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What does acne look like?

It is good to know that acne lesions may be localized to only one area or may cover several areas of our body. What does this mean is that some may have it only on their face, or the back, the chest or only the buttocks, whereas for others it occurs at several sites at one time. Besides, there can be any given type of lesion or a combination of types of lesions at any given time. Further, having one type of acne lesion does not exclude us from having other types of acne lesions at the same time. Therefore, the attention on acne clear and acne care procedures may vary among us.

You may want to read here on how does acne vulgaris start. In fact, the different types of acne lesions are named based on what they look like and whether there are active P. acnes at work causing a localized infection. Whatever it is, it is important to treat acne-prone skin regularly and completely before pimples even appear, from the acne control and acne solutions point of view, this is believed to be the best way to minimize acne scarring and to help clear lesions that do appear as quickly as possible.

However, once the acne lesions become visible, they can be white or black, or perhaps red, and they can as small as a pinpoint or over 1 inch in size and can be in the upper layers of our skin or deeper within our skin. Studies have shown that acne vulgaris can last from days to weeks to months, and can either resolve with little or no consequence, or can leave behind changes in our skin color and texture which shall require the attention of acne treatment and proper acne care. You may want to read here to view the image of human skin structure.

In general, the main types of lesions can be classified into noninflammatory and inflammatory as follows:

Noninflammatory with no active P. acnes

  • Whiteheads (also called closed comedo): The plugged follicle that stays beneath the skin and continues to grow and looks like a white bump just under our skin.
  • Blackheads: A comedo that reaches the surface of our skin and opens and looks black on the skin's surface. However, the black discoloration is not due to dirt.

It should be aware that both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in our skin for a long time. As such, with our natural inclination or have the temptation to pick out those white and black cores will then leads to redness and local infection because our fingers are never sterile, hence may lead to serious acne scarring. It is important to remember that picking at an acne pimple makes the inflammation worse, even if proper acne care and acne treatment steps are being taken. You will notice that if we pop an acne pimple, the redness often lingers for a very long time which means that the skin stays red and irritated looking for even longer.

Inflammatory and with active P. acnes within the follicle:

  • Papules: These are inflamed (red and swollen) lesions that usually appear as pink bump though small on the skin and can be itchy or tender to the touch.
  • Pustules: These are papules that are topped with pus and usually red at the base. The pus consists of dead white blood cells and bacteria that arise as a result of fighting between the white blood cells and the P. acnes in the follicle that then overflowed to the surface of our skin.
  • Nodules: These are large, solid, painful, or fluctuant lesions that are lodged deep within the skin but with a small opening to the surface where the follicle exits to the skin. They often feel hard to the touch because they consist of a combination of oils and proteins that have accumulated within the nodular cavity. They may last for months and leave behind crater-like scars.
  • Cysts: This acne term is generally abandoned in favor of nodulocystic or severe nodular acne. Usually consists of multiple deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can leave us behind crater-like scarring in the skin.

The acne care and acne clear actions that we shall take will largely depend on the types of lesions we have, how often the break out, whether we have acne scarring, and how many body areas are involved. In fact, many of the acne treatment options, acne products and acne remedies are over-lap, and shall help us to address various types of acne lesions. We are sure all this will help acne sufferers to determine an ideal acne solutions and acne control treatment plan.

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