Acne Types – And Treatments That Get Results!
Did you know there’s a whole host of acne types? And different types have different causes and treatments? For some, they’re confined to memories of being an awkward teen and GCSE biology lessons. For many, however, acne is a condition that continues well into adulthood.
Adult acne affects over half the population; from mild, infrequent spots to more persistent lesions. And it’s not just uncomfortable and sometimes painful acne that drives people to look for a solution, it’s the effect it can have on your confidence and mental health too.
Acne types vary in severity, although all acne begins in the same way. Here we’re going to understand exactly what causes acne, what acne types there are and most importantly, how you can get rid of it!
What Is Acne?
Acne is the result of a blocked pore. Your hair follicles are next to your sebaceous gland, which makes an oily substance called sebum. Sebum uses the follicular duct to make its way to the skin’s surface to maintain your hair and skin’s health. But too much sebum brings a problem.
If the hair follicle becomes blocked with dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil, bacteria forms and presents as a spot on the skin.
What Acne Types Are There?
Acne falls into two categories; inflammatory and noninflammatory.
Noninflammatory Acne Types
Whiteheads and blackheads are types of noninflammatory acne. This means that when they form, there’s no swelling and they’re not usually painful.
Whiteheads are known medically as closed comedones. Closed refers to the fine layer of skin that acts like a seal over the blemish, trapping oil, dead skin cells and bacteria beneath it. Whiteheads are raised white bumps that can appear on your face, chest, back and scalp. While they’re unlikely to cause scarring, they can make you feel self-conscious.
Blackheads are essentially the same as whiteheads, except they don’t have a layer of skin sealing the top. They’re called open comedones, and it’s a chemical reaction with air that makes them look black, not dirt as is commonly thought.
Inflammatory Acne Types
Inflammatory acne is more severe and can be painful to live with. Inflammation occurs when your body begins a healing response to any blemishes and floods the area with infection-fighting white blood cells. Inflammatory acne is more likely to cause scarring and can need prescribed medication to manage it.
An acne papule forms when a build-up of bacteria, excess oil and skin cells ruptures the hair follicle wall. This causes an immune response, making the area tender and red.
A pustule is the next stage of a papule. The white blood cells that were sent to fight the infection die, leaving yellow-tinged pus in its place.
Nodules are large (from 5mm) inflamed bumps deep under the epidermis. They’re the result of a total follicle wall rupture, which is met with a larger immune response by your body. Nodules are hard lumps that don’t contain pus, so they can’t be ‘popped’. They can also remain for months and leave behind scars so treatment is advised.
Cysts are large, liquid or pus-filled lesions. They can last for weeks, and often leave the skin pockmarked.
What Causes Acne?
Pretty much everyone has had acne at some stage in their life. Hormones play a huge role in what happens to create acne, so it’s no surprise that different acne types flare up during times of hormonal changes. Hormonal changes typically happen;
- During puberty
- During your menstrual cycle
- Throughout pregnancy
- Around menopause
- As you age
But not all acne types are due to hormones. Did you know that genetics play a role too? The way your body manages excess sebum is programmed into your DNA, so don’t listen to those urban myths about eating too much chocolate or fatty foods.
There are aspects of modern lives that can increase your chances of getting acne. Things like having your phone pressed against your cheek, wearing a face mask or touching your face a lot moves bacteria around and creates an ideal environment for acne.
Some steroids, lithium and epilepsy medicines can trigger a flare-up too, if you are worried about side effects, make sure you speak to your doctor.
Specialised Treatment For Acne Types
Since different acne types have different forms, your treatment needs to reflect your specific skin complaint. We’ve listed our most effective acne treatments and how each can help to resolve the different acne types.
The HydraFacial is a total skin detoxifying treatment that is delivered in stages. The whole experience is relaxing, calm and soothing while leaving your skin free from impurities and hydrated. The HydraFacial is ideal for treating whiteheads, blackheads, as well as papules and pustules. It’s a customisable treatment, so it can be adapted to suit your requirements. The HydraFacial uses a combination of a bacteria-killing laser, skin peel, pore ‘vacuum’ and deeply hydrating serums. At Elite Aesthetics, we ensure that your HydraFacial treats the areas that best suit you.
A skin peel is the ideal way to rid your skin of dead or damaged skin cells. Peels come in different strengths and will be tailored to the requirements of your skin. The first effect of a skin peel sees the top layers of skin removed to reveal smoother skin. Depending on the peel you have, this can take a few days. At the same time, your body begins to produce collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin plump and supple, providing you with an ongoing result.
Microneedling is one of the best acne scar treatments we can provide. The process is relatively painless and the results are outstanding, so if you suffer from different acne types, this may be the solution you are looking for.
During your treatment, your skin receives tiny pinpricks using a specialised device called the Derma FNS. One of the most advanced tools on the market, the Derma FNS makes the microneedling process more comfortable and effective.
Following treatment, your skin will begin the natural healing process. As a result of the micro-injuries, collagen production is stimulated. Over the following weeks, you will begin to see smoother, less blemished skin. As you can see from the below before and after photo, the difference microneedling can make is incredible.
If you’d like to learn more about microneedling and see more before and after photos, take a look at our blog post here.
So, if you suffer from different acne types and would like advice on the best treatments, then please get in touch. We’re here to help you get the best possible result to leave your skin revitalised and your confidence renewed.
Our award-winning clinic is just 10 minutes from Dartford and Gravesend station, 15 minutes from Maidstone and only a 20-minute drive from London.