How and What is Acne

Acne as it is commonly called is actually acne vulgaris, the vulgaris is pretty well right as this skin condition can look horrible and impact on all facets of our lives. There are 5 different types of skin acne. Some are more troublesome than others, some hurt more than others and some are more prone to scarring. Today, we will look at the different types of acne and the treatment required. We will leave acne scars and the treatment for scars, as the treatment is different to acne but this link will take you to an article about acne scars. Hopefully we can cover the how and what is acne for you.

We will recommend product(s) but be assured that they have been tested;

  • and they work for all skin types
  • any type of acne
  • any skin color
  • on teen and adult acne

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that most often occurs during our teen years. In fact, it is in the top 10 of skin diseases in the world. Acne is caused by blocked follicles. This can happen by a multitude of things but the main ones are everyday wear and tear such as dirt build up, bacteria, dead skin cells and or oil (sebum) which enter your pores and block them.

As mentioned there are 5 different types of acne and unfortunately you can have more than one type. We recommend treating acne with topical treatments first (over the counter) and the product we recommend has a 98% success rate. Another reason is that we would prefer to start with this sort of treatment first before anybody looks at prescription medicines. But if your acne does not start to recede with treatment after 30 -60 days then it may be time to see your health care provider.

Types of Acne

Comedonal Acne

Comedonal Acne

These are noninflammatory spots which include Blackheads and Whiteheads and they are usually caused by your skin pores being blocked from such things as dirt, oils and dead skin cells. These are the most common form and we are all likely to get them at some stage in our lives.

Whiteheads and Blackheads are very similar, the only difference being that whiteheads have skin covering them, Blackheads don’t and are referred to as “open comedones,” they are created from the blocked oil in your skin becoming oxidized by air and this turns them black.

Both Blackheads and Whiteheads are different from pustules as they don’t contain pus and cannot spread to other parts of the face.

They can be treated with salicylic acids, face scrubs and general upkeep of facial hygiene.

Inflammatory Acne

Inflammatory Acne

These Papules are small red bumps that often appear as clusters on the skin. They are caused by blocked pores mixing with bacteria and create inflamed lesions in the surrounding skin tissue.

For papules and other inflammatory acne, generally, the most effective treatment is benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria.

Pustular Acne

Pustular Acne

This is your typical “pimple” or “zit,” this type of acne looks large and red with a white or yellow core. The core contains pus from bacteria and it can spread if you pick at them, this can lead to further breakouts on other parts of the skin. They can be quite tender to the touch but can go away on their own.

The process can be sped up with the application of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill the bacteria and draw out the excess oils.

Cystic Acne

Cystic Acne

One of the most severe forms of acne is cystic acne. Cysts are large and painful pimples without heads. They are caused by oil and bacteria being trapped under the surface of the skin and often appear on the chin or jaw. Do not pop or pick these pimples because it can lead to further breakout and scarring.



Nodules are painful and hard lumps and lie deep within the body, they have no heads or visible centers. They are caused by clogged pores which can then cause damage to the tissues and cells deep beneath the skins surface.

It is possible to have more than one type of acne at once!!

Another condition, rosacea, is often referred to as “adult acne,” but it is different from classic acne and it isn’t an actual acne. The bumps are usually smaller and they appear all at once, in cycles. The link above will take you to an article on Rosacea but please do not treat this condition with an acne treatment.

The Solution to Acne

Clean your skin gently.

Don’t get all vigorous with it, this may actually make things worse. Use only your fingertips (no nails) or a soft washcloth. Clean all the areas, initially don’t go near break out areas, you can save this for last as you don’t want to spread any of the bacteria. When you have done all the areas on your face ( and if need be other parts of your body) then move onto the breakout areas. If you are a sporty type a double wash at night is a good idea, clean, rinse and repeat.

Use a Toner or Astringent

This helps remove excess oils and helps tone and hydrate the skin and depending on the ingredients it can help on blackheads and acne. Apply the product on a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth all over the face (and any other areas) and neck to help remove the last bits of cleanser and oil.

You do have to be a little bit careful of your skin type as you don’t want to dry out your skin too much or if you have oily skin you want it to be effective. It may be best to try to avoid products with too much alcohol ( do not drink it!!).

This step can be missed if you find it’s creating too much havoc with your skin but with the products we recommend it should be fine.

Apply Acne Treatment

After the toner has dried completely or after your face is completely clean and dry – don’t get vigorous with drying, patting the skin is better than rubbing it like crazy. Smooth on your acne treatment as directed. Let the treatment absorb or dry completely before going to the next step.

Apply an Oil Free Moisturizer or Gel

Before you say I’m crazy – you wouldn’t be the first though. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to already oily skin is counter-intuitive but this is an important step so please don’t skip it. Acne treatments can dry out the skin, so to reduce dry and peeling skin apply this twice a day.

Your moisturizer shouldn’t leave your skin feeling slick and greasy, good treatments are easily absorbed by the skin and won’t aggravate acne.

The treatment for adult acne is the same as all acne treatment except for hormonal acne. There is an article available on Adult Acne, just follow the link.

Keep it Up

So this is three or four steps, a couple of songs long in the morning and evening – or whatever you choose to do to offset the time.

It will take a bit of money but if it will help your skin and self-esteem and it is worth it.

A couple of other things that I have been asked. What about blue light treatment? This does help but you don’t want to swap out all the above steps for this. Blue light is more like another step you can do but not a substitution for the above. The link above will take you to an article on light treatment.

The other thing is about sun protection, with or without acne this is hugely important. With acne, a lot of the treatments you use may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, it’s no good to get rid of acne but look 90 when you are 29, 39 or 49!!! It’s not that bad but be aware that sun damage is a possibility. A lot of moisturizers do contain a SPF factor, if yours doesn’t then look for a sunscreen for the face as these tend to be less oily and perfumed.

Probably the questions you may want to ask your self would be;

  • Are my pimples bothering me?
  • Do I hesitate before going out because of my acne?
  • Is my self-esteem lowered because of my acne?
  • Do I get teased because of my pimples?
  • Do I want clear skin (face and other areas)?
  • If you feel that you want to take control of this situation then there are a couple of places to go. The first stop is Exposed Skin Care and get the advanced kit.

The second place to go if you really want to get on top of things and get a light to go along with your other treatment is to have a look at Project E Beautys range of lights. There are freestanding lights going from anywhere from inches wide and high to full body. We are going to discount the full body ones here but they are available. The freestanding can also be purchased with multiple colors and infrared. There isn’t a lot of difference in the pricing between the hand held and freestanding, so its more a matter of personal choice. If you have back acne then as far as ease of use goes we would probably go for the freestanding light.

I really do hope this helps with your acne and if you have found this article interesting please leave a comment below.

3 thoughts on “How and What is Acne”

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