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6 common types of acne, symptoms and solutions

Acne is divided into two basic types: inflammatory or non-inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne is usually more severe and takes longer to heal than non-inflammatory acne, and most people with inflammatory acne often need to see a dermatologist for advice on treatment.

Here are some common types of acne you may encounter, and what causes them to stick on your skin. Let's consult before seeking treatment!



These are areas of skin that are not inflamed, or white spots or nodules surrounded by red skin. In some cases, hair may grow out from between these nodules, or it appears to be trapped inside.

Cause: Whiteheads are caused by dirt, sebum, and dead skin cells that clog pores and build up inside, causing breakouts.



Unlike whiteheads, blackheads (non-inflammatory) are small dark or black spots that appear as acne spots. Normally, the skin around a blackhead is normal, not swollen, and the acne nucleus is darker in color.

Cause: Just because they're darker in color doesn't mean there's more dirt inside the pores. Blackheads are just a sign that the pores are enlarged, and the hair follicles are blocked.

Red acne


Red papules are inflammatory bumps located below the surface of the skin. The skin around the acne is red, often red and swollen. They are usually mildly swollen, pink-red, and sensitive. But compared to the above 2 types of acne, they do not have a clear core and size.


Skin infections (Molluscum contagiosum)

The growth of small blood vessels (cherry angioma)






Pustules are large, soft, round pus-filled bumps with yellow/white pus on a red background. In fact, they look a lot like whiteheads, larger in size and inflamed.


The most common are food allergies, or environmental allergies

Insect stings (poisonous)

Dead skin cells and oil clog pores

Nodules acne

Inflamed, painful, and hard bumps deep in the skin are called nodules. This type of acne can become severe, and can cause skin complications such as sunken scars and freckles.

Causes: These are classified as inflammatory acne, and occur when clogged pores damage cells and tissues deep below the skin's surface.

Cystic acne

When pustules become infected they begin to swell and cause pain, then become cystic acne. Cystic acne is a painful, white or red mass that is large and tender but is located deep in the skin – even deeper than a nodule. They are also filled with pus inside. In fact, this type of acne is the leading cause of pitted scars on the skin.

Cause: infected pustules

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