Types of Acne

What Dermatologists Say About the Most Common Types of Acne

skin Care

Please tell me what that blemish is and how to treat it Types of Acne.

If you suffer from acne, you may have asked yourself these questions in a magnified mirror.

It can sometimes be clearer-cut what the answer is. There are many types of acne. Each one requires a unique approach.

Despite its tempting nature, don’t slather salicylic acid all over your bumps or red spots.

It’s only natural to want to treat acne as effectively as possible if acne persists and negatively impacts your confidence.

Identify what you’re dealing with before creating a targeted skin care plan. Here are two expert opinions on the best acne treatment options for each type of acne.

Types of Acne

Is it inflammatory or non-inflammatory?

First, you’ll want to answer this question.

“Acne can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory,” says Natalia Spierings, a dermatologist who wrote “Skintelligent: What You Need to Know to Get Great Skin.”

Inflammatory acne is less severe and more common than non-inflammatory acne. Whiteheads and blackheads occur when your pores become clogged.

Inflammatory acne is typically more painful and severe. The bumps are red, swollen, and sore, containing pus, dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum (oil).

It includes: – Types of Acne

  • Papules and pustules
  • Nodular acne
  • Cystic acne

Inflammatory acne treatment is very different from non-inflammatory acne treatment, according to Spierings.


The majority of people are familiar with whiteheads. A white or yellowish bump on the skin is small and raised.

According to dermatologist Hassan ElHusseini at Dr. Kayle Aesthetic Clinic Dubai, whiteheads are one of the most common types of acne.

“Whiteheads appear when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells and sebum,” says El Husseini.

Although they’re called whiteheads, they may also resemble your skin color.

Whiteheads: how to treat them

The first thing to do is to resist picking up your whiteheads. El Husseini says this will only spread bacteria to other pores.

Next, look at over-the-counter treatments, like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids. El Husseini also recommends adding witch hazel to your skincare routine.

He explains that whiteheads and other types of acne can be dried up with witch hazel, a natural astringent.

Witch hazel is found in many face washes and cleansers but is best used as a toner. Swipe a cotton or reusable face pad across your face after wetting it.

El Husseini suggests caution if you’re inexperienced with this skincare ingredient or have sensitive skin.

Some sensitive skin may find witch hazel too astringent. Before using witch hazel, you should consult a dermatologist.


Tiny black dots may cover the forehead, nose, and chin. Acne blackheads are common.

Blackheads are also caused by clogged pores, just like whiteheads. Unlike whiteheads, clogged pores are open to the air.

“Oxygen changes the color of the [clogged pores], giving them their dark appearance,” he says.

How to treat blackheads

The first line of defense is management. See a board-certified dermatologist for an appropriate medical management plan.

You can target blackheads at home using salicylic acid to clean your pores and retinoid cream to unclog them Types of Acne.

Comedonal acne occurs when the skin cells lining the hair follicles are too sticky and do not shed properly. Retinoids are the only treatments known to work to change this stickiness problem.

Your dermatologist may recommend professional extraction in some cases.

The skin care professional will most likely use a metal tool to remove buildup within the pores.

“A facial can be a great way to begin your cleansing journey, but ultimately it is only a temporary fix,” El Husseini explains. “You must maintain a healthy skin care regimen between sessions.”

A dermatologist should be consulted before considering professional extraction. A medical management program can be implemented, and extractions may be recommended in limited cases.

Be sure to check the credentials of the professional performing your tooth extraction, as improper treatment can lead to scarring.

Papules and pustules

Types of Acne

Many associate papules with ‘typical’ breakouts because they are swollen red bumps. When oil and dead skin cells clog your pores, they develop,” explains El Husseini.

Pressure can cause pores to rupture as a result of pressure buildup.

As papules become pustules, they appear as pus-filled bumps on the skin.

How to treat papules and pustules

Keeping up with effective skin hygiene habits is your first line of defense. After that, reputable over-the-counter and prescription products that fight inflammatory acne can help.

Topical treatments commonly recommended by dermatologists include:

  • Retinoids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), like salicylic acid
  • Topical dapsone

The following are standard systemic therapies recommended by dermatologists:

  • Isotretinoin
  • Minocycline
  • Doxycycline
  • An oral contraceptive containing low-dose estrogen
  • Spironolactone

According to El Husseini, a certain amount of sebum is necessary and healthy, but too much can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

To reduce blemishes and prevent pimples, he says calming inflammation is essential.

According to him, if you’re looking for home remedies, you should look for anti-inflammatory botanicals like cucumber, rose water, and camellia.

Spierings says topical treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, will help eliminate bacteria on the skin that cause inflammation.

“Oral antibiotics are also an option and can be very effective in the short term, though they generally are not taken for more than six months at a time and have limited long-term efficacy,” she adds.

Nodule acne

According to El Husseini, nodules are a severe form of acne that can be difficult to treat.

“Their appearance is similar to papules, but nodules start deeper within the layers of your skin,” he explains. “These red or skin-colored bumps never have a ‘head’ like whiteheads or pimples, but they feel firm and are painful to touch.

They can also coexist with painful cysts. This combination is called nodulocystic acne.

How to treat nodules

As nodules live deep within the skin, they can be tricky to treat. Many people require oral medications like isotretinoin (Accutane) to clear them up.

You may also be prescribed topical treatments, including prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids.

While nodular acne may require a trip to the doctor’s office, El Husseini says it’s critical not to forget the basics.

“Follow a consistent skincare routine, and never try to pop nodules, as this will increase your inflammation and cause scarring,” he explains.

Cystic acne

The cystic acne forms below the surface of your skin, resembling deep lumps that can be red or brown depending on your skin color. Cysts can also be painful, like nodules. There is pus inside cysts, unlike nodules.

“These are caused by the usual trifecta of excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria, and cysts can persist for weeks or months,” says El Husseini.

How to treat cystic acne

Like nodular acne, cystic acne is unlikely to clear up with over-the-counter products alone. You’ll likely need to get a prescription from your doctor.

Common treatments for cystic acne include:

  • Oral antibiotics
  • Contraceptives
  • Isotretinoin
  • Spironolactone

It’s critical to note that cystic acne is not caused by poor hygiene.

According to el-Husseini, cystic acne can be controlled, and future breakouts may be prevented by following a skincare routine designed for acne-prone skin.

Safety precautions

No matter how you treat acne breakouts, it’s essential to do so safely.

“Skin irritation is unnecessary for the treatments to work,” Spierings points out.

The following signs indicate your routine may need some tweaking:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Flaking
  • Stinging
  • Other symptoms of skin irritation


There are different types of breakouts. Acne comes in several forms, each requiring a unique skin care approach.

Treating mild acne at home with a regular skin care regimen and topical products is possible, but many types of acne require medical attention.

There’s a solution to help you manage your acne, no matter what form it takes.

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