Acne symptoms , Whiteheads, blackheads
This article contains in-depth information about the acne symptoms, including how does acne look like and acne photos to help you better understand this skin condition.
While we have attempted to create as comprehensive list as possible about the signs of acne, there may be an acne symptom that we might have missed. Another precursor to the article is that acne signs vary from person to person, so we recommend that you consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis of anything you believe is an acne sign.
Types of Acne Vulgaris
Acne begins at puberty, but it can affect someone in any age group – from babies to senior citizens. Known by the medical term of acne vulgaris, acne comes in two types: non-inflammatory and inflammatory.
Non-inflammatory acne is the most common form and includes just a few whiteheads and blackheads on the face. Check out the acne photo below.
Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, occur when oil and dead skin cells block pores. The acne lesion remains closed on the skins surface and appears as small bumps with a white center.
Blackheads are small, dark. These are caused when oil and dead skin cells block pores and are exposed to air. Many people falsely conclude that blackheads are simply dirt-filled pores.
Non-inflammatory adult acne can be treated with such over the counter medicines as Acnezine.
With inflammatory acne, whiteheads become inflamed, causing pimples and pustules to develop. Pimples are also called zits and usually appear on the face, neck, and shoulders.
A pustule is a small pimple that has pus. These tend to form around sweat glands or hair follicles. While they look like whiteheads, there is redness around the outside of the bump.
At its worst, inflammatory acne can cause disfiguring cysts and deep, pitting scars of the face, neck, back, chest and groin. This is referred to as cystic acne. A cystic acne photo is shown below. Prescription drugs and sometimes surgery are needed to treat these severe cases.
Other symptoms of acne include redness, inflammation, crusting, and scarring around skin eruptions.
From Mild to Severe, Acne Comes in Varying Degrees
Acne symptoms come in varying degrees – from mild to severe. Generally affecting the face, back and chest, symptoms increase with severity, including the appearance of papules (red bumps), pustules (white-centered bumps) and even nodules in the worse cases.
o Mild acne is characterized by blackheads and whiteheads.
o Moderate acne symptoms includes blackheads and whiteheads in addition to papules that are red at the base and tend to be sensitive to the touch.
o Severe acne symptoms is characterized by nodules and cysts which may be large, painful, pus-filled lesions.
Definitions That Help Explain Acne Vulgaris
To help you better understand acne symptoms, we have listed some general terms below with definitions that we have used above:
o Lesion: As another word for acne blemishes or pimples, it is a general term for any abnormal body tissue.
o Nodule or Cyst: Considered to be the most severe type of lesion, it is a small solid mass of tissue that contains pus and is often very painful. Sometimes referred to as an acne “cyst, it can range in size from greater than 3/8 inch to somewhat less than 13/16 inch in diameter.
A nodule may be present at any level in the skin. The result is usually permanent scarring that requires further medical or surgical attention. A cystic acne photo is shown above.
o Papule: A small, solid, raised skin lesion that can be non-inflammatory or inflammatory.
o Sebum: The oily substance produced by sebaceous glands which are found over most of the body. Sebum tends to be overproduced during puberty.