Though acne is a universal problem, it is commonly noticed that everyone's acne is different. This is because they are of different types and will even be different at different life periods. The following are its common types:
Acne vulgaris –
Acne vulgaris is a common type, involving blockage and / or inflammation of hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous gland. It can present as non-inflammatory lesions, inflammatory lesions, or a mixture of both, affecting mostly the face but also the back and chest because of densest population of sebaceous follicles.
Acne vulgaris is characterized by non-inflammatory, open or closed comedones and by inflammatory papules, pustules, and nodules. Comedones are small white or dark bumps on the skin, which are plugs of sebum and dead skin stuck in the openings of follicles. A comedo may be open (blackhead) or closed (covered by skin – whitehead) and may appear with or without acne. This type of acne can happen anywhere on the face or body and can range from very mild to quite severe.
Cystic acne –
This is a severe form of acne vulgaris as there is lot of inflammation, and large, painful blemishes (or cysts). Acne cysts occur deeper in the skin than typical pimple, take weeks to heal, and can cause a lot of damage to the skin.
Acne rosacea –
Though not a form of acne vulgaris, it is sometimes hard to distinguish from it. It is confined to the center of the face – cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Acne is all too common in the teen years but rosacea typically doesn't appear before age 30. It is more common in people with fair skin. Interestingly, it is more common in women but men tend to develop more severe forms. If rosacea isn't treated, it can progress and the redness and bumpiness becomes more severe.
We don't know exactly what causes rosacea but there are some triggers that include sun exposure, eating spicy foods, drinking hot beverages or alcohol, and exposure to extremely hot or cold weather. Emotional stress is another major trigger.
Acne cosmetica –
Products like makeup, creams and moisturizers, and even certain hair care products cause this type of facial acne. It is a type of comedonal acne. One will have to stop using the offending cosmetic or hair product to really see improvement of the skin, when its treatment is started.
Excoriated acne –
At some point or another, most people have given in to the temptation to pick at a blemish. But sometimes, the picking can severely damage skin tissue and most of women with acne frequently do it. Chronic sufferers of excoriated acne tend to be people who cannot control their urge to scratch or pick at their skin. They may feel compelled to pick at the skin. The constant squeezing and picking can cause open sores. When these sores scab up, they lend themselves to more picking, leading to a vicious cycle.
Acne mechanica –
This type of acne is caused when there is excess heat, pressure or friction on the skin. This is most common on the body but can occur on the face, too. Also called sports acne, it is common in young athletes – thanks to helmets, athletic pads and sweat bands. Anything that traps heat and rubs against the skin can trigger acne mechanica. A mild form of this type of acne can clear itself when the offending trigger is taken away.
Acne conglobata –
Usually found in male, it is the most severe type of acne. It is characterized by several large lesions interconnected across the face. There are also widespread blackheads reported with this type of acne. This is type is known to cause severe skin damage and scarring over time.
Acne fulimans –
Also known as acute febrile ulcerative acne, it is a severe form of acne, which can occur after unsuccessful treatment for acne conglobata. The condition is thought to be an immunologically induced disease, in which elevated level of testosterone causes a rise in sebum and population of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. However, it is a rare type of acne.
It mainly affects young men and comes on very abruptly. It is different in that it usually comes with a fever and aching joints.
The bottom line –
Undoubtedly, acne is a daily nuisance for millions & millions of people all over the planet. Therefore, it's important to quickly choose a treatment that is suitable for the specific type of acne and get started as soon as possible!