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The Different Types of Acne and What You Can Do

Apr 20, 2020

Do you struggle with acne? It’s a very common condition, affecting about 50 million people in the United States. In fact, 95 percent of people will have acne at some point in their lives. What can you do about it? First, determine what type of acne you have.

Acne is caused by inflammation and your body’s immune response to oil production. To get the right treatment, it’s important to know whether your acne is mild, moderate, or severe. If over the counter treatments aren’t working, it could be because they’re not targeting your particular type of acne: a board-certified dermatologist can recommend the right treatment for you.

  • Severe acne causes your skin to look angry. The level of inflammation involved in severe acne causes the skin to be swollen, with red bumps, lesions, nodules and cysts that are often painful to the touch. The breakouts may involve non-inflamed closed blackheads and can feel like they’re in deep layers of the skin. Severe acne breakouts can last weeks and require medication to treat the internal inflammation. Accutane is the most aggressive and effective treatment for severe acne and can prevent flareups long-term, but for people who don’t want to go that route, other medications are available. Along with oral medication, people with severe acne need a skincare routine tailored to their skin type, sensitivity, and lifestyle.
  • If you’ve got moderate acne, it probably doesn’t respond to over the counter treatments. This is the kind of acne that’s just always hanging around, and people tend to either just accept their problem skin as a fact of life or spend excessive time, money, and energy trying to fix it. Breakouts with moderate acne involves obvious blemishes that can feel deep and painful but aren’t as serious or inflamed as severe acne. Moderate acne is stubborn, but your dermatologist can help. Oral antibiotics are sometimes prescribed, and sometimes hormonal intervention is the solution. Once moderate acne is under control, it’s important to keep up with maintenance, keeping your skin clean and applying topical treatments. The same treatments don’t work for everyone, though, so seeing a dermatologist is key in finding the right solution.
  • Mild acne isn’t widespread, deep-seated, or inflamed like the other two types of acne. People with mild acne may have bumps or blackheads, but they often respond well to over the counter treatments. Especially if your skin becomes sensitive or the products stop working as well, though, your dermatologist can provide products with higher quality formulations.

If you’re ready to face down your acne, trust Arlington Dermatology to help you care for your skin. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative methods of treatment, using state of the art medical equipment, in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. For more information, contact us through our website or call 847-392-5440.