It’s Thursday night and the next day you have one of the most important dates of your life. If only you could get this troublesome acne to go away before the big night! If you’re struggling with breakouts, don’t stress—many of us are still dealing with acne well out of our teens.
If you’ve tried countless products to no avail and you feel like nothing is working for you, it might be because you haven’t identified the specific type of acne you’re dealing with.
Here are the various acne types and what you need to do to get rid of them.
If a pore stays open on the surface of your skin, it’s considered an open comedo, also known as a blackhead. Most common during puberty, blackheads occur when the secretions produced by the sebum gland oxidize and harden.
Typically found on the nose, chin, and forehead, blackheads can be dealt with by applying salicylic acid—this natural emollient helps break up what’s clogging the pore. Try to scrub away the dirt or grime that’s keeping the pore open.
One of the most common types of pimples experienced by people in all stages of life is the whitehead. If a pore becomes covered by a layer of skin, dead skin cells and the oil on your face can become trapped, resulting in a plug. Bacteria sometimes hangs around the plug inside your pore, which can result in infection—especially if popped.
Papules are inflamed lesions that may appear red, and can be sensitive or painful. Unlike other forms of acne, papules aren’t the result of a clogged pore or a cyst. Because they are irritated lesions, they can’t be treated the same way as other types of acne.
Don’t use harsh acne products; try to use gentle cleansers. When treating papules, you need to clean the lesions without further damaging your skin—try using natural remedies like witch hazel.
Pustules are inflamed lesions that are pus-filled. The skin will appear as read and irritated with white or sometimes yellow pus.
Avoid popping pustules because it can lead to acne scarring; instead, try using organic acne treatments and face washes. Exfoliate every few days or so to clean without damaging and scarring your skin.
Nodules are a severe form of acne lesion that develops under the skin; this type of acne doesn’t contain pus, but it is hard to the touch. This type of acne tends to be rare and is usually only caused by Keloids, Burkitt’s lymphoma, rheumatic fever, valley fever, and polyarteritis nodosa.
If you are experiencing persistent or recurring nodules, make sure you consult a physician in case your acne is the result of something more serious.
Because nodules exist deep below the skin's surface, over-the-counter products will keep your skin and pores clean, but they won’t get rid of nodules. Because this type of acne is typically the result of a more serious medical condition, the only way to get rid of it is to consult a doctor and follow their prescribed treatment.
Cysts are a form of acne lesion that are inflamed and filled with pus often deep below the surface of the skin. Cysts appear as large, dense bumps of the surface of the skin that can become painful if left untreated.
Resist the urge to squeeze, scratch, drain or open a cyst (yourself). The best thing to do is keep the area on your skin as clean as possible using facewash and acne treatment products. If a cyst continues to get worse or won’t reduce in size, ask a skin care professional who can drain it without damaging your skin.
When it comes to fighting acne, the best thing you can do is stay healthy and take care of your body. Cut out sugar, grease, and other unhealthy foods—replace them with fatty fishes and salads. Get plenty of rest and exercise so that your immune system is in the best shape possible.
Use these helpful tips to identify and treat your specific type of acne, and you’ll be on your way to clearer skin in no time.