The Skin Coach: What Kind of Acne Do you Have?

Did you know that nearly 85 percent of Americans suffer from acne? Most of these people do not identify themselves as having acne but rather as being the victims of occasional breakouts. The truth is, acne vulgaris is a disease that manifests on the skin and takes many different forms. Whether you get occasional stress-induced pimples or have a face full of red, monstrous bumps, these are all forms of the same disease. The good news is, the better you can recognize your acne type, the better you can appropriately treat it. Here is a simple guide to answering the question, what kind of acne do you have?

Non-Inflamed Acne:

This type of acne is the least recognized and consists of comedones, blackheads and whiteheads. When dead skin cells sludge up in the follicle and combine with debris like oil, bacteria and comedogenic ingredients, a mass called a comedo is formed. When this mass grows, it becomes a whitehead. If the mass stretches the pore and opens it up, it becomes a blackhead. Think of this type of acne like the “baby” version of acne that is less noticeable because it is smaller, but is still made of the same stuff as the more severe inflamed acne types.

Inflamed Acne:

Inflammatory acne is the most easily recognized form of acne and consists of papules, more commonly known as pimples, and pustules. These lesions form when non-inflamed acne grows so big that the follicle wall breaks and our body responds by sending rushing red and white blood cells (pus) to heal the area. When the tear in the follicular wall is in the deeper layers of the skin, the more painful cysts and nodules form.

Combination Acne

This is the most common type of acne and is characterized by a mix of non-inflamed and inflamed acne lesions. 

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