There are many variations of acne, ranging from mild to severe. Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne which includes several types of pimples. This type of acne can cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
The blackhead is formed when it has reached the top of the skin and opened. It occurs in particularly blocked pores. Sebum which can cause oily skin, dead cells, and bacteria are slowly draining to the surface of the skin and the black color is not due to dirt, but is dried oil caused by the pigments in the skin being exposed to air. Blackheads will take a long time to clear up.
A whitehead is a small white bump on the skin that has not opened on the top of the skin. Unlike blackheads, whiteheads are contained beneath the surface of the skin. It formed when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface. Whiteheads normally have a shorter life cycle than blackheads.
Papules are small pink bumps on the skin that are tender to the touch. they are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head. They will cause irritation, so bear in mind that not to touch them or squeeze them which will do no good, and may exacerbate scarring.
Pustules are similar to whiteheads, but are inflamed. They appear as red circles with a white or yellow center. They are what most people call pimples or zits. Squeezing or popping a pustule is equally proscribed.
Nodules are hard lumps underneath the surface of the skin which can be painful and last for several months. Nodules are much larger than those mentioned above. Unresolved nodules can sometimes leave an impaction behind, which can flare again and again. It is not at all advisable to squeeze or pop them. You may cause severe trauma to the skin and the lesion may last for months longer than it normally would. This type of acne is particularly vulnerable to scarring, so it is advisable to have it treated by a dermatologist.
An acne cyst appears similar to a nodule, but is filled with pus, and has been described as having a diameter of 5mm or more across. It can be painful. Cysts can cause permanent scarring. Squeezing an acne cyst may cause a deeper infection and more painful inflammation which will last much longer than if you had left it alone. Dermatologists often have ways of lessening swelling and preventing scarring, so consult the dermatologist.
The above mentioned are main types of acne. Different types of acne do exist, each having a different cause.