Acne treatment Acne treatment

Levels of Acne

Levels of Acne Levels of Acne Levels of Acne

The most common form of acne is acne vulgaris, which can affect the skin in many ways. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the exact reason for acne is unknown, but acne is the result of pores clogged with dead skin cells and excess oil. Bacteria thrive within this environment, resulting in an infection. The level of the bacteria within the pore from the surface of the skin on down defines the level of infection and acne type. Acne levels are classified from mild to severe.

Mild Acne

Mild acne is the result of bacterial infections closer to the surface of the skin. These infections result in acne blemishes known as blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are actually the result of a partially clogged pore, and the black coloration is oxidization of the dead skin cells trapped within the pore. Whiteheads happen when the pore is completely blocked, trapping the infection at the skin's surface. Whiteheads do not include any red inflammation.

Moderate Acne

Moderate acne is the result of the bacterial infection occurring a little deeper within the pore. These infections result in acne blemishes known as papules or pustules, or more commonly known as pimples and zits. Papules are red inflamed bumps upon the skin's surface. Pustules are also red inflamed bumps but contain pus that present a whitehead on top.

Severe Acne

Nodules and cysts define severe acne, and occur when the infection is deep within the pore. Nodules are large, painful, hard bumps under the skin's surface. If left untreated, they are known to repeatedly flare up. Squeezing a nodule will not speed up the healing process, and can, in fact, slow it down. Scarring is also a likely result of a nodule. Cysts are similar to nodules, and are defined as lesions 5mm or larger that contain pus. Like nodules, they too can be painful and often result in scarring.

Acne Conglobata and Fulminans

Acne conglobata is the most severe form of acne vulgaris, most commonly experienced by males. It covers large areas of skin with large lesions and blackheads. The lesions can grow to sizes resulting in them interconnecting with each other to create one large, long lesion. It is not uncommon for acne conglobata to leave behind untreatable damage to the skin and disfiguring scarring. Acne fulminans is the sudden onset of acne conglobata. In addition to the visible acne, acne fulminans can be accompanied by fever and joint pains.

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