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Types of Acne

Acne can include one or more of the following:

Open Comedo (AKA Blackhead) occurs in pores plugged with sebum (oil), accumulated dead cells from inside the pore, tiny hairs, and sometimes bacteria. The plug is dark in color and that is how it gets the name “blackhead”.
Closed comedo (AKA whitehead) is also plugged with sebum (oil), accumulated dead cells from inside the pore, tiny hairs, and sometimes bacteria however it appears as a skin-colored or slightly inflamed “bump” in the skin.

Pustule—is a dome-shaped, fragile lesion containing pus that typically consists of a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. A pustule that forms over a sebaceous follicle usually has a hair in the center. Acne pustules that heal without progressing to cystic form usually leave no scars.
Papule— is a small solid lesion slightly raised above the surface of the skin. A papule is caused by localized cellular reaction to the process of acne.

Nodule—similar to a papule, a nodule is a solid, dome-shaped or irregularly-shaped lesion. Unlike a papule, a nodule is characterized by inflammation, extends into deeper layers of the skin and may cause tissue destruction that results in scarring. A nodule may be very painful. Nodular acne is a severe form of acne that may not respond to therapies other than isotretinoin.

Cyst—a cyst is a sac-like lesion containing liquid or semi-liquid material consisting of white blood cells, dead cells, and bacteria. It is larger than a pustule, may be severely inflamed, extends into deeper layers of the skin, may be very painful, and can result in scarring. Cysts and nodules often occur together in a severe form of acne called nodulocystic.

Medical terminology and definitions of acne sourced from © American Academy of Dermatology

Submitted by Ms. distressedDERMA on Wednesday, 4 July 2007


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One Response to “Types of Acne”

  1. 1

    AcneBoy19 Says:

    I like reading posts about the latest news about acne and especially browsing sites like yours and finding what people have to say about the different cures. Lots of different opinions thx

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