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Types of Acne Skin Conditions

Types of Acne Skin Conditions Types of Acne Skin Conditions Types of Acne Skin Conditions

Acne, affecting up to 85 percent of adolescents and a total of 50 million Americans, is the country's most prevalent skin condition, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some of these people also have to cope with the difficult-to-treat scarring that can result from acne.Though underlying causes are unknown, acne develops from pores clogged with sebum (oil), bacteria and dead skin cells, resulting in various levels of inflammation.

Mild to Moderate Acne

Most people with acne experience mild to moderate types, according to These include the most familiar forms: whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules. Whiteheads are entirely clogged pores, but the sebum remains held below the surface of the skin. When pores are only partially clogged, some of the sebum may reach beyond the surface of the skin, turning black with oxidation, forming blackheads. Papules are small red bumps with no head, and pustules--what are commonly known as pimples or zits--are inflamed pores with a white or yellow head surrounded by a reddish circle.

Severe Acne

Relatively common severe acne includes nodules and cysts. Both are hard, larger than mild or moderate acne (cysts can reach a diameter of 5mm), can be considerably painful and may last up to several months. Cysts are differentiated from nodules because they are filled with pus. Severe acne can easily lead to scarring, and your own attempts to pop these types can damage the skin and result in infection. Always see a dermatologist if you wish to remedy severe acne.

Rare Types of Severe Acne

There are severe types of acne that are rare but responsible for significant pain and emotional distress. Acne congolbata (and its sudden-onset variety, acne fulminans) is more prevalent in males, typically manifesting between 18 and 30 years of age, explains It is characterized by widespread, sometimes connected large reddish lesions and is often accompanied by many blackheads. Extensive scarring is common with these types of severe acne. Women can have pyoderma faciale, often suddenly, typically between the ages of 20 and 40. It involves widespread pustules and nodules prone to scarring. The little-understood gram-negative folliculitis is another rare but severe acne skin condition. A type of infection giving way to cysts and pustules, it may result from prolonged acne treatment with antibiotics.

Acne Scars

While most acne is manageable and treatable, more permanent damage can be done when it causes scarring. The American Academy of Dermatology's Skin Care Physicians site identifies five types of acne scars. Three types are depressed, including the wavy-looking indentations known as rolling scars, boxcar scars that resemble large pores and deep, thin slits called icepick scars. The two types of raised acne scars are keloids and hypertrophic scars. The former are thick and continue to expand beyond the borders of the acne, while the latter are smaller and do not expand.

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