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Spots, bumps, pimples, breakouts – there are many words we use when we talk about acne. To see clear skin, it helps to know what kind of blemish you are dealing with. See below how different acne blemishes look like and how to treat them. 

We use these terms interchangeably to describe the nasty outbursts that plague our skin. If you are like many acne sufferers you have noticed that different parts of your body have different types of acne or pimples that you want to see disappear. 

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin, oil glands, and hair follicles. It is the most common skin disease in the United States affecting simultaneously 40 to 50 million people (AAD n.d. ). Acne is most common in teenagers but affects people of all ages. 

Types of acne

With so many types of acne and multiple treatment options, it can be difficult to know the differences. Here we pick up acne against pimples by examining the most common skin diseases and making comparisons. Let us learn about 6 different types of acne, how they arise, how they look, and how you can treat them. 

  • Acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin disease that manifests itself when hair follicles clog up the skin. Acne can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory, leading to pimples.
    Acne vulgaris is an inflammation skin disease which involves changes in the pilosebaceous unit, a structure made up of hair follicles and associated sebaceous and oil glands. Acne lesions, also called pimples or pimples, are symptoms of acne vulgaris, which arise when oil from the sweat glands and dead skin cells clog the hair follicle. Acne is a persistent and recurring pimple or blemish most commonly found on the face, neck and chest.  
  • Pimples are a slight subdivision of acne, while nodules and cysts form the more severe form of acne. As already mentioned, we have checked the differences between the skin diseases and now we have a simple breakdown of the differences and where acne comes from. Acne is a serious skin disease that occurs when the pores become clogged. To explain the details of how acne occurs, there is an easy-to-understand explanation summarized by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Common acne or Frequent acne occurs when the openings of the hair follicles become blocked, blocking oil and dead skin cells. When clogged pores become infected with bacteria, they form pimples, small red bumps or pus with pus at the tip. Nodular acne consists of flesh-colored red bumps on the deep skin surface. 
  • Cystic Acne . This is the most severe form of acne that happens when oil of dead skin cells accumulates in hair follicles. White heads and blackheads burst out of the follicles and form a yellow-white pus bag that surrounds the red, inflamed skin (pimples or papules). 
  • White heads or blackheads (also called comedos) are formed when skin cells and oil are trapped in the pores. They break out deep under the skin and cause large, tender, hard nodules or cysts on the skin that look like a boil on the skin surface. Both white heads and blackheads, such as pimples and pustules, heal by themselves when the body absorbs the contents and sends them to the surface where they drain off. 

When the pores are clogged with dead skin cells, oil catches on the skin surface. When the skin glands and hair follicles become blocked, there is a build-up of bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil stains (pimples). Excess oil on the skin is trapped in clogged pores where a certain type of bacteria (P) (acne) grows. 

When these three factors come together, they form pimples characterized by redness and inflamed skin, as well as white pus caps covering the pores. Pimples can also develop when sebaceous or oil glands become clogged or infected, resulting in swollen, pus-filled red acne lesions, as described above. Pimples result in a troublesome skin problem that causes similar symptoms. 

Pores are tiny openings in the skin through which oil can seep in and keep the skin soft. Boiling boils are purulent lumps that can cause bacterial infections. 

The bumps you see on your skin are caused by bacteria, and there is not a single pimple. Known scientifically as acne vulgaris, acne occurs when multiple outbreaks occur simultaneously on the skin. A pimple, however, is a uniquely infected bump, while acne is the presence of several suppurating outbreaks that spread across the skin.

  • Deep, painful lumps on the skin, called nodules or sebaceous cysts, are bigger than pimples or papules and mild acne can last for months. Pustules and papules can also lead to acne scars that take a long time to fade but eventually fade.

Now that you know the difference between acne pimples and pimples, you can choose the right approach to get clear skin. Be patient with your skin and give your acne treatment every few weeks to clear it up.

Learn the difference between pustules and papules and the best ways to treat the most common forms of acne to ensure that you are ready to communicate your skincare concerns. We doubt that you are familiar with the words “pimples” or “pores,” but these additional sentences can help explain the different types of pimples and acne. To navigate the world of acne, these basic definitions are a helpful starting point.

Acne is a common skin condition, and pimples are one of its main symptoms. Pimples are not the same for everyone, and there are many types of acne, each of which has different pimples. Depending on the type of skin with which you are dealing can help you select the most effective treatment for your skin.