There are many different types of acne lesions.
When someone has acne, it could mean that they have some or even many of the different types we’re about to list here.
Acne, or acne vulgaris, may be classified into the two groups of non inflammatory, and inflammatory acne:
Non Inflammatory Acne
This type of acne is caused by clogged pores and there is not much inflammation present.
Whiteheads. These are caused by the skin pores being blocked. The sebum in the pores is turned into fatty acids by skin bacteria resulting in the white appearance. They’re different to the blackhead, in that the opening of the pores are closed or are very small.
Blackheads. These are similar to whiteheads except for the fact that the lesions are open, that is the pore openings are open. The dark appearance of blackheads is due to a build up of melanin, the dark pigment produced by the skin. They tend to persist for longer lengths of time than whiteheads.
These types of acne have more inflammation in them, and hence more redness, swelling, and pain.
Papules And Pustules
Papules. These are red, raised spots on the skin, and can be very small and lots of them, or sightly larger, raised, red spots. They are caused by inflammation of the skin due to the build up of sebum.
Pustules. These are the larger pimples containing pus. There is also usually some inflammation and redness around these collections of pustules.
In mild to moderate acne, there are whiteheads and blackheads, as well as papules and pustules. In moderate acne, there are more of these acne lesions, especially the papules and pustules.
Nodular Acne, Cystic Acne And Acne Scars
Nodules. These refer to the larger, red, hard, and usually painful lumps under the skin surface. They’re a more severe type of inflammatory acne and it is the inflammation that causes the redness, fluid build up and pain.
Cysts. These are also inflammatory lesions just like nodules except there’s more infection and more pus production.
Scars. The more severe the acne, the more scarring can result in the skin. Basically, the more damage that’s done to the skin, especially to the deeper layers, the more scarring there will be.
In severe acne, there are more nodules, cysts and scars than in milder and moderate types of acne.