August 1


What Does Acne Look Like?

By James

August 1, 2018


When androgen, a hormone that stimulates the sebaceous glands becomes wired to expand and produce so much oil, it often causes a blockage on the skin pores that lead to the skin condition called acne.

There are different appearances of acne depending on the type, severity or stage, and most people’s acne included a mix of different kinds of spots, such as:

  • Blackheads, which are small blocked pores that often look black or brown in color.
  • Whiteheads, which are small blocked pores that look white or yellow in color.
  • Papules, which areinflamed (red) lumps, slightly raised from the skin and small (less than 5mm in size).
  • Pustules, which looks like papules, but with a tip of pus.
  • Nodules and cysts, which are deeply inflamed spots (more than 5mm in size).

The medical term for the common acne is Acne Vulgaris. Boys usually produce more androgen than girls, and as a result, they often experience worse acne conditions. The face is the favored spot of acne but they can also be found on the shoulders, the chest, and back.

When a pore is blocked by oil, its wall breaks and makes the area swell, giving the appearance of a tiny red bump known as a pimple. Even those in their 20’s or above still suffer from acne problems.

Acne spots are often red because the skin is inflamed, and some look really painful, even when it didn’t hurt. A few people reported that their acne sometimes looked like a bruise or a rash when the spots clustered together.

Acne Stages and Description


When you have no more than 20 swollen bumps on your skin, that is considered mild acne outbreak. A few weeks of anti-acne topical cream may help you get rid of the problem.


If the swollen bumps are more than 30 to about a hundred, it is still no cause for worry because the condition is considered moderate. You may be advised to take some prescription drugs for it other than the topical application.


Comedones are actually clogged hair follicles because of oil and dead skin cells and have developed into either blackheads or whiteheads. It is often considered as the starting point of an acne.


Blackheads are very common and are comedones where oil-clogged pores are mixed with dead skin cells.


Whiteheads are also comedones caused by hair follicle that is unable to open due to oil and skin cells.

Serious Nodulocystic Acne

This painful acne condition often involves a large number of inflamed bumps that appear red in color, almost purple, and requires the immediate attention of a doctor for a shot of corticosteroids to stop pain and to reduce the swelling of the cysts and nodules. If care is not taken, the condition generally results in scarring, small and large ugly marks on the affected area of the skin.


Acne Conglobata is one of the nastiest types of acne, that are characterized by scores of swollen bumps on the surface and a series of connected nodules beneath the skin. It requires appropriate clinical treatment at the earliest possible time.


When one’s skin is often exposed to stress, roughness or friction and the person is prone to developing pimples, it often results to acne mechanica. It is especially common among people who are active in sports.

Acne severity is often measured medically in four main categories: mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe

Acne Treatment

The improvement in many cases depend on how determined a patient is with regard to treatments, which is usually done in two ways: topical and systemic therapy.


Topical treatment is external where a topical solution like cream is applied directly on the skin and works mostly on mild to moderate acne problems. A dermatologist may recommend a certain cream based on how mild or how severe your acne may apear.


The systemic kind of therapy is more about oral medication to treat severe acne that may be bacterial in nature. Doctors or dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline or sometimes contraceptive pills if the problem has an underlying hormonal cause.

In some severe conditions, more aggressive antibiotics may be required and several sessions at a doctor’s clinic may be involved. Sometimes, a surgery may even be required.

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