Acne Classification: Types and Risk Factors

Acne Classification: Acne types

The acne classification can be done in several degrees, according to the type of lesions and their severity:

1. Mild acne (mild acne): comedone is the primary lesion. Papules and pustules may exist but have a small size and very small amounts (generally 10).

2. Acne is moderate (moderate acne): the number of papules and pustules are quite a lot (10-40). Comedone considerable number (10-40) also exist. Sometimes accompanied by a mild disease in the body.

3. Acne is severe (Moderately severe acne): the number of papules and pustules are very many (40-100), usually with lots of comedone (40-100). Large areas, usually involve the face, chest and back. Types of Acne.

4. Very severe acne (very severe acne): acne with serious injuries. Many nodular, pustular and sensitive lesions, along with many comedones, papules, pustules and smaller comedones.


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Acne Classification: The types of acne pimples.

  • Whiteheads: have a similar appearance to blackheads, but they can be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.
  • Blackheads: clearly visible, they are black and appear on the surface of the skin. Remember that a blackhead is not caused by dirt. Scrubbing your face vigorously when you see blackheads will not help.
  • Papules: visible on the surface of the skin. They are small bumps, usually pink.
  • Pustules: similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre that is caused by a build-up of pus. Types of Acne.
  • Nobules: clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are large, solid pimples. They are painful and are embedded deep in the skin.
  • Cysts: the most severe type of spot caused by acne; they are large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring.


See also: “Acne Tips and Recommendations


When to seek medical advice

Even mild cases of acne can cause distress. If your acne is making you feel very unhappy or you cannot control your spots with over-the-counter medication, see your GP.

Also see your GP if you develop scarring, nodules or cysts. Scarring is more common with deep nodules and cysts, but can occur after spots nearer the surface.

Risk factors

Risk factors for acne include:

  • Hormonal changes: Such changes are common in teenagers, women and girls, and people using certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium. Types of Acne.
  • Family history: Genetics plays a role in acne. If both parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too.
  • Greasy or oily substances: You may develop acne where your skin comes into contact with oily lotions and creams or with grease in a work area, such as a kitchen with fry vats.
  • Friction or pressure on your skin: This can be caused by items such as telephones, cellphones, helmets, tight collars and backpacks.
  • Stress: This doesn’t cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse.