The 8 Types of Acne & How to Treat Them

The 8 Types of Acne & How to Treat Them

Acne is a popular skin problem, but did you know there are various varieties of breakouts? Dermatologists make clear the eight forms of acne breakouts—and share how best to deal with each.

As anyone who has struggled with acne because the age of 14, I have occur to discover that not all breakouts are established equivalent. When you image pimples, you most likely think of whiteheads or pustules: clogged follicles with a white tip. But there are essentially various various forms of acne breakouts beyond your common breakout. 

Why does this subject? Different forms of acne reply to diverse varieties of cure. Accurately figuring out what type of breakout you’re working with can assistance you get rid of it ASAP. And though there are specified treatment options that can assistance pimples in common (imagine: washing your encounter each day, utilizing retinol, and limiting dairy ingestion), certain pimples require a extra nuanced solution. 

Underneath, dermatologists crack down the various sorts of zits and clarify how to deal with each a person.

The Various Styles of Pimples

different types of acne

Down below, dermatologists identify the various styles of acne—from blackheads to cysts.

Comedonal Acne breakouts

Comedonal acne breakouts refers to the presence of clogged pores, which trigger whiteheads and blackheads.


Also identified as open comedones, blackheads are open up pores that get crammed with oil. “The oil is then uncovered to air and oxidizes, which would make it surface black,” points out Purvisha Patel, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Tennessee. The finest way to consider of them is like a “plug” of sebum, old skin cells, and bacteria. You could discover blackheads on your nose—but they can crop up on other sections of your deal with far too.


Whiteheads are pores that have been clogged with oil and dead pores and skin cells. “The pore turns into a white bump, which is observed on the skin,” Dr. Patel explains. These are likely to come about a lot more usually among individuals who have oily skin.

Inflammatory Zits

“Acne can also be inflammatory, which refers to purple bumps recognised as papules or pustules,” states Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, a board-accredited skin doctor in New York.


A papule is a modest, elevated bump on the skin. Papules are crimson in color and swollen from inflammation. They’re more distressing than whiteheads or blackheads, but they are commonly not as unpleasant as cysts or nodules. Papules are what you could consider of when you have an “unpoppable” pimple. They should not be popped, as that can direct to far more irritation and scarring.


Aptly-named, pustules are what you in all probability believe of when you image a pimple. It is a zit that has arrive to a head with a white, pus-fulled best (cringe, we know). So, what is the variance concerning a pustule and a whitehead? A whitehead is a clogged pore (also recognized as a hair follicle). A pustule is a clogged follicle which is inflamed and entire of pus.

Nodulocystic Pimples

This expression refers to further cystic breakouts and bumps, in accordance to Dr. Garshick. If you’ve ever skilled significant, agonizing bumps that do not increase to the surface of your skin, you’ve likely dealt with nodulocystic acne breakouts.


Ever felt a pimple forming beneath your skin? Cystic acne doesn’t ordinarily have a white top—instead, they sort below your complexion (but they’re continue to crammed with pus). “Cysts are triggered by follicular occlusion, bacterial or fungal overgrowth, oil production, and inflammation,” describes Purvisha Patel, MD, FAAD, board-licensed dermatologist in Tennesee. “They tend to form deep in the hair follicles, typically seem all-around the neck and jaw, and ordinarily do not have a pustule. They can be unpleasant dependent on your inflammatory response.” 


Nodules are a different type of nodulocystic acne. They’re distinctive from cysts in that they aren’t stuffed with pus—instead, they commonly consist of hardened sebum. Instead, they kind a tough bump deep in the pores and skin and feel distressing at the floor. Nodules aren’t normally pink. In point, they can match your skin tone. They do just take time to go away and commonly involve intense treatment options.

Hormonal Acne

If you discover that breakouts have a tendency to pop up ideal around your interval, you are very likely working with acne triggered by hormones. “Hormonal acne worsens for the duration of the menstrual cycle and impacts the reduced half of the face with deeper, cystic stubborn breakouts,” Dr. Garshick suggests. “Often those people with hormonal acne breakouts will complain of just one particular or two further breakouts, but they can linger for quite a few months.”

