What Are The Different Types Of ACNE?

Types of ACNE

There’s no denying that first impressions matter. And that “first” in first impressions is your face! It’s the first thing that people see when you walk into a room.

But when you have acne, it’s easy to feel insecure and even discouraged about your skin. From adolescence to adulthood, acne can have a profound impact on your quality of life. And even after trying every treatment under the sun, you may still feel like you don’t have it under control.

You may want to read further, All You Need to Know About ACNE


So, read on to find out how you can support healthy, blemish-free skin all summer long.

Different Types of ACNE

All acne lesions begin as a microcomedone, a stage where the pore appears normal but has built up oil and skin cells creating a bottleneck effect that prevents normal sloughing (shedding of dead skin cells).

The resulting lesions can be divided into two categories: non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne.

A) Non-Inflammatory Acne

Microcomedones can become unplugged and heal on their own. They can also become non-inflamed skin blemishes called blackheads or whiteheads.

1. Blackheads

Blackheadsoccur when the pore opens to the surface and the oil, or sebum, oxidizes and turns dark brown or black in appearance. Contrary to their appearance, they are not filled with dirt and cannot be washed away, and because the substances in the pore drain very slowly, they can remain for a long time.

2. Whiteheads 

Whiteheadsoccur when the sebum and bacteria remain trapped underneath the skin’s surface. They may be so small that they are not visible to the naked eye, or they may appear as small white or flesh-colored bumps.


B) Inflammatory Acne

When blackheads or whiteheads cannot release their contents to the surface and heal, the follicle wall can rupture, resulting in inflammatory acne. This rupture can occur randomly or by touching or picking at the skin.

1. Papules 

Papules occur when bacteria attack the plugs, and the pore becomes inflamed.

2. Pustules

Pustules, what we usually call “zits” or “pimples,” form several days later, when pus rises to the skin’s surface.

3. Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the least severe form of acne, and there are several more severe forms that can be both painful and disfiguring.

4. Acne Conglobata

Acne conglobata chronic and severe form of acne vulgaris, often called cystic acne; can cause cyst formation and subsequent scarring.

5. ACNE fulminant

Sudden onset of highly destructive inflammation; can cause severe and ulcerating acne, fever, with inflammation and aching joints.

6. Nodulocystic ACNE

Characterized by large hard nodules and inflamed cysts; can require surgical drainage, and result in scarring.

7. Gram-Negative Folliculitis

Follicular inflammation caused by bacterial infection after long-term antibiotic treatment.

Actually, we dermatologists classify acne into four different types based on form and severity.  Understanding the four different types of acne will help you to identify which type of acne you have in order to choose the most appropriate treatment.

Different Grades of ACNE

Grade 1: Mild

This type of acne is non-inflammatory, which means an absence of redness and bumps. For this reason, mild acne is sometimes referred to as “flat” acne. Grade 1 acne is characterized by the appearance of open comedones, or blackheads. These blemishes occur when pores are clogged by an excess of waxy sebum, which is an oily substance secreted to lubricate skin.

The right way to treat it?

Over-the-counter products are generally sufficient to treat mild acne. Look for water-based products with salicylic acid, which is effective for unblocking pores. Steaming is also a good method to open and clear pores.

Grade 2: Moderate

In moderate acne, blemishes appear in greater numbers. It’s marked by the presence of whiteheads, which are closed comedones that may have some slight swelling with mild inflammation showing as well. Blemishes are more likely to appear randomly across the face rather than only in the T-zone.

The right way to treat it?

You should strongly consider topical treatments that will cleanse the skin and destroy the bacteria, but can also maintain proper moisture levels. So the goal of treatment is to subdue the inflammation, not strip your face of oil. See a dermatologist.

Grade 3: Severe

Acne moves to Grade 3 when blemishes occur in larger numbers and inflammation is more pronounced. Blemishes may be so dense that they spread and merge together, resulting in an entire area of skin being infected rather than just a single pore. When it reaches this point, the skin’s structure is compromised, opening up the possibility of acne scarring.

The right way to treat it?

Since the infection extends more deeply into the skin, abrasive exfoliants should be avoided since they are more likely to spread the infection rather than relieve it.  At Skin City, we administer services as well as prescribe medicinal treatments including topical and oral antibiotic treatments to reduce inflammation.

Grade 4: Cystic

In Grade 4, cystic acne is characterized by large, angry-looking blemishes on the face and jaw line which can also affect the upper body, neck, arms, shoulders and back. Their appearance is similar to that of a boil, with a smooth, tender surface that is painful to the touch.

Nodules are hard, painful bumps that are similar to cysts but contain no pus or other fluids. They can last for weeks or months and even go dormant only to reappear later on.

The right way to treat it?

Due to the severity of Grade 4 acne and the depths to which it extends, scarring is a very real possibility and should be treated by a dermatologist to minimize scarring and long term damage. Even mild acne can be enough to affect your quality of life by damaging your self-esteem and causing you to avoid social situations. No matter what type of acne you have, you don’t have to resign yourself to living with it.

How To Treat ACNE Scars

Acne scars are a common consequence of this skin condition; almost 95 percent of acne patients will develop some degree of scarring. Luckily, there are many new treatments available to help patients minimize these skin blemishes and rid the skin of acne scarring.

 1. Dermal Injections:

Dermal injections using Enerjet have become an effective way to treat and alleviate shallow acne scars at SkinCity. Dermal Fillers may also stimulate the production of collagen, to help smooth the skin even further.

2. Chemical Peels:

Chemical peels are one of the most common treatments used for getting rid of pigmented acne scars. At Skin City, we use Carbon Peel to effectively get rid of acne scars from skin.

3. Laser Treatments:

Laser treatments are non-invasive procedures, making them a popular choice for those looking to get rid of acne scars. Ultrapulse Total FX, Ultra pulse deep FX, and Scar Control Subtle are quick procedures (performed in a series of sessions) with minimal discomfort and minimal healing time. Laser treatment works by shooting out pulses of intense light that penetrate the skin’s layers. This stimulates collagen production, increases the rate of cell renewal and helps tighten up the skin.

If you are struggling with acne, let us help you. In just 3 – 6 months, we can clear your acne – for life. The Skin City method includes the most effective treatments in the industry, truly acne-safe skincare products, and acne-safe lifestyle education.

Are You Ready To Get Clear Skin For Life? Book Appointment Today!