Acne Home > Types of Acne

Acne is a skin condition that can come in several varieties. The two most common types are whiteheads and blackheads. Other acne types include papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.

Types of Acne: An Overview

Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, a common condition that affects the skin's oil glands. The term "acne" simply refers to several pimples occurring together. Although it is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring.

 

There are many kinds of acne. The most common types are:
 
  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Papules
  • Pustules
  • Nodules
  • Cysts.
     
The two most common types of acne are whiteheads and blackheads.
 

Whiteheads and Blackheads

The basic acne lesion, called the comedo (KOM-e-do), is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If the plugged follicle, or comedo, stays beneath the skin, it's called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. A comedo that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin's surface. This black discoloration is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.
  

Other Acne Types

Other troublesome types of acne can develop, including:
 
  • Papules, which are inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
  • Pustules (pimples), which are papules topped by pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base
  • Nodules, which are large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin
  • Cysts, which are deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation
Advertisement


Topics & Medications

Quicklinks

Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.