What Type of Acne Do You Have? — The Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them

Acne is not just your good ol’ regular pimples. Read on to find out more about the different types of acne, and the best ways to treat them!

Nudie Glow
4 min readOct 7, 2018

Acne is not just your good ol’ regular pimples. Read on to find out more about the different types of acne, and the best ways to treat them!

You’re probably wondering: Aren’t all acne technically the same (a.k.a bad, painful, needs to be destroyed immediately)? Well, surprise! Turns out, there are different types of acne, and the way you treat them should be different too:

1. Comedonal Acne (Non-Inflammatory Acne)

This type of acne is also known as “whiteheads” and “blackheads”, where hair follicles that have been clogged with dirt, sebum, and debris causes the pores to become infected. Whiteheads are pores that are completely closed at the surface, resulting in their white-ish or skin-colored appearance. On the other hand, blackheads are “open” pores that have been exposed to oxygen, creating their signature black colour.

Many over-the-counter products can be used to treat non-inflammatory acne. They often contain active ingredients like salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate dead cells from the skin’s surface and remove excess oil. Also, several lifestyle changes can help prevent the appearance of whiteheads or blackheads, such as double cleansing regularly, eating a balanced diet, and exfoliating on a more frequent basis.

Look for chemical exfoliators like COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, which is a salicylic acid-based treatment that works to deep cleanse the pores.

2. Inflammatory Acne (Papules, Pustules)

The most common forms of inflammatory acne are papules and pustules, which originate as comedonal acne, but have turned into red or tender bumps. Papules can be identified as red in color, sensitive to the touch and have no visible center. Pustules, on the other hand, are filled with white or yellow pus, and resemble a whitehead with a red ring around the bump.

Other than benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, look for products with gentle ingredients like centella asiatica that can calm inflammation while ensuring the angry pimples won’t leave any scars behind. If you’re also struggling with dry skin, snail mucin is a great addition to your routine, because it helps with wound-healing, while also promoting hydration.

3. Cysts and Nodules

Nodules are hard, painful bumps that looks like larger, deeper papules, but is located deep within the skin. Similarly, cysts are also lodged deep within the skin, but look more like boils and is filled with pus. They are extremely painful and can be quite large, measuring up to an inch or more in diameter. Acne nodules and cysts can linger under the surface of your skin for weeks or even months.

Nodules and cysts are the most severe forms of acne, and can result in damage to the skin such as permanent scarring if not handled correctly. Over-the-counter treatments can only do so much, so the best way to treat this form of acne is through consulting with a dermatologist about topical prescriptions or oral medications.

However, if you are looking to treat the leftover acne scars, brightening products like vitamin C and niacinamide are really effective and easy treatments you can try a home. Opt for a serum with a high percentage of vitamin C like the By Wishtrend Natural Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum to help to lighten any stubborn hyperpigmentation.

Now that you know the best ways to get rid of different types of acne, the next time you get one of these unwelcome visitors, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Originally published at nudieglow.com.