Types of acnex

Acne is predominantly caused by the oil in your skin. The trapped sebum, cells and keratin form a very sticky mixture. This combination causes a blockage, acting like a plug that keeps everything in and prevents it from coming out onto the surface of the skin. This process can be known as ‘follicular plugging’ (which results in micro-comedones).

Comedones can be separated into two categories: blackheads and whiteheads.

  • Blackheads: If the comedone enlarges and comes out through the surface of the skin, the tip of it looks dark and is therefore named a blackhead.
  • Whiteheads: Whiteheads are micro-comedones that get much larger due to swelling behind the blockage. If the comedone remains below the surface of the skin and does not erupt through it like a blackhead, it is light in colour and looks like a small white-coloured bump.

Both blackheads and whiteheads can remain on the skin for many months, in some cases even years.

Common inflammatory acne include:

  • Papules: When a comedone starts to leak sebum into the surrounding tissue, it will cause inflammation which results in a visible red spot.
  • Pustules: The same as papules but contain pus. Pustules occur when the bacteria, P. acnes start to multiply. P. acnes thrive most in an anaerobic, dark environment such as a blocked pore.
  • Nodules: These are large and relatively tender, inflamed, pus-filled papules or pustules that are more deeply embedded into the skin. When a large comedone burst, it releases bacteria and its inflammatory content into the surrounding skin.
  • Cysts: Cysts are pockets of liquid that contain a combination of pus and bacteria. Most commonly, cysts can be found alongside nodules and can occur in small clusters of two or three nodules and cysts together.
  • Macules: These are sometimes formed at the end of the cycle of a lesion, and appear where a papule or a pustule was. Macules are flat, red, purple or brownish spots; they remain for a while after an acne lesion has healed or during the process of healing.