March 5, 2020

| perri dermatology
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.

Young male with glasses smiling | perri dermatologyWhen men, women, and teens are faced with any form of acne, it can be debilitating—even in the most minor circumstances. But before you can apply the proper acne treatment, you’ll need to know which form of acne you’re dealing with. And often, it’s not that easy to identify.

Because Dr. Perri cares about educating his patients, and to give you a head start on the different types of acne and acne treatments, we’re going to talk about this topic today in this blog.

Types of Acne

To begin, there are two main categories of acne patients deal with: Non-Inflammatory Acne and Inflammatory Acne. Under these two main categories are several subgroups, which we will discuss in further detail below:

Types of Non-Inflammatory Acne

  • Whiteheads
    Whiteheads are one type of acne many people deal with. They are small, white or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. When whiteheads mature, they have a white head (hence the name), and a red rim around the outside. Oftentimes, the skin surrounding the whitehead appears to be pulled tight. This is a minor form of acne and usually doesn’t cause scarring.
  • Blackheads
    Blackheads are another common, but mild form of acne, which presents as a small, dark spot on the skin. They are sometimes raised, but other times, they are almost flat against the skin. Blackheads have their dark color as a result of dirt trapped in a pore.

Non-Inflammatory Acne Treatment Options

Non-inflammatory acne treatment options can be found over the counter at your local drugstore. When choosing the best options, look for these active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Sulfur
  • Resorcinol

Dr. Perri also recommends patients:

  • Wash their face with a gentle facial cleanser morning and night
  • Wash their entire body at least every two days
  • Limit their stress levels
  • Eat a healthy diet full of protein and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Do not over-wash their face, as this could irritate the skin

Minor Types of Inflammatory Acne

  • Pimples
    Patients who have pimples will experience tenderness in the area of the raised bump. Pimples are larger and more inflamed than whiteheads and are identified by a circular center filled with pus, which is formed from the collection of immune and bacterial cells under the skin.
  • Papules
    A papule is a raised bump under the surface of the skin. They are solid, pink, and tender to the touch. The skin around papules will also be swollen and red. This type of acne is the result of whiteheads or blackheads that have caused excessive irritation and damage to the surrounding skin, leading to inflammation.

Minor Inflammatory Acne Treatment Options

Again, patients suffering from minor inflammatory acne can find over-the-counter acne treatment options with the active ingredients listed above at their local drugstore.

Additionally, Dr. Perri recommends his patients employ the following acne treatment ideas when dealing with a breakout:

  • Use clean hands or a clean cloth to wash their face twice a day
  • Use a clean, warm compress and apply to the affected area for 10-15 minutes. This encourages trapped dirt to rise to the surface before you clean your face.

Severe Types of Inflammatory Types Acne

  • Nodules
    This type of inflammatory acne is characterized by the hard, inflamed, painful bumps that are created deep below the skin. They have no center or visible head and are caused when clogged pores damage tissues deep beneath the skin. Nodules can cause further skin issues, including scarring issues and dark spots.
  • Cysts
    Cysts are the most severe form of acne and form deeper within the skin than nodules. They are very large, painful lumps deep within the skin. They are also filled with pus, though they don’t always form a whitehead like other forms of acne. Additionally, cysts can lead to permanent scarring on the skin.

Severe Inflammatory Acne Treatment Options

Unfortunately, only a dermatologist like Dr. Perri can provide effective acne treatment for this type of acne. He may choose to use a combination of treatments based on your needs, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Topical medicated creams
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Systematic retinoids
  • Steroid injections
  • Chemical peels
  • Photodynamic therapy to kill bacteria
  • Extraction to remove large cysts

Schedule Your Acne Treatment Appointment With Dr. Perri Today

Ultimately, to truly know which type of acne you have, and which type of acne treatment you should employ, you should visit Dr. Perri of Perri Dermatology. During a full evaluation, he will be able to develop a treatment plan based around your specific needs.

Simply call his office at (281) 943-2749 today!