Types of acne spots – identified and explained

There are six different types of spot and if you suffer from acne you might experience any or all of the different type of spot in varying degrees of severity or frequency. Even if you experience the occasional outbreak of spots or blackheads this is still acne , just a very mild form of it. It is often assumed that an acne sufferer has large, inflamed pus filled spots but this is just an extreme version of the condition.


Microcomedones become non-inflamed skin blemishes called comedones. There are two different types. A blackhead or white head usually bursts out (or is squeezed!) of the surface of the skin and the skin then heals itself. Sometimes the the follicle wall can rupture, this is most frequenly caused by squeezing or pressure being applied to a spot. The skin can become then become inflamed causing an acne breakout.


A Whitehead – a small raised white coloured bump on the skin, They don’t look inflammed and the skin around them is ordinary skin tone.


A Blackhead – a small black spot usually level with skin or slightly raised.


Papules are smallish pink or red bumps that feel quite tender and sore to the touch. This is cause by a break in the follicle wall allowing white blood cells to rush in allowing the spot to become inflamed.


Pustules are similar to papules and they occur in the same way, a papule will commonly lead to a pustule as the pus works it’s way to the surface of the skin over the course of several days. They are different in that they have a white or yellow pus filled centre. Pustules are what are commonly referred to as a ‘spot’, ‘zit’ or ‘pimple’.


Nodules are hard skin lumps that are formed beneath the skin and are often extremely painful. The surface of the skin often shows the bump but the shin can remain skin colour or become reddened. They occur when the follicle breaks along the base and the follicle collapses completely causing an inflamed bump that is hard to the touch.


Cysts- the follicle can become so severely inflamed that the it produces a large pus filled lesion that looks like a boil. This is the most serious type of ance spot and carries the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring.