Types of Acne
Consulting the dictionary, you will read that acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands which is characterized by comedones and pimples on the face, back or chest and may result in minor to severe scarring.
When you think of acne, the standard pimple may be all that comes to mind. However, there are actually several types. These include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, acne conglobata, acne fulminans, gram-negative folliculitis, pyoderma faciale and rosacea fulminans.
Blackheads and Whiteheads: Comedonal Acnes
Blackheads are open comedonal acne that results when pores are partially blocked which allows some of the sebum and bacteria to slowly drain to the skin’s surface. On the other hand, whiteheads are closed comedonal acne which occurs when pores are completely clogged and causes the sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells to be trapped which leads to the forming of a tiny white spot in the surface of the skin. Moreover, blackheads are longer in life cycle than whiteheads. These two types are Grade I inflammatory types of acne.
Papules and Pustules
Papules and Pustules are Grade II inflammatory types of acne which are commonly referred to as pimples. Papules are red inflamed bumps without head while pustules are inflamed ones which appear as a red circle with a center of white or yellow. They usually develop when a whitehead has become swollen and then eventually ruptures, thus releasing the contents to the dermis. When the pus reaches the surface of the epidermis, it is known as a pustule and is frequently referred to as a pimple or zit.
Acne Vulgaris, Acne Rosacea, and Acne Conglobata
The most common type of acne is acne vulgaris, which includes the previously discussed types, as well as nodules and cysts. The last two characterize the severity of acne vulgaris. Nodules are large hard bumps beneath the skin which can be painful and can last for a few months. An acne cyst is filled with pus, though it appears like that of a nodule. If you squeeze a cyst, you will frequently suffer painful inflammation that could last longer than if you had just left it alone.
Another type is the acne rosacea which is commonly confused with acne vulgaris because of their similarity. Most people affected by this type of acne are those in their 30s. It is a red rash which is usually confined to the cheeks, forehead, nose or chin. Bumps, skin blemishes and pimples usually come with the red rash.
Acne conglobata is more common in males and is the most severe type of acne vulgaris. It is characterized by large lesions and blackheads. The cause of this type of acne is unknown and the usual treatment is Accutane. To control it, aggressive treatment over time may be needed.
Acne Fulminans and Rosacea Fulminans
Acne Fulminans is a sudden inception of acne conglabata-like symptoms which includes fever and aching joints. The typical treatment is confinement in a hospital for three to five weeks.
On the other hand, rosacea fulminans, which is also called pyoderma faciale, affects only women between 20 to 40 years old. This is characterized with large nodules which are usually painful and sores which may result in scars. It does not last longer than a year but can occur on the skin of a woman who has never been prone to acne before.
This bacterial infection comes with pustules and cysts which could have resulted from long term antibiotic treatment of acne vulgaris. This is a rare type of acne.