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Types of acne and how to treat them.



Some of you may call them blemishes, zits or spots but there is no denying that when you get a pimple it is the most irritating and painful nuisance that affects a lot of us. Let's not forget the effects it has on our self-esteem.

But not all pimples are the same. There are blackheads and whiteheads which are caused by different factors and their treatment is also different. It is important to figure out which pimple you have in order to use the right treatment on it.

1. Blackheads

These are open comedones that get their name from the fact that they appear black in your skin.

They start out as any other pimple starts out i.e., debris (aka keratin) mixes with the sebum your skin produces and clogs your pores.

What differentiates a blackhead from the rest is that the pore is open. The oxygen from the air triggers a chemical reaction with the debris inside your pores causing it to turn black.

So, how does one treat them?

The best option is to wash your face regularly with products that contain a high percentage of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA).

Additionally, you can use other over the counter products which have retinol. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that increases your skin cell turnover by breaking the cells that clog your pores.

2. Whiteheads

These are closed comedones that are similar to blackheads but are not the same. The pore is closed off by a layer of skin.

So, how does one treat them?

While there are some of us that may find it tempting to pop these really tiny whiteheads, the short answer is you should not.

Again, similar to blackheads, the best solution is to wash your face with Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and to use oil-free non-comedogenic products. Additionally, over the counter retinol are also good for controlling whiteheads.

3. Pustules

These types of pimples contain fluid or pus and they look like large white bumps surrounded by red inflamed skin. This type of pimple is mainly caused by bacteria trapped in your clogged follicle.

So, how does one treat them?

The smaller pustules go away with treatment and again reminding you here that you should not burst that pimple no matter how tempting it is. Additionally, you can use products which contain benzoyl peroxide or sulfur-based face washes. They are very helpful in decreasing inflammation and killing bacteria. In severe cases it is best to visit your local dermatologist for a prescribed treatment.

4. Papules

These are solid raised bumps or lesions that are usually less than one centimeter in diameter.

They may vary in shapes, sizes and color. They start out as a solid boil and after a few days they may fill up with pus and become a pustule.

So, how does one treat them?

The key is to avoid irritating that area. Don't use harsh scrubs and be gentle with your skin when you clean it. You should use a face wash that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

5. Nodules

This type of pimple develops when the pore deep in your skin is plugged by dead skin cells and oil. This leads to a large deep lesion that may be visible to the surface if it is inflammed. If they continue to grow larger then they can become a nodule cyst.

So, how does one treat them?

Nodules need stronger treatments which over the counter products may not be able to provide. Oral antibiotics such as minocycline or oral retinoids such as isotretinoin, commonly called Accutane.

However the best option in this case is to visit a good dermatologist.

6. Cysts

These are the most serious type of acne. These are caused by clogged pores beneath the surface of the skin. They contain pus and they may appear to be red, large in size and are typically painful

So, how does one treat them?

Like nodules, over-the-counter treatments aren't enough to treat cysts. It's important to get the proper treatment from a dermatologist to prevent scarring from these cysts.


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II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II