Having spots or pimples on your face is never fun, especially when you have an upcoming event. However, there’s no need to panic if you notice a few spots on your skin, as there are a variety of treatment options to help you. Here we explain the different types of acne and the best treatment options to clear up those blemishes, pronto.
But first, what causes pimples on the face and other parts of the body? In short, it’s the result of acne. Acne is a skin condition that is caused by pores clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Most people experience the condition during puberty, but it can also occur at later stages of life.
#1 – Whiteheads
Whiteheads occur when your pores are clogged from the length to the head, causing a little white bump to protrude from your skin. While it can be very tempting to squeeze these pimples on your own, it’s never advised to do so, as this can lead to scarring.
Some of the over-the-counter treatments for whiteheads include salicylic acid, sulfur, or benzoyl peroxide. Sulfur is the mildest option among the three, while benzoyl peroxide is the most effective. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, can help prevent the whiteheads from reoccurring. These treatments work by helping to remove dead skin cells and excess oils from the skin. You can apply the treatments on the whitehead alone or the entire face.
#2 – Blackheads
Like whiteheads, blackheads are non-inflammatory, however, blackheads have an open pore head, while the rest of the pore is clogged. You can treat blackheads through squeezing, but it is not recommended due to the high chance of scarring. It’s also recommended to skip using pore strips as they can damage the top layer of your skin and worsen the condition. For treatment, the options for blackheads are similar whiteheads.
#3 – Papules
Papules take the shape of small red bumps on your skin. They are caused by a combination of excess skill cells and bacteria blocking the skin’s pores. The content of the pore spills out, exposing the skin to bacteria that creates inflamed lesions on the skin surface. Papules do not contain pus.
Over-the-counter treatments such as benzoyl peroxide can be useful in treating this condition as it has antibacterial capabilities. Your dermatologist can also prescribe antibiotics to help treat inflammatory types by getting rid of the bacteria.
#4 – Pustules
Pustules are small bumps on the skin surface with a white center and red, inflamed skin on the sides. These bumps mainly occur in clusters on the face, chest, or back. The source of pustules can be hormonal changes in the body or when blocked pores get infected. You should avoid popping the papules to prevent the spread of the bacteria. The treatment for pustules is similar to that of papules.
#5 – Nodules
Nodules are red pumps that develop deep under the skin surface. This skin condition is caused by a bacterial infection deep inside the pore. Most of the over-the-counter treatments are not effective in treating nodules as they only work on the surface of the skin. Your dermatologist may prescribe prescription-strength treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoid, antibiotics, or birth control pills for females.
No matter your age, acne is a common condition that can make you feel less than your best. If you’re suffering a prolonged bout of the condition, then the best way forward is to visit a dermatologist and avoid the temptation to pop, squeeze or scrub the affected area, as this can lead to scarring and worsening of the conditions.