There are several different types of acne, which are categorized according to the severity of the condition. In order to understand acne types and the stages of their development, let’s take a look at how acne forms to begin with:

types of acne | different types of acne | acne typesAcne is an acute inflammatory condition of the pores and skin. In the initial stages of its development this specific disorder mainly affects the pores and hair follicles of the skin. It develops as a result of either a blockage to the pores or because of the overproduction of glandular oils, generally known as sebum. In a healthy skin (A), sebum tends to always drain to the surface. However, when for any reason the sebaceous glands either become clogged or become smaller in diameter, the bacteria Propionobacterium Acnes, which is naturally present within the oil glands begin to rapidly multiply beneath the skin’s surface. This is how initially the mildest non-inflammatory types of acne begin to form. The problem is not caused by the actual presence of Propionobacterium Acnes, but rather by its multiplication and retention.

The Different Types of Acne

Blackheads (B):

Blackheads are open, non-inflammatory acne. Blackheads are also often referred to as grade I. or open comedonal acne. When a pore becomes partially clogged by dead skin cells, this will obstruct the normal drainage of sebum, therefore it accumulates beneath the epidermis. When this partially draining sebum gradually gets exposed to air, it oxidizes, hardens and turns black.

Whiteheads and milia (C):

Whiteheads are another non-inflammatory, grade I. type of acne, which are are also referred to as closed comedonal acne. They develop very similarly to blackheads, however in the case of whiteheads, the accumulation of bacteria and sebum is not due to blockages, but to a closed or narrow pore, which makes it impossible for sebum, bacteria and tiny dead skin cell particles to drain to the surface of the skin. Milia forms exactly the same way as whiteheads, however bacteria and sebum are not involved in its development.

Papules and pustules (D):

Papules and pustules are grade II. inflammatory types of acne. This is the type of acne, which is commonly known as a pimple. They develop when a closed comedonal acne or whitehead becomes so swollen with the mixture of bacteria and oil that it ruptures superficially, releasing its contents into the dermis, close to the epidermis. Because there is a bacterial contamination through the broken glandular wall, it initiates an inflammatory process where white blood cells will try to repair the damage, which leads to the formation of pus. When finally the pus makes its way to the surface of the epidermis, it is known as a pustule, which people often refer to as a zit.

Nodules and cysts (E):

Nodular acne and acne cysts are the most severe types of acne. According to their severity acne nodules are classified as grade III. and cysts as grade IV. types of acne. The development of nodules or cysts are most likely to cause long term damage to the dermis and the chance of developing acne scars is incredibly high. While a papule develops due to the superficial rupture of an acne comedone, nodular or cystic acne forms when a deep rupture of either a comedonal acne, a papule or a pustule occurs. Deeper ruptures leaking infected material into the dermis will lead to more damaging lesions.

Read  more about the different types of acne and the treatment of the different acne types:


Blackheads are a typical mild form of acne vulgaris, which dermatologists also refer to as open comedonal acne and it is classified as  grade I. non-inflammatory acne.  This type of acne forms when the pores of the skin becomes clogged by dead skin cells. As the tiny skin cell particles, which are normally released by the sebaceous glands keep accumulating, the pores become blocked, therefore… […read more]


Whiteheads are sometimes confused with milia due to their similarities in appearance, but these two skin conditions are actually quite different. So let’s evaluate the facts about acne and whiteheads in order to better understand these conditions and see which is the best acne treatment for…[…read more]

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is one of the most common types of acne, affecting teenagers and adults. This distressing and common skin condition develops due to overactive sebaceous glands during puberty, but this is not the sole cause of this condition. […read more]

Acne Rosacea

Before considering acne rosacea treatment alternatives, we have to understand the various triggers that can cause this skin condition. In some people the flare-ups are caused by hot baths or prolonged sun exposure, while in others spicy foods and hot beverages may lead to the reddish complexion of the skin. Wind, cold weather and harsh skin care products may also be responsible for acne rosacea outbreaks. […read more]

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is by far the most severe form of acne, which develops from papules deeply embedded beneath the skin’s surface and squeezing this type of acne will result in serious consequences as well as prominent acne scarring. […read more]

Nodular Acne

Nodular acne is a severe form of Acne Vulgaris, classified as grade III., inflammatory acne. This develops from the progression of grade II. papules or pustules, when these milder forms of inflamed acne lesions rupture well beneath the epidermal layer, releasing pus into the dermis. As the contents of these lesions contaminate the dermis, the lesions will harden and end up forming so called acne nodules. […read more]

Acne Inversa

Hidradenitis suppurativa, commonly referred to as acne inversa, is a severe inflammatory skin condition manifesting through blackheads and painful red bumps filled with pus that may persist for weeks or even months. This inflammatory skin condition is certainly amongst the most distressing and severe, which many sufferers find difficult to cope with both physically and psychologically.[…read more]

Hormonal Acne

To find an efficient hormonal acne treatment you have to understand how hormonal acne occurs and what triggers this particular skin condition. Only by getting familiar with the mechanisms that lead to the manifestations of this ailment and by identifying the root causes of the problem you can learn how to treat hormonal acne properly. […read more]