 and 40. It is characterized by the presence of big, sores, pustules and even nodules that might all scar. This skin condition starts off without a warning, and it might occur to a woman who has never before experienced any type of acne. The face is where this skin condition is confined, and it normally fails to last longer than 1 year. However, it is able to cause a lot of damage in just a short time. Isotretinoin is frequently prescribed by the physicians as a way to treat this skin condition.

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