Understanding Acne and How to Treat the Different Types


“I have an acne breakout.” You have probably heard a friend say this, or you may have said it yourself. Acne is a common occurrence among Americans, both children, and adults. About 17 million Americans are dealing with acne, making it one of the most common skin conditions. 

Describing acne as a breakout is only partially accurate to the nature of the condition and how it spreads across the skin. Most commonly, acne occurs due to clogged skin pores. Pores can clog because of bacteria, ingrown hairs, excess oil, dead skin cells, or hormones. Usually, people associate it with hormones during adolescence. However, even grown adults can experience it.

What are the Different Types of Acne?


All types of acne can fall under two main categories, inflammatory and noninflammatory. 

Acne that manifests as red and swollen pimples falls under the inflammatory category. It commonly develops from dead skin cells and sebum but may also come from bacteria. When this happens under the skin, it results in painful spots. Treatment for this form usually involves antibiotics and medical grade skin care from your dermatologist, which reduces swelling and eliminates bacteria.

On the other hand, white and blackheads fall under the noninflammatory category. These rarely ever cause inflammation and usually respond well to medical grade skin care available at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center. 

Inflammatory Acne



Severe inflammation can lead to the skin around your pores breaking down, leading to papules. These usually have pink skin around them and are tender to the touch. However, they are generally hard and clogged. 


Like papules, these also form when the skin around the pores breaks down. However, pustules are full of pus, forming red bumps on the skin. The tops of these are usually yellow or white.


Nodules come from swollen and clogged pores, which have gone through more irritation. These are deep under the skin, making them impossible to treat at home. The treatment for these is more complex and can start with oral antibiotics, topical prescriptions, and medical grade skin care available at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center.


When sebum, dead cells, and bacteria combine and cause pores to clog up, they form cysts. These usually are set much deeper in the skin, even more than nodules are. They are the largest type of acne and are painful to touch. 

Their formation usually leads to infection of the skin which can be treated with oral antibiotics, topical prescriptions, and medical grade skin care available at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center.




When sebum and dead cells combine to clog a pore, they form blackheads or open comedones. The pores are usually still open at the top, which gives them their characteristic black color. 


Whiteheads form the same way as blackheads, but their top closes up, leading to their other name, closed comedones. They are typically harder to treat because of their closed-up pores. The most effective treatment for comedonal forms of acne is topical retinoids. 

For more on the different types of acne and how to treat the different types of acne, visit Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center at our office in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Call (954) 799-9600 to book an appointment today.


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