6 Common Types of Acne Spots

behealthy January 27, 2012 0
6 Common Types of Acne Spots

There are several types of acne spots: blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. In this article we will talk about each of these spots. Let’s start with common acne causes. Acne is a skin condition that produces spots or pimples on the surface of the skin. It is a common condition in teenagers as their bodies hormones change and more oil is produced but acne is not exclusive to any age, race or gender by any manner of means. Sometimes the spots can lead to scarring and in severe cases, this skin condition can quickly lead to psychological problems relating to stress, a lack of self-confidence and even clinical depression.

infected hair follicleAll over the skin, there are small holes or pores. There is a tiny hair extending from beneath the surface of the skin through each pore. The root of the hair sits in a channel or follicle, which leads to the Sebaceous gland. It is the Sebaceous gland that produces the natural oil found in everyone’s skin. When people complain of having dry skin, it is because there is not enough of this oil being made or that it is being absorbed by something faster than it is being produced.

There are several possibilities which can see the appearance of acne. Dead skin cells and dirt may become trapped in the pores blocking the usual way for the oil to drain. This will cause oil to pool beneath the surface of the skin. Unfortunately, although Sebum is an essential oil for the skin, pooling like this is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria so the follicle quickly becomes inflamed and infected. It is this inflammation that causes the skin to rise up and look like a spot, the contents of the spots are a mixture between the built up Sebum, bacteria and any dirt or dead skin cells which may have caused the blockage of the pore in the first place.

Types of Acne Spots

As mentioned above, in the most common cases of acne which tend to be less severe, there are 6 types of spots:

  1. blackheads
  2. whiteheads
  3. papules
  4. pustules
  5. nodules
  6. cysts

Understanding each type of spot can affect the way it is treated and thereby be the difference between success and failure in the removal of the problem.


acne blackheadsBlackheads are known medically as open comedones. They occur when there is a larger opening in the pore and dead skin cells form a partial blockage causing the skins natural oil (Sebum) to build up beneath the surface. Although the name suggests that the spots are black, it is often only the very tip of the spot which is breaking the surface of the skin that is black. This is as a direct result of oxidisation of the sebum and melanin in the skin cells. These types of spots usually last longer than most other types and are often difficult to remove.


acne whiteheadsWhiteheads are very similar to blackheads in that they are formed in almost exactly the same way except that dead skin cells not only block the pore, but they also form a layer over the top of it, covering the opening completely. As the oil builds up it pushes the skin outwards but the oil does not break the skin as with a blackhead so it is not oxidised and the colour remains white, hence its name “whitehead”.


acne papulesPapules differ slightly from other types of acne spots in that they do not contain any puss. They are inflamed red spots incurred from the excess sebum and they are raised up from the skin.

However they do not have a head and as a result of this, they are unable to be popped. They often appear in groups or clusters but may show themselves singularly.


acne pustulesPustules are often thought of as the stereotypical spot or zit. Closest to the surface of the skin, they are red and can often be described as “angry looking”. As the lesion moves outwards from the skin, a prominent head forms often white or yellow in colour. Pustules may be popped or drained but there is definitely a right and wrong way to carry out the procedure and research should be done before attempting to do so.


acne nodulesNodules are much larger in size than popules and pustules and can be really painful. Unlike other types of inflamed acne spots, it can take many months to get rid of nodules and, in some cases, you will be able to remove nodule only with the dermatologists help. While mild and moderate forms of acne are characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules, nodules and cysts is a sign of severe acne.


acne cystCysts appear similar to acne nodules, however they are filled with pus and are very painful. Never try to pop or squeeze  cysts since it can lead to deeper infection and serious inflammation which will last for months.

Now you are aware of 6 common types of acne spots. Below you will find some common tips that will help you deal and prevent acne.

Dealing With Acne

More than often, all four forms of acne can appear at once on different parts of the body. Some are more common to certain areas than others owing to the specific environment that the particular spot needs to develop. Although medical experts differ in opinion on the subject, it is widely believed that a healthy diet which does not readily encourage the formation of harmful toxins within the body is a good direction to take in the prevention of acne. Also regular, but not over-zealous, cleansing of the face and body is thought to assist with the removal of any dead skill cells, dirt and bacteria which may block the pores.

In cases where nothing seems to be working, people often turn to specialised facial treatments. These are not overnight solutions, but many who have tried the various products are more than happy with the results. These treatments tend to contain chemicals or natural ingredients that work with the body to actively break down or regulate the sebum, allowing the comedones to be removed more easily in the cleansing process. Alternatively, for instant results, people look towards blackhead removal tools. These focus on physically removing the built up oil with all its impurities in one fowl swoop in a relatively safe manner with less damage to the skin as would be caused by simply squeezing the spot with ones fingers.


Overall, acne is a complex skin condition which is often unique to whoever is suffering from it. It is extremely important to thoroughly research any new product before use. Whilst acne outbreaks can be an on-going condition, they can sometimes be worsened or even initiated by misuse of products. Constant touching of any skin, let alone acne prone skin, is a classic way to induce a flare up simply because of oils and dirt that are transferred from our hands to the problem area. If there are any doubts, it is always advisable to see a doctor or dermatologist.

Leave A Response »

Captcha Captcha Reload