Acne Survival Guide: Learn How to Identify Your Acne

Acne can be a rite of passage of sorts. Not a super enjoyable part of growing up, but one that many of us encounter as adolescence hits. And many will continue to deal with breakouts way beyond our teenage years, too. Fun, right? 

Acne is definitely something you don’t have to accept. There are endless products, routines, and DIY remedies out there to help you battle those pesky blemishes, but how do you know what will work for you? By understanding what causes acne and how to stop it before it starts. 

Acne has many forms, which means you need to know what you’re dealing with so you can get over these bumps in your skin’s history and return to clear skin. So strap in for a crash course on acne and let’s pinpoint exactly where your blemish lies. 

Common Acne Types

“Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.” (Mayo Clinic) Mild acne is perfectly treatable with over-the-counter treatments. It could take up to eight weeks for your skin to clear, but you will see results with consistent use of topical treatments. 

Some common acne types you may see popping up on your skin include: 

  • Comedones: These lesions result from a clogged hair follicle and can develop into blackheads, whiteheads, and other common forms of acne. In order to avoid these, be sure you are using non-comedogenic beauty and health products on your face.
    • Blackheads: These blemishes are open at the surface of the skin and filled with excess oil and dead skin cells. Help reduce and prevent black heads by exfoliating 1 to 3 times a week. 
    • Whiteheads: These blemishes are closed at the surface of the skin and appear when oil and skin cells prevent a clogged hair follicle from opening. Their “whitehead” is the build-up of material beneath the skin. This can also be prevented with regular exfoliation. 
  • Papules: These sensitive blemishes are comedones that have become inflamed red or pink bumps. If you develop a large amount of papules, it could be an indication that your acne is becoming more severe. Go to your dermatologist if you suspect this could be the case. 
  • Pustules: These blemishes are like a whitehead with anger issues. They have a pus-filled top with a red ring around the bump. Make sure you use gentle cleansers so you don’t dry out your skin. There’s nothing worse than peeling pimples! When you dry your face, always pat it dry gently with a towel. 

More severe acne types

Treatment of moderate to severe acne usually involves a combination of in-office treatments with your dermatologist and prescription medication. It’s not uncommon for your acne to seem like it’s getting worse before it gets better when following this treatment protocol, but the end result will be worth it.

The more severe types of acne lesions include: 

  • Nodules: These painful blemishes are large firm red bumps under the skin that don’t always have a head. Prescription medication is often the only treatment that nodules respond to. 
  • Cysts: These lesions are a lot like nodules but more closely resemble boils and are filled with pus. Again, dermatologist treatment with prescription medication is necessary for this more severe form of acne. 
  • Severe Nodulocystic Acne: You fall into this category if your skin has a large number of nodules and cysts. This type of severe acne usually happens in the chest, face or back. 

We know the amount of acne types may seem overwhelming and discouraging, but the good news is there is a treatment option for all of them. If you find yourself needing a dermatologist to help guide you through your mild to moderate inflammatory acne issues, ask your doctor if Sebacia’s acne treatment would be the best option for your skin. 

Our acne treatment uses Sebacia Microparticles, an innovative formulation of gold microparticles that are applied to the skin and treated with a standard dermatology laser. Using the laser to heat the microparticles has been clinically proven to reduce the number of acne lesions over time. Click here to see which dermatologists near you are offering this treatment!


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