It is not the most fun subject, but acne happens to most of us. It usually subsides as we get older, but even then, some blemishes show up. Acne is an immune system response by the skin, and there are two types of immune responses, inflammatory and noninflammatory.
Acne blemishes is the broadest term to describe acne. It is used to describe all current outbreaks as opposed to the marks and scars that may form after blemishes go away. The inflammatory acne are all raised bumps with symptoms like redness, pain, and puss. There are three types of inflammatory blemishes–papules, pustules, and cysts.
Papules are solid, skin-colored or red bumps. Solid means there is no liquid or puss inside of them. They are less than 5 millimeters in size or less than 1/5 of an inch. Pustules are bumps that contain puss. They start out red and become yellow on top and are completely yellow before they break or dry out. The yellow color is actually puss that you can see. Pustules like papules are less 5millimeters in size or less. These pustules and papules are what are commonly referred to as pimples or zits.
The last type of inflammatory blemish is a cyst. They are larger than papules and pustules. When they are skin colored, they are usually painless. When they are red or red and yellow, they tend to be painful and look like giant pustules.
The other category of blemishes is noninflammatory. They do not have any of the redness, puss, pain, or crusting like the inflammatory blemishes do. They are just flat or raised clogged pores. They are technically called comedones. They come in two variations, open comedones and closed comedones. Open comedones are also called blackheads and are simply flat, dark-colored clots. Closed comedones are tiny, white, dome-shaped cones on the skin with no visible opening to the outside. The closed comedones are called whiteheads and, in fact, are tiny, little cysts.
After blemishes heal, they can leave marks, which are either pink or brown. The pink marks always go away without treatment, though it can take months. The brown marks are the skin’s reaction to the injury from the blemish just the way a brown mark from a burn is a response by the skin to thatinjury. Brown stains from blemishes may linger for months or years, and some do not go away without treatment.
Scars by definition are always permanent. They are the results of deeper damage done by the blemish. They are usually the result of cysts, but sometimes, they are from you trying to pop or squeeze them too hard. Noninflammatory blackheads and whiteheads rarely ever cause scars.
The next time you see the different types of acne on your skin, you will have a better idea about what type it is .