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Types of acne

There are several types of acne, and Dr. Jogi will tailor your acne treatment based on the predominant type of acne present.  The two main categories of acne are non-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Non-inflammatory acne: This type of acne, as the name would imply, is characterized by the absence of inflammation and pain. The acne bumps come in two types: 
· Whiteheads: The proper medical term for a whitehead is a "closed comedone," and it will typically show up as a whitish bump on your skin. Oils and sebum accumulate on the skin and in the pores, ultimately resulting in plugging of the skin's follicles. These clogged areas are closed off and are not exposed to air. Thus, they appear as whiteheads and not blackheads. 
· Blackheads: These are known in the dermatology world as "open comedones" and arise when a plugged follicle pushes through to the surface of the skin. The oil that is plugging the follicle turns black when it is exposed to air, creating the appearance of a blackhead. Increased oil production during puberty can lead to blackhead formation. In addition, failure to clean your skin properly can allow the accumulation of dead skin cells, thus resulting in further plugging of your follicles. 

Inflammatory acne: This type of acne can be characterized by papules and pustules or by nodules and cysts. Papules are essentially inflamed comedones, and appear as small, pink bumps on the skin, whereas pustules are red bumps with a yellow or white center containing pus. These lesions can sometimes be painful, predominantly because of the underlying inflammation. 

Nodulocystic acne: Nodules are hardened, painful lesions deep within the skin, while cysts are softer, pus-filled lesions that are also quite deep within the skin. Both are caused by the body’s immune response to ruptured comedones, resulting in a great degree of inflammation. These are the type of acne lesions that can last for weeks to months, and often, if left untreated, they may lead to scarring. While nodulocystic acne can affect anyone, teenage boys and young men are the most at risk. 

Keep in mind that not all bumps on the face, chest, and back are caused by acne. There are multiple other conditions that may be confused for acne, including rosacea, milia, folliculitis, perioral dermatitis, keratosis pilaris, pseudofolliculitis barbae (or shaving bumps), epidermal cysts, acne scars, and epidermal cysts to name a few. Dr. Reena Jogi at West Houston Dermatology can help you determine if you truly have acne and establish a treatment program tailored to your needs.

Continue to next page: Treatment of acne

If you would like Dr. Jogi, board-certified dermatologist in Houston, Texas, to evaluate and treat your acne, call 281.558.3376 for an appointment, or click here to register online.