Health advice from Dr. Seife: acne types and treatments. Acne vulgaris is the medical term for common acne, which is made up of blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of pimples on the skin. The face, chest, shoulders, and back are the areas where breakouts occur most frequently. While less severe cases of acne may respond to over-the-counter medications, more severe cases should be seen by a dermatologist.
A hair follicle that is clogged with oil and dead skin cells is what causes a comedo, or fundamental acne lesion. Whiteheads and blackheads are two types of skin problems that can be caused by comedones, which is the plural form of the word comedo. “Comedogenic” refers to products that may cause comedones. “Noncomedogenic” makeup is less likely to clog pores and worsen acne.
Open comedones on the skin’s surface are known as blackheads. Dead skin cells and extra oil are present in them in abundance. The comedone does not turn black due to dirt. The dark color is caused by the light’s uneven reflection from congested hair follicles. Over-the-counter medicines can commonly be used to treat blackheads.
Whiteheads are comedones that remain sealed at the skin’s surface. This occurs when a clogged hair follicle cannot open because of oil and skin cells. Whiteheads can be effectively treated with many of the same over-the-counter medications that are used to treat blackheads.
Comedones called papules swell up and develop little red or pink bumps on the skin. This kind of zit could be touch-sensitive. Picking or squeezing the area can exacerbate the irritation and result in scarring. Numerous papules could be a sign of moderate to severe acne.