Understanding and Treating Different Types of Acne

Understanding and Treating Different Types of Acne

Acne is not a universal skin problem. Although it's a common skin problem, everyone's acne is different—from the type of acne you have to how, why, and when it appears. Understanding the different types of acne and the most effective treatments for each can help you clear blemishes and prevent new ones from forming.


Acne affects more than 50 million Americans, making it the most common skin condition in the United States.1 Virtually everyone will experience this widespread skin problem at some point in their lives. However, acne breakouts are not all the same. There are many different types of acne – and while some people only have one type of spot on a regular basis, others may struggle with several at once. The key to getting breakouts under control and restoring clear, healthy-looking skin is identifying what type of acne you're experiencing and using the right skin care products and ingredients to address it.


There are many different types of acne, including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
Blackheads and whiteheads are common blemishes that can usually be addressed with a proper preventative skin care routine and ingredients like salicylic acid.
Papules, pustules, cysts and nodules are types of acne that can be more difficult to treat, with a higher risk of acne scarring.
Face Fresh recommends choosing oil-free, non-comedogenic day and night moisturizers that contain essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and skin-soothing ingredients like niacinamide.
If a home acne routine doesn't help and symptoms persist, talk to a dermatologist about other options.
What is acne?
"The most basic acne lesion, or the precursor to all other acne, is called a comedone," explains Dr. Marchbein. “And there are two types: open comedones [blackheads] and closed comedones [whiteheads]. "Blackheads and whiteheads can stay as they are, or they can develop further inflammation and become larger acne pimples called papules, pustules and cysts," says Dr. Marchbein.

Other possible factors that can affect acne include hormonal fluctuations — such as puberty or during a woman's monthly cycle — as well as genetics and stress. Since ongoing acne is unlikely to clear up on its own, it's important to address the underlying causes of your type of acne with the right skin care products.

What type of acne do I have?
"There are different types of acne, and the most important thing is to know what kind of acne you have so you can treat it the best way possible," says Dr. Marchbein.

Whether you only get occasional breakouts — or deal with stubborn blemishes on a daily basis — here are the basics you should know about each type of acne spot.

Treatment and prevention of various types of acne
The key to successfully dealing with acne is to commit to a skin care regimen that includes proven, dermatologist-recommended ingredients. The ideal skin care regimen for treating and preventing acne will vary depending on your skin type, the type of acne you have, and your overall goals. One of the best ways to minimize acne is with a proactive (and consistent) skincare routine that includes products with ingredients like salicylic acid.

Face Fresh recommends starting the morning and afternoon with a hydrating acne cleanser like Face Fresh Cleanser Face Wash, which will help keep skin free of new whiteheads or blackheads, help prevent new acne breakouts, and minimize visible shine with oil-absorbing technology. Follow before bed with Face Fresh Cleanser Cream – a hydrating salicylic acid acne gel with AHA and BHA – that penetrates pores, reduces acne breakouts and helps prevent new acne breakouts.

Next, apply your oil-free, non-comedogenic day and night moisturizers that contain beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide. Remember: It is important to avoid squeezing or picking at spots to prevent the spread of bacteria or potential damage to the skin.

Acne fighting ingredients

"The combination of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide with ceramides is particularly helpful in restoring the skin barrier as well as treating acne," says Dr. Marchbein. Below are some of the best ingredients in Face Fresh to help manage different types of acne:

When to see a dermatologist
Most acne is considered treatable, but may require the help of a qualified dermatologist – especially more severe acne that involves red, swollen or painful lesions (such as nodules and cysts). "Cysts are really difficult to treat on your own," says Dr. Marchbein, "so it's very important to work with a dermatologist to help you with treatment options."

Depending on the severity of your acne, your dermatologist may prescribe certain topical or oral antibiotics to be used in combination with over-the-counter products. Additionally, because severe acne can be more prone to acne marks and discoloration once it heals, it's essential that you get professional advice early to avoid potential scarring.

If home remedies do not improve your blackheads, whiteheads and other types of acne within six to eight weeks, always seek the help of a dermatologist who can suggest other methods to help you get your acne under control.

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