What type of acne do I have?

Most minor acne blemishes respond to at-home care and over-the-counter medications.

Acne can form several types of skin blemish, each with a distinct appearance and symptoms.

Most minor acne blemishes respond to at-home care and over-the-counter medications. However, people with severe or long-term acne should speak with a doctor or dermatologist.

Acne affects around 80 percent of adolescents and young adults. About 40–50 million Americans have acne at any given time.

The following are common types of blemish associated with acne:

  • whiteheads
  • blackheads
  • pustules, which are commonly called pimples
  • papules
  • cysts
  • nodules

Each type of acne lesion requires a different treatment. Receiving prompt, correct treatment can reduce the risk of long-term skin complications, such as dark spots and scarring.

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