What Are the Different Types of Acne?

What are the different types of acne? How can I tell which kind I have?

Thx - Keith

Doctor Answers 1

There are several main types

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Thanks for your question.

In simple terms, you can divide acne into 3 main types:

1. Comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads)

2. Inflammatory acne (red, inflamed papules and pustules)

3. Nodular / Cystic acne (deeper, more swollen nodules)

Your type can actually be a mix of these. The basic starting point for most acne is the blackhead/whitehead comedonal acne. These lesions then become inflamed and then become the papulopustular type. Of course, you can have the last 2 types without having blackheads and whiteheads.

To determine your type of acne, see if you have the blackheads/whiteheads. If they get red and inflamed, then you have the first two types of acne. If they are deeper and extremely painful, then you may also have the third type. Knowing the type of acne you have is important for treatment as you can use antibiotics for the last two types, and accutane specifically for the third type.

I hope this helps.

Beverly Hills Dermatologist

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