The 4 Different Types of Pimples (and How to Treat Them) (2023)

Blackheads are clogged pores (hair follicles) that have become inflamed. They are usually the result of an overproduction of oil in the skin combined with bacteria.

You're more likely to get pimples in areas with a lot of oil glands, such as your face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. Common types of inflamed pimples arepapules,pustules,nodules, Ycysts.

AcneIt comes in different types depending on the type of pimple that is causing it. Knowing what type you are can help you choose the best treatment for your skin.

All pimples start out as a clogged pore.I eat. To begin with, a pimple is a small bump that is not inflamed. A comedone becomes inflamed when bacteria infect it. This can also happen when it gets irritated by squeezing it. An inflamed pimple is red and swollen.


Click play to learn how to recognize infected pimples

This video has been medically reviewed byCasey Gallagher, MD.

Different types of pimples respond to different medications. Certain types of acne may require specific treatment.

This article looks at the main types of acne. It also discusses the causes and treatment of the different types of pimples.

Diet and Acne

There are many beliefs about related acne. Some are true, some are false. Interestingly, research hasn't found much of a link between junk food and acne. Instead, certain carbohydrates, dairy, and meats may be to blame.


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The 4 Different Types of Pimples (and How to Treat Them) (1)

Papules are inflamed spots on the skin. They appear on the surface of the skin. They look like red bumps or bumps on the skin. You don't have a white head.

The papules can be large or small. They can appear anywhere on the face or body, including your:

  • The neck
  • Mama
  • Back
  • Give back
  • buttocks


Papules can be caused bycommon acne. This occurs when the wall of a hair follicle ruptures. Hair follicles are also calledcouples.

When this happens, cell debris and bacteria enter thedermis. The dermis is the deepest layer of the skin.

(Video) Different Types Of Pimples And How To Treat Them

A break in the pore can occur when the follicle fills up with dead skin cells and oil. The pressure from squeezing a blackhead or clogged pore can also cause a tear.

The rupture causes inflammation in and around the follicle. The area turns red and swells. This creates the firm red bump we call a pimple.


Do not squeeze a papule to try to climax. They probably won't draw debris out of the pore. Instead, you can make it more inflamed.

Papules are not deep lesions. This means that most of them heal quickly without scarring.

Over-the-counter (OTC)Benzoyl Peroxide Treatmentsit can help cure acne papules. They can also prevent the formation of new blemishes. However, if OTC products do not improve your breakouts after 10 to 12 weeks,You may need a prescription acne medication..

Hide pimples with makeup


This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

The 4 Different Types of Pimples (and How to Treat Them) (2)

The pustules are red and inflamed with an obvious head.The head is often white. That is why these skin blemishes are also called whiteheads. The head can also be cream to yellow in color.

Sometimes a brownish spot appears in the center of the head. This is the comedonal nucleus. It is a plug of debris inside the pore.

Acne pustules range in size from small to quite large. They develop in the same areas as the papules. This is usually the face, back and shoulders.


The pustules follow the papules. When the pore bursts, the body sends out white blood cells to fight the bacteria. This causes pus.

A mixture of pus, dead skin cells, and excess oil gives the pustule its white coating. By squeezing a pick this material is extracted.

squeeze the pimpleis never a good idea. When you pop a pimple, you can push the contents deeper into the pore. This can make the stain much worse.


mild acneo Occasional pustules can be treated at home with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide creams or cleansers. Blackhead treatments includedsalicylic acidcan also help.

A viewdermatologistAnd:

(Video) The Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them

  • You have many pustules.
  • Your pustules are very inflamed.
  • Your acne is difficult to control with OTC products

Prescription drugs liketopical retinoidsocombination treatments for acneto be able to help.


This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

The 4 Different Types of Pimples (and How to Treat Them) (3)

Blackheads are serious acne pimples. They are large and inflamed lesions. They feel like hard, painful lumps under the skin.

Papules and pustules appear on the surface, but nodules form deeper into the skin.


An acne nodule forms when the follicle wall is torn deep into the dermis. Contaminated waste from the follicle infects neighboring follicles.

The damage and irritation cause the area to swell. This makes the nodules quite painful.

Like pustules, nodules can be filled with pus. However, since they are deep in the skin, you will not see a white head.

Women tend to get acne breakouts during their monthly cycle.

What is hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne is acne that affects adults between the ages of 20 and 50. It occurs when hormones cause an excess of sebum in the sebaceous glands. While it can affect any gender, it is more common in women and may be associated with menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause.


Occasional nodules can usually be treated at home. If your blemish is painful, you can apply ice to the area to reduce swelling. Don't try to pop a lump or other pimple.

The nodules can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully heal. That's because they are big and deep.

Ask your dermatologist about ainject cortisone. that can helpMake your pimples disappear faster.

If you are prone to nodular breakouts, you should definitely make an appointment with a dermatologist. These types of blemishes do not respond to over-the-counter acne treatments. You need a prescription acne medication to control it.

Do you have acne? Learn to shave correctly


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(Video) Types of Acne

The 4 Different Types of Pimples (and How to Treat Them) (4)

Cysts are very large and inflamed lesions. They feel like soft, fluid-filled lumps under the skin. Acne cysts are the most serious form of pimples. They can be very painful.


Like nodules, cysts begin as a deep fracture in the follicle wall. The body tries to fight the infection by surrounding it with a membrane.

As an acne cyst works its way to the surface, it damages healthy skin tissue. This can destroy the follicle. The probability ofacne scarsIt is very high.

An acne cyst is not a real cyst. It is actually a severe, swollen acne nodule. You can listen to the termsacne cystYacne noduleused interchangeably.

Acne cysts are filled with pus. They may also contain blood. It can take several weeks to several months for them to fully heal.

Never try to remove an acne cyst yourself. If they need to be drained, it should be done by a doctor.


If you're prone to cystic acne, talk to a dermatologist. Over-the-counter acne treatments do not help with these blemishes. There are no home remedies that can successfully treat cystic acne.

Oral Acne MedicationsAsAbsorica (isotretinoin)are the best treatment options for cystic acne.

Cystic eruptions heal easily. The sooner