There are basically four different Types of Acne lesions.
1. Whiteheads or Blackheads: These are called Comedo or papules. The comedo is the basic acne lesion, which is a plugged pore. As long as the pore remains plugged, it is called a “closed comedo” and forms a white bump or whitehead. Once the comedo opens up does it become a blackhead, called that due to its dark color on the surface of the skin. The black color is not caused by dirt but by a chemical reaction between the excess oil and air it comes in contact with.
2. Pimples: Where whiteheads and blackheads are called “papules”, pimples are called “pastules“. This, oh so common affliction amongst teenagers, pimples are reddish in color and contain pus. Pimples can also be very delicate to the touch and could take at least a few days to fully form. I remember calling off a big date because I had a BIG ZIT on the tip of my nose.
3. Nodules: Blackheads/whiteheads and pimples can be referred to as mild forms of Acne, but having acne in the form of nodules is a more serious skin condition. Nodules lodge deeper inside the skin. The type of acne is more painful and scarring of the skin can result.
4. Cysts: Similar to nodules, cysts are skin lesions that lie deep with the skin. Filled with pus, cysts are also painful and scarring can result as well. Although acne is not necessarily a serious health threat, severe types of acne like nodules and cysts can lead to permanent scarring and even disfigurement.
Although acne can form on any part of your upper body, it is most famous for the havoc it can cause to the wonderful human face. Unlike your neck, back, chest and shoulders which you can hide, your face is and forever will be exposed for all to see. I hid my imperfections by growing long hair to cover the acne on my forehead.
Acne certainly can do some physical damage to our bodies but it’s the emotional and mental damage done, that makes it worse than it really needs to be. I’m not saying that acne is not a serious condition. I am saying that if you develop acne, only you can decide how and for how long you want to look after your own body.
Depending on how serious your acne problem is, you may also need to accept the fact that acne will probably be a part of your life for the foreseeable future…or longer! With this in mind, you should think of your path to getting rid of your acne as actually having two paths.
You first need to deal with the physical part of your acne through the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Then, you need to live with it. You still need to interact with and be a part of society the best way you know how.