Pimples (a.k.a. acne) like any of your fav anime characters come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you think so or not, all the different types of pimples we are about to dig into have probably popped up on your face at some point or another (if not, tell us your secrets). The first step in tackling your pimple problems is understanding what type you have.
What is a Pimple?
Before even recognizing or even thinking about what type of pimple you have on your face lets cover square one on what a pimple even is… besides it being a total day ruiner.
Our skin is covered in small openings that release oil and sweat, called pores. Pimples form when too much sebum (an oily substance) is produced leading to dead skin cells and the excess oil to clog the pore causing swelling and inflammation.
What kind of acne do I have?
Pimples are more complicated than you probably think. We wish we could just tell you there's only two types of pimples you should be aware of and you could call it a day. There are many different classifications of acne, but we’re here to break it down for you.
Comedonal Acne happens when excess oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. The two types of acne within this group are closed and open comedones but better known as whiteheads and blackheads.
- Closed Comedone (Whiteheads): Clogged pores that are ‘closed’ because a layer of skin appears over the gunk inside. These appear to be white and very tempting to pop but trust us, DON’T!
- Open Comedone (Blackheads): clogged pores that are ‘open’ because the pore doesn't have skin over it and is exposed to the air. These are black because the gunk inside the pimple oxidizes due to the air exposure.
Inflammatory Acne occurs when the gunk inside your pores has an oily environment that welcomes and mixes with naturally occurring bacteria.
- Pustules: Pustules are small red inflamed bumps with a white center.
- Papules: Papules are the same as pustules but they don't have the white pus center.
Nodulocystic Acne is often more aggressive and painful. This is a more severe case on acne and involves an infection deep down in the skin. These usually can’t be popped, and shouldn't (like any pimple) be picked at.
- Nodules: These are red, under the skin bumps that don’t form a head. These pimples don’t have pus inside them.
- Cysts: Cysts look similar to nodules but are usually bigger and contain pus. These can be very sore and a pain to get rid of.
Whatever you do: DON’T TOUCH IT!
As you can see, even though there are a lot of appearances of acne, they all have one thing in common - a clogged pore. No one is ever happy about any kind of zit on their face. Although the treatments for these different types of acne vary, there is one common trend, don’t touch any of them! We will get into all the different ways to treat acne in our next blog post but for step one, note never to touch a pimple. These are wounds and picking at any will only cause further infection and scars, not touching them is doing your future self a favor.
Now that you have a fundamental understanding of acne. We will delve into how to treat them appropriately.