The 5 Types of Acne

Acne is a perplexing condition.

That comes with a quirky mix of conditions.

Add a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in the pores to the mix.

And voila, you have the perfect recipe for a breakout party.

However, with early intervention and an understanding of the types of acne.

You can bring your acne under control.

Understanding why acne forms

Knowing how to control acne is like solving a puzzle where different factors play a role in its development.

Excessive sebum (skin oil) production, dirt and dead skin in your pores, and the proliferation of Cutibacterium acnes bacteria team up to create the perfect conditions for intense inflammation, which results in those bothersome breakouts.

Now, don’t get us wrong—your skin’s natural oil is a good thing in moderation—it keeps your skin soft and supple, but when there’s too much, your risk of acne can increase significantly.

Acne starts as a minor issue but can quickly become more severe, with cystic acne being one of the most challenging types to deal with.

These breakouts can leave physical scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), making treatment more complicated, underscoring the importance of early intervention and adopting a thorough skincare routine.

Types of acne

There are several types of acne that can be broadly categorised into two main types: inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne; the primary subtypes include:

  • Whiteheads (Non-inflammatory): These are also known as closed plugged pores
  • Blackheads (Non-inflammatory): Often referred to as open plugged pores, blackheads result from pores filled with excess oil and dead skin cells that remain open, leading to their characteristic appearance.
  • Papules: These are tiny, red, inflamed, and tender bumps on your skin.
  • Pustules (Pimples): When squeezed, they can come to a head due to skin debris, white blood cells, and bacteria accumulation.
  • Nodules: These are large, firm, and hard lesions that can be painful. They do not contain pus and are located deep within your skin.
  • Cysts: These are painful, pus-filled lesions that occur deep under the skin. They are approximately half a centimetre in diameter and have the highest potential to cause scars.

Understanding acne grades

Understanding the causes and types of acne is fundamental in developing effective treatment strategies and maintaining healthy, clear skin.

Let us look at these grades in more detail:

Grade One: Mild Acne

Grade one acne is the mildest types of acne, commonly seen in adolescents and some adults. Key characteristics include:

  • Blackheads and whiteheads are typically in your T-zone area, chin, and forehead.
  • Milia may be present around your eyelids, under your eyes, and cheeks.
  • There are a few minor pimples on your chin or cheeks.
  • No inflammation; only a few papules or pustules.

At this stage, controlling acne is essential to prevent it from worsening and causing scarring.

Grade Two: Moderate Acne

Grade two is acne that can affect your chest, back, and shoulders. Features include:

  • Commonly in your T-zone and forehead.
  • Presence of blackheads, whiteheads, and milia.
  • Visible, raised, inflamed bumps.
  • Slight skin inflammation and light superficial scarring.

Grade Three: Severe Acne

Grade three acne is characterised by significant inflammation:

  • Looks angry and inflamed.
  • Uneven, dull skin texture, not excessively oily.
  • Inflamed papules and pustules.
  • Extends to your cheeks and other areas like your chest, neck, back, and shoulders.

Grade Four: Hormonal Acne

Often referred to as hormonal acne, grade four is the type of acne located around the lower part of your face, chin, jaw, and neck. Features include:

  • Flat-crusted lesions.
  • Red, inflamed papules.
  • Nodules beneath your skin.
  • Sensitised, inflamed skin with scarring.

Grade Five: Cystic Acne (Most Severe)

Grade five is the most severe types of acne and is the cause of cystic acne. Characteristics include:

  • Very coarse and uneven skin.
  • Fluid-filled lumps under your skin’s surface.
  • Evident pitting due to deep scarring.
  • It can be excruciating and have psychological effects.

For grades four and five, the risk of scarring is high, necessitating treatment by a qualified dermatologist.

If you’re concerned about your skin, consult a dermatologist for an accurate assessment and tailored treatment to minimise the risk of infection and scarring.

To conclude, the naked truth

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