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Differences Between Mild & Moderate Acne

Differences Between Mild & Moderate Acne Differences Between Mild & Moderate Acne

Wondering if your acne is just a few zits or something more serious? Dermatologists have a number of ways of classifying and grading acne to help them not only diagnose the condition, but also measure the effectiveness of various treatments. Most classification systems focus on the type of pimples present and how much of the body is affected. If you have questions about your skin, consult a dermatologist. Prompt treatment can help to minimize acne and any related scarring.


Blackheads are called open comedones. They derive their distinctive dark coloring from sebum or trapped oil which has come in contact with the air and turned dark. Whiteheads are called closed comedones. In the case of a closed comedone, the trapped sebum and bacteria remain under the surface of the skin. You may have either or both types of comedones with mild or moderate acne. However, people with mild acne usually have more open comedones, while people with moderate acne usually have more closed comedones. Mild acne is sometimes called comedonal acne.


A papule is a red bump that is tender and has no apparent center. People with mild acne typically have papules, while people with moderate acne have inflamed papules. If you have a large number of papules, your dermatologist may consider your acne moderate, whether or not they are inflamed.


A pustule is a red bump or circle that is tender, possibly painful, with a noticeable white or yellow center or "head" . Pustules characterize moderate acne; people with mild acne either have no pustules or only have one occasionally. When pustules worsen into cysts or nodules, acne is usually characterized as severe or moderately severe.

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