How to Identify Different Types of Acne: Best Guide

If you are a teenager or just have entered adulthood, then one of the major problems you are facing may be appearance of acne and pimples. When there is a change in hormonal levels in adolescent boys and girls, lots of changes are brought about. Acne and pimples make you feel embarrassed when you go out. Nowadays even adults may suffer from acne and pimples. Adult pimples are more stubborn and do not go away fast. There are various types of acne and for each one there are specific treatments. There are skin care products to treat each type of acne.

Different Types of Acne

Different Types of Acne and How to Identify Them?


Blackheads are very common and they usually appear on the nose and the area near the nose. They appear as tiny black lumps on your skin. The reason for its appearance is the formation of blocked follicles. The bacteria, dead skin cells and other harmful substances on the skin often clog the follicles and reach the surface. These react with the oxygen present in the air and as a result, there is the formation of blackheads.


This is a type of acne that is big in size and filled with pus. It is formed deep in the skin. When the infection goes deep into your skin, you suffer from cysts. This is red in color and tender to touch. Cyst is painful to touch and when you suffer from cyst, you need to consult your doctor and have proper treatment. If the cyst breaks, the infection can spread on your skin, causing more breakouts.


Nodules are larger than the pustules and papules and they are also one of the most severe types of acne that can appear on your skin. They appear as bumps on the skin and they are painful and inflamed. It is hard to touch and does not contain any pus inside. You can cure nodules only by going for proper medical treatment. Usually strong medicines are needed for treating nodules.


Papules are inflamed acne and they appear as small red dots or bumps on the skin. They are usually small and not very serious. Sometimes they cluster together to form a rash. You can get relief from them with home remedies. They may or may not be sensitive to touch. Try not to pick these rashes as this can cause scars to appear on your skin.


Pustules are inflamed acne and they are quite hard to touch. They are usually filled with pus. You can see them on the skin as white spots and the center of this acne is mostly pale yellow in color. Picking and bursting of this acne is not good for the skin. This can lead to scars or black spots on the skin, which may never fade away.


Whiteheads are white spots on the skin. These are nothing but the oil glands. When there is excessive production of oil on the skin, these glands get clogged with the oil and then get covered with the skin. This prevents the oil from reaching the surface of the skin and as a result, it gets trapped within the skin layers. These appear as white spots on your skin.

All the skin outbreaks mentioned above are various forms of acne vulgaris, which is the common form of acne that you see on almost all people.

Other than the types mentioned above, there are also many other types of acne that are severe and painful.

Acne conglobata:

This is considered as the most severe forms of acne. It appears on both men and women and can cause a lot of problems. It appears in the form of a large lesion on the skin that is interconnected. They are usually seen on the chest, face, upper arms, thighs and buttocks. This is a rare type of acne and not very common. It can cause damage of the skin and also permanent scars on the skin. So, if you suffer from such acne, you need to consult your doctor immediately.

Acne Fulminans:

This type of acne is common in young men. It is often accompanied by fever and joint aches. This begins as pain and inflammation in the joints and then slowly swelling of the lymph nodes at the base of the neck takes place. As a result, your neck becomes stiff and you will find it hard to turn your neck. The swelling will decrease but the inflammation and swelling of joints will be increased and you will also lose appetite. This type of acne leaves scars behind. It is important that you consult a doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms.

Acne mechanica:

This appears as a result of extreme heat and friction between the skin. You can see this type of acne mostly on people engaged in sports and those who wear caps, helmets and sports gear regularly and for longer periods of time.

Acne rosacea:

Acne rosacea is quite similar to Acne vulgaris and they appear in the form of red colored rashes on the chin and the cheek.

Pyoderma faciale:

This is one of the severe types of acne that can appear on your skin. It is a combination of nodules and pustules. This acne is common in women aged between 20 and 40 years.

Now that you have learnt about different types of acnes, be cautious next time when there is a breakout on your skin or rashes appear on the skin. Never make it a habit to scratch or pick the acne. This can cause scars which may never go away. If these rashes stay for longer time and do not go away, then you need to get some medical attention and follow proper treatment.

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