There are 2 categories that acne blemishes fall into. It depends on whether they cause inflammation or not. That said, there are non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne is more severe compared to non-inflammatory acne and most of the time you should see your doctor for treatment.
These are non-inflammatory, whitish skin bumps or patches that usually have a white center surrounded by a red halo. In some cases, the hair may fall out from the center or appear trapped inside.
Causes: White spots are formed due to dirt, oily sebum, and dead skin cells that clog the pores. These are closed inside the pore.
The exact opposite of whiteheads, blackheads (non-inflammatory) are small dark or black dots that appear as bumps. Usually, the skin around the pimple is normal and the center is darker.
Causes: Just because they are darker in color doesn’t mean these spots have more dirt in the pore. It’s just a sign that your pores are enlarged and caused by clogged hair follicles.
Papules are inflammatory acne found below the surface of the skin. The skin around these spots is often red and swollen. They are raised, rosy, solid, and soft. But compared to the 2 types of non-inflammatory acne, they don’t have a visible center and they don’t widen.
- Skin infection (Molluscum contagiosum)
- The development of small blood vessels (cherry angioma)
- Allergic reaction
Pustules, otherwise known as pimples
Blackheads are larger, tender bumps that have a circular center. The center is filled with yellowish/whitish pus on a red skin base. In fact, they look a lot like larger but inflamed pimples.
- Most common allergic reaction to food or environmental allergens.
- Insect bites (poisonous)
- When the skin gets clogged with dead skin cells and oil
Hard, painful, inflamed lumps found deep within the skin are known as nodules. This type can become serious and cause skin complications such as scarring and dark spots.
Causes: These are considered inflammatory acne and form when clogged pores damage the cells and tissues beneath the skin’s surface.
When the pustules become infected, they start to hurt. This is when the pustules turn into a cyst. Cystic acne consists of painful, large but tender, white or red bumps that lie deep in the skin, even deeper than nodules. They are also full of pus. In fact, these are considered to cause serious skin complications such as scarring.
Cause: infected pustules