Fungal Zits

Despite getting referred to as pimples, fungal pimples is not *technically* a classification of zits at all. It is an an infection of the hair follicle caused by an overgrowth of yeast on your skin (as opposed to bacteria that will cause pimples). “It is normally observed on your back, shoulders, and chest and seems to be and feels like acne breakouts,” Dr. Patel states. Having said that, it won’t reply to standard acne breakouts treatments—it calls for topical or oral antifungal prescription drugs.

How to Handle Pimples By Form

how to treat acne by type

Even though diagnosing on your own at household is tempting, the safest and most helpful way to address acne is to see a skin doctor. “It’s ideal to see a derm for even more direction, primarily when you’re not receiving the results you want,” Dr. Patel claims. “If acne is not handled properly it can result in scarring, hyperpigmentation, and disfigurement.” That stated, these derm-authorized strategies can enable.

Comedonal Acne breakouts

Considering the fact that comedonal acne refers to clogged pores, you want to use topicals to aid obvious out your pores. “For individuals with comedonal zits, such as whiteheads and blackheads, it can support to use salicylic acid, an exfoliating beta-hydroxy acid, and retinoids to enable handle the clogged pores,” Dr. Garshick states. Just be very careful not to overdo the exfoliating, as you could damage your pores and skin barrier (the outermost layer of your pores and skin) and cause even more irritation.

Yet another solution? Get your blackheads or whiteheads extracted by a professional, suggests Dr. Patel. If you’re hoping to avoid any scarring or hurt to your skin barrier, this is your most effective bet. A specialist extraction will rapidly very clear out the pore so your skin can get started therapeutic.

Want to give your complexion a raise? Try having HUM’s Every day Cleanse. It is packed with pure detoxifiers to assistance clear your skin from the inside of out.

Inflammatory Pimples

“While those people with inflammatory breakouts can also reward from utilizing a retinoid and salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulfur are other elements to consider to assist address the bacterial component and swelling,” Dr. Garshick claims. “In some conditions, oral or topical prescriptions may well be handy as very well.” Diet is also a factor at participate in right here. If you have food items sensitivities or allergic reactions, that would lead to inflammatory acne. Additionally, a large-inflammatory diet plan could influence your complexion. Consider incorporating anti-inflammatory foodstuff (like berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish) into your diet program to assist.

Nodulocystic Zits

“Some of the therapy solutions for these with nodulocystic zits may perhaps contain retinoids and benzoyl peroxide, it is often proposed to use prescriptions, possibly oral or topical, which may consist of oral antibiotics or isotretinoin or other hormonal focusing on treatments such as spironolactone or oral contraceptive tablets,” Dr. Garshick states.

Hormonal Pimples

When an individual notices breakouts about their time period or suspects a hormonal part, it can be beneficial to take into account hormonal remedies like spironolactone or oral contraceptive capsules. You can also aid a crystal clear complexion by incorporating hormone-balancing meals (these kinds of as eggs, fatty fish, leafy greens, avocados, and nuts). Or, try out getting HUM’s Moody Chicken, which is made with a powerful organic mix to assistance wholesome hormone balance.

Fungal Acne breakouts

Considering that fungal acne is an overgrowth of yeast alternatively of micro organism, it demands antifungal remedies. “Exfoliating Washes with sulfur, zinc tea tree oil, ketoconazole, and selenium sulfide that eliminate the fungal organism enable,” Dr. Patel says. She provides that an exfoliating system clean can aid (Visha Skincare Top2Toe has bakuchiol, zinc, and tea tree oil to enable with fungal acne).

The Takeaway

There are many different varieties of zits, and just about every a single calls for different treatment plans. That is why familiarizing by yourself with the distinctive forms of pimples is beneficial. But recall that your best wager is to see a expert. “Because pimples can guide to scarring, it is important to take care of early and to keep away from undertaking something that can exacerbate or worsen the scarring as that can be significantly tougher to treat,” Dr. Garshick says. “There are a good deal of solutions out there to address acne breakouts but using too a great deal or utilizing merchandise incorrectly can direct to more skin issues and concerns.”

When solutions for acne breakouts subject, life-style matters also. Dr. Patel suggests remaining hydrated (intention to drink at minimum six glasses of h2o), having ample snooze (at least 8 hrs), a multivitamin (HUM Nutrition’s Foundation Handle is a great selection), a probiotic (like HUM’s Intestine Intuition), and getting conscious of your dairy and sugar consumption.

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