Types of Acne and How to Treat them

Blemishes, bumps, pimples, breakouts- these are the few terrible words associated with acne. Since there are about 6 types of acne, knowing the differences can be frustrating. Acne affects around 80% of all adolescents and young adults all around the world. In the coming paragraphs, you will be guided on all the types of acne and the treatment required to heal them.

To treat acne effectively, it is very important to know which type of acne you are suffering from. Acne can be broadly categorized into two categories Non-Inflammatory Acne and Inflammatory acne is less severe and painful from while the latter one is a more severe and painful form of acne.

Non-Inflammatory Acne

The main cause of non-inflammatory acne is comedones. Comedonal acne doesn’t even look like the typical acne. There is no inflammation and they don’t swell to excessive proportions too. Comedones can sometimes become pimples if you try to pop them as the bacteria easily accesses the broken tissue


Whiteheads are often called closed pored comedones, they often appear on the chin or nose. They are usually small in size and shiny in appearance. Whiteheads usually happen when pores are clogged all the way through. Over the counter treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur based creams and soaps are quite effective in getting rid of these.

NOTE: You must not pop these whiteheads as this may permanent scarring.


Unlike whiteheads, blackheads have a shiny black appearance. They are known as the open comedones as the heads of the pore remains open, they can be removed by squeezing however it’s not recommended as it can cause permanent scarring. The treatment for blackheads is usually the same as whiteheads.

Inflammatory Acne

The main difference between non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne is the latter is infected by bacteria which causes redness and inflammation. Inflammatory acne is more likely to be painful and tends to form scars if they’re squeezed. Inflammatory acne can further be classified into two categories moderate to mild form this category includes papules and pustules, the other classification is moderate to severe this category includes nodules and cysts.


These are the small red bumps that form due to the combination of excess oil and bacteria. Over the counter medications, like benzoyl peroxide may still be effective against these as they kill the bacteria dwelling inside the papules, these papules do not contain puss however it is still not recommended not to squeeze them as they can cause scarring.


These are small red bumps similar to papules however they have a white center and red inflamed skin surrounding them. They are usually found in clusters and are filled with pus. Squeezing or rupturing them can cause this fluid to spread all around causing a more severe acne outbreak and infection of the surrounding skin. The over the counter treatment which applies to papules applies here too, however, if it is not effective it is recommended that you go to a dermatologist so that he can give you oral antibiotics.


Nodular acne consists of skin-colored bumps deep under the epidermis. This type of acne is a result of bacteria that causes infection, deep under the skin. Nodular acne often requires strong benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid medications, however, if this doesn’t help, it is advised that you get the nodules drained on the advice of a dermatologist.


Cystic Acne is the most severe form of acne and requires a lot of time and effort for treatment. The bacteria-laden cysts are often large, red, inflamed, and painful, when these cysts get ruptured, they infect the surrounding area too. Strong medications of retinol serums, oral retinoids and steroids are required to keep this acne in control.

Acnes can come in all forms ranging from mild to severe acne, over the counter and prescription based medications can be helpful but the most effective way of controlling acne is through a balanced diet. Refined grains, sugar-laden, fast food and fatty food should be avoided while treating acne. Following these simple steps can help you get rid of even the most persistent of acne infections.


I am a technology enthusiast with a knack for figuring out trends in the market, blogging is something very close to my heart as it helps the extrovert in me, express thoughts to millions. Playing Football and cooking food are a few of my hobbies which help me remain in the best of my health.

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