In this article, we will discuss the different types of acne and their respective treatment methods. Doctors determine the treatment plan based on the type and severity of acne.
Acne can be divided into two types: non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Contrary to popular belief, not all acne is inflamed, raised, or pus-filled. Non-inflammatory acne includes blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Blackheads occur when the hair follicle opening is clogged with excess layers of dead skin cells. Whiteheads form when the sebaceous gland opening is fully blocked, resulting in the accumulation of old and dead skin cells and sebum. On the other hand, blackheads are caused by an opening in the sebaceous gland that is not completely blocked, and the oxidized sebum appears black. A large number of whiteheads and blackheads can be a cosmetic issue, especially on the nose, resembling a strawberry.
Inflammatory acne can be papules, pustules, nodules, and cystic. The difference lies in the depth and size of the acne, with deeper and larger ones causing more damage and leaving more scars.
There are many methods to classify the severity of acne, such as the Leeds Revised Acne Grading System, Global Acne Grading System (GAGS), and the FDA-recommended Five-category Global System. In general, acne severity can be categorized as mild, moderate, severe, and very severe.
Diagnosing acne is usually straightforward, but sometimes it can be confused with other conditions, such as gram-negative folliculitis, perioral dermatitis, or rosacea, all of which have similar clinical features. If the treatment for acne does not work as expected, other possibilities should be considered. For instance, if a woman has severe acne and irregular menstrual cycles or exhibits signs of excessive male hormones, blood tests should be performed as these symptoms could indicate a severe medical condition.
It is observed that many people with acne problems tend to self-medicate with acne products or use some unverified home remedies rather than seeking medical attention. Unfortunately, this often leads to scarring that is difficult to treat.
To avoid long-term scarring, it is essential to understand the type and severity of acne and seek professional medical advice. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent permanent damage and improve the overall appearance of the skin.