Before you can find the right type of treatment regimen, you need to understand what type of acne you have. From the type of blemish to the cause of the breakout, different types of acne mean different solutions. Some types of acne can be treated simply with lifestyle changes. Other types of acne require that you find a topical acne medication or consult a dermatologist for advice on an oral acne medication. What’s the right answer for you? Explore the five different types of acne below and then determine the right treatment path for your breakouts.
Acne Type Number One: Whiteheads
Whiteheads are the most under-treated form of acne because people often don’t even realize that they have them. However, any type of clogged pore is technically a form of an acne blemish. Acne forms when over-produced sebum (oil) and skin cells clog pores. In many cases this leads to a build-up of acne-causing bacteria, but, even without the bacteria, a clogged pore is never good for your complexion.
Best Treatment Solution: Use an acne treatment with Salicylic Acid to penetrate beneath the skin’s surface oil to unclog pores. For mild whiteheads, an acne face cleanser that includes Salicylic Acid is likely sufficient.
Recommended Product: Murad Clarifying Cleanser
Murad Clarifying Cleanser, from the Acne Complex® line of acne treatment products, is a refreshing daily cleanser with encapsulated Salicylic Acid that continues to release pore clearing medication even after you cleanse.
“I had a lot of acne on the side of my face and I started using this cleanser and less then a month, it all cleared up. I am getting regular facials at work, I work at Massage Envy in Algonquin, and my face is clearer and brighter. These products really work and do wonders for my face!” Alliecat8907, Illinois (See all reviews.)
Acne Type Number Two: Blackheads
Blackheads are one step up from white heads. The essential part of the blemish is the same – dirt, oil and debris have clogged a pore. The difference with a blackhead is that the clog is not covered by a layer of skin and therefore exposed to the environment. When that happens, the oxygen interacts with the clog and the color turns from white (or clear) to dark. You haven’t necessarily formed a ”pimple”, but your clogged pore is dark and marring your complexion.
Best Treatment Solution: Combine a Salicylic Acid acne treatment with an acne face mask that’s designed to extract impurities from the skin. Do not squeeze your blackheads; it will only make the problem worse!
Related Product: Blackhead and Pore Clearing Duo
The latest Murad skin care innovation combines a blackhead clearing mask to extract clogs from pores with a pore sealer to prevent future clogs, blackheads and whiteheads. Learn more about our latest product.
Acne Type Number Three: Papules
Papules are the “first” stages of an inflamed blemish. They are small, raised red bumps. Yes, they’re pimples. But what they don’t have that makes them different from the next level of acne blemishes is that they are not filled with pus. If you have red pimples that are irritated and visible but not full of liquid or pus, then you have papules.
Best Treatment Solution: Don’t squeeze! If you have ongoing papules, you’ll want to adopt a daily acne regimen that includes Salicylic Acid to prevent future breakouts. However, for occasional papules, consider using an acne spot treatment to dry the minor and occasional blemishes out so that they flake away and are replaced by unmarked skin.
Acne Type Number Four: Pustules
These are the bad boys that nobody wants. Your classic zit that’s full of pus or fluid and appears with a hardened yellow or white center. This is your body fighting back against the acne-causing bacteria that caused the infected and inflamed blemish. In addition to being unpleasant to look at, this type of acne can also be physically and emotionally painful.
Best Treatment Solution: You’ll need to step backwards and work to stop the cause of your acne. In addition to making sure that you’re minimizing stress and eating healthily, adopt a full acne regimen based on a Salicylic Acid treatment. Stay away from solutions that are designed to “dry out” your acne. With acne as severe as ongoing pustules, you’ll only damage your skin further by drying it out and most likely increase your chances of acne scars or post-acne marks. Prepare for an acne purge as you begin your comprehensive acne treatment regimen, but remember that you can only get clear skin once all of the impurities beneath have been purged away.
Related Product: Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
Unclog pores beneath the skin before blackheads, whiteheads or even inflamed blemishes form. This clear acne treatment gel uses Salicylic Acid to slough away dirt, debris and dead skin before pores become clogged.
“I have been using the Murad Acne System now for 5 weeks. This is one of my favorites. I love how it feels going on and I truly believe this is a much better choice than using any type of “scrubbing” exfoliator. It’s gentle and I wouldn’t want to use anything else in its place.” rrnbsn0724, Minnesota (See all reviews.)
Acne Type Number Five: Nodules and/or Cysts
When the follicle wall that is holding in the pore clogging materials and acne-causing bacteria ruptures, the entire fluid and debris leak into the skin. The body’s natural response to this is to fight back in the form of an inflammation. When the inflammation is hard and solid, making a powerful and large red bump near the surface, you have a nodule. When the inflammation is fluid and has a sack of pus or liquid beneath the skin, it’s a cyst. Either way, it’s a painful and debilitating skin condition.
Best Treatment Solution: It’s time to visit a dermatologist. Even though a topical acne regimen can minimize and reduce this type of acne over time, you should seek the help of a medical professional to help identify the causes and be sure that you’re approaching treatment properly.
Of course, your acne may be caused by a Rosacea condition, by a reaction to skin care products or makeup or even by Acne Mechanica. It’s also possible that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates is leading to breakouts. No matter what type of acne you have, it’s best to take a look at all of the possible causes of acne and then determine what treatment solution to use.