Acne (acne) – what is it, types of acne

Pimples are painful pinpoint inflammations on the skin, often with purulent or serous contents inside. In the language of medicine, they are called acne vulgaris . Dermatologists unanimously consider acne to be not only a cosmetic problem, but also a symptom of internal disorders. They also talk about a genetic predisposition to problem skin, for example, observations confirm: the higher the content of melanin in the cells of the epidermis, the lower the likelihood of acne.

For a modern person, rashes on the face and body have become so commonplace that they often do not cause anxiety about somatic health. Nevertheless, if you understand the essence of the phenomenon, it becomes clear that it will not be possible to solve the external problem without changing the lifestyle.

What is a pimple?

What’s Inside a Pimple?

Acne is a skin disorder that affects the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. As a rule, it develops after the pore is blocked with a sebaceous plug, getting into it and spreading pathogenic microorganisms. These can be bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Demodex mites, or candida . All these pathogens are normally present on the skin of a healthy person, but are restrained by the immune system and do not lead to disease. Their pathological reproduction is possible only with the creation of “favorable” conditions, namely: an abundant nutrient medium and a decrease in the protective functions of the body.

Differences: acne, acne, blackheads

Pimple is not a medical term. So people in simple speech call any papule or pustule on the skin, accompanied by itching, inflammation and painful sensations. Dermatologists and cosmetologists refer to the Latin name – acne (stress on the first syllable). Acne or acne is another definition of the same phenomenon. Thus, all these words are synonyms for a common skin problem.

Acne classification

In all people, the disease proceeds in different ways. For the most detailed description of the problem and the selection of a more effective treatment strategy, a detailed classification of acne by distinctive features is used.

By stages of development

Acne has several visible stages, which differ in the severity of the course and, accordingly, the complexity of therapy.

  • Comedones are pores filled with a thick secretion of the sebaceous glands. If the pore remains open, the sebum plug is partially oxidized, then we observe the so-called “black point”. In the case when the exit from the pore is narrowed or blocked by scales of the epidermis, sebum accumulates inside, forming a dense white ball. Enlarged pores indicate the very initial stage of the process. 
  • Papules are bumps above the surface of the skin. They are dense to the touch, painful, red. Sometimes, bursting capillaries cause a small hematoma to form around the swelling. 
  • Pustules are bubbles filled with pus or serous contents. They stand out above the surface of the skin, burst when pressed and combed, forming a deep wound. If the inflammatory process in the pustule stops, a crust forms in place of the bubble, which heals quickly without leaving a scar. 
  • Nodular cystic acne is a complex and advanced form of the course of the disease. With her, multiple papules and pustules merge into conglomerates, are interconnected by fistulous passages, and the inflammation penetrates deep into the dermis. Purulent infiltrates form under the skin, connective scar tissue grows. Often this form requires surgical intervention and long-term systemic treatment. 
  • Lightning acne develops when the skin is severely affected by pathogens. In addition to the rapidly emerging deep inflammation, a person feels all the symptoms of a bacterial infection: fever, weakness, dehydration, muscle and joint pain. This is the most severe form of acne and requires immediate antibiotics and medical supervision. 

According to the severity of the current 

According to how intensely acne is manifested, their number and degree of prevalence, dermatologists distinguish four stages of the disease:

  • One area on the face is affected, rashes in the form of papules and pustules are single, comedones are clearly visible .
  • Inflammation appears all over the face and body, but most often it is not red acne, but pores clogged with sebaceous plugs.
  • Acne is numerous, manifested by painful itchy pustules. The skin on the face and body is seborrheic, red, there is a local increase in temperature in the most affected areas.
  • Inflammations affect the deep layers of the dermis, forming large round infiltrates, which, after healing, leave scars. Numerous microhematomas are noticeable around them , acne merge, do not have time to heal, as new ones appear in their place.

Types of acne. What are the types of acne?

By age range

Depending on the age of the patient, doctors distinguish:

  • Puberty acne associated with hormonal changes in the body. They appear at about 12-13 years old and finally disappear by the age of 20-24.
  • Acne in adults, which persists after 25 years and is a symptom of disruption of the endocrine, excretory or immune systems of the body, as well as bad habits and unhealthy diet.

By etiology

Based on what caused the development of acne, we can distinguish:

  • Endogenous acne , when inflammation on the skin is due to internal prerequisites: hormones, sugar consumption, allergic reactions, decreased immunity, alcohol or other features of the functioning of human organs and tissues.
  • Exogenous acne that appears when exposed to harmful chemicals such as chlorine, or when using low-quality cosmetics, makeup, or wearing uncomfortable clothes.

Where and why do acne appear most often?

The most prone to acne are those places where the activity of the sebaceous glands is highest. As a rule, these are: face, chest, back, surface of the buttocks. However, hypersecretion alone is not enough. Clogged pores and acne can be promoted by:

  • Thickening of the stratum corneum of the epidermis due to contact with the external environment or exposure to aggressive chemicals;
  • Using oily creams, pore-penetrating cosmetics or theatrical makeup;
  • Wearing tight-fitting synthetic clothing that does not absorb sweat and sebum well ;
  • Violation of hygiene rules, poor or, conversely, excessive skin cleansing.

Which specialist should I contact for treatment?

It is not always possible to diagnose the cause and cope with the effects of acne on your own. If the rash is not an isolated one or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is worth being examined and consulted with:

  • A beautician who will determine your skin type and select the right care. Also, in the beauty parlor, you can do mechanical or hardware cleaning of the skin, remove comedones and pustules without harm to health and appearance. Post- acne marks can be removed with peels and resurfacing.
  • Dermatologist. He will determine the pathogen, whose reproduction has led to acne, make a culture for sensitivity to antibacterial drugs. 
  • Endocrinologist , if the appearance of acne is associated with hormonal imbalance in the body.
  • An allergist immunologist who, with the help of tests, will determine the stability of the immune system, the presence of individual intolerance to foods or autoimmune reactions.
  • A profile observing specialist if acne appeared against the background of taking medications prescribed by him. In particular, the epileptologist will adjust the dosage or select an analogue of anticonvulsants, which in some cases worsen the skin condition. Similar problems can arise when taking antidepressants, antibiotics, hormonal drugs to restore reproductive health, birth control and other medications.

General recommendations for treatment

In addition to therapies selected by specialists, all acne patients are advised to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Drink at least 2 liters of clean water a day to prevent dehydration and reduce the thickness of the secretion of the excretory glands.
  • Revise the diet in favor of a healthier diet, reduce the consumption of fast carbohydrates, sugar, salt, fatty, spicy and fried foods.
  • Lead an active lifestyle, spend more time outdoors, give up bad habits, nicotine and alcohol.
  • Consciously approach hygiene, change bed linen, towels more often, wash with soap-free products, do not dry out or injure the skin.
  • Support treatment with proven folk remedies, decoctions, essential oils (provided that there is no individual intolerance to them).


To prevent acne, the same recommendations apply as for treatment. Monitoring and timely elimination of single rashes, competent care and cleansing of the skin during periods of risk, for example, in the third phase of the menstrual cycle in women or during periods of greatest physical activity, will also help to maintain health and beauty. It is important to monitor the microclimate at home and at work during the dry summer or heating season.

Teens should be told in advance how to care for problem areas and the dangers of squeezing acne. If the parents suffered from acne in puberty, it is better to show the child to an endocrinologist and dermatologist before serious problems appear.

If it is necessary to take hormonal drugs, it is better to agree in advance with your doctor about possible side effects on the skin and how to prevent them.


Acne is not just an annoying cosmetic defect. This is a skin disease that can cause considerable harm, both in appearance and in general somatic health. It is worth approachin

event_note February 27, 2021

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *