Going Skin Deep: A Quick, Informative Guide on How to Identify Types of Acne
In layman’s terms, acne is the result of oil and bacteria congesting hair follicles within the skin. When dealing with acne, it is important to understand what type you are up against. Improper understanding of acne could lead to breakouts or even permanent scarring of the skin.
Nearly 20% of Americans have acne, which means there is a good chance you fall into this category as well. With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start on your journey with acne. Don’t fret; this guide will help you when identifying your specific type.
Blackheads and whiteheads are the most common form of acne. Interestingly, they both start within the skin, and make their way to the outside. These non-inflammatory forms of acne can be easily treated with good hygiene and proper nutrition. Both respond well to over-the-counter treatments. Blackheads get their name from the color left by dead skin cells clogged in a hair follicle. Unlike whiteheads, blackheads are the result of a pore being stretched too far, leaving it open. Neither of these types of acne cause severe pain or lead to breakout like cysts.
It is important to know that all acne more or less begins with an intrusion of sebum in the skin. Sebum is a certain type of oil that is secreted from the skin. While sebum is a main component in causing acne, how acne visibly manifests is a different story. When a number of small white bumps occur on the outside of the skin yet don’t produce pus, this is called a papule. Papules should not be popped, and the result of doing so could cause scarring or the formation of a rash.
Pustules are unpleasant, red bumps with pockets of puss at the end of them. Often causing pain, they are what we most refer to as pimples.
In the music world, nodules are often a topic of discussion, as they are the result of acne occurring right under the skin, or deep within in areas like the lymph nodes. A nodule is an abnormal growth on the skin. When the acne is under the skin causing major pain, this is called an inflammatory form of acne. If nodules get out of hand, surgery may be needed.
Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. It occurs when the skin has deep damage. Like all other types of acne, it starts inside the skin then comes to the surface. Cystic acne is often hard to treat, and very painful. It can be caused by a combination of things like sebum build-up, hormonal changes, genetics, bad dieting, etc. Cystic acne is also more prevalent in males, but can occur in women as well. Improper handling of cystic acne can lead to major breakouts in the skin.
Much of how we feel about ourselves comes from how we see ourselves. Acne has the ability to cause changes in self-esteem and drastically hamper the well being of an individual’s life. The first step in treating acne is in the understanding of what it is on the most basic level. After understanding the core concept of acne, getting more specific on the different types to identify your specific case is next. Implementing a healthy lifestyle into your daily life is the best way to treat acne. Working out and getting fresh air keeps the pores clear as well. Remember, neglecting to pay attention to what eat can be the main contributor to acne occurring in the skin. There are many attributes to what causes acne, and now that you have a better understanding of what you are dealing with, treatment options are next.
As with any health condition, it is advised to seek counsel from a health professional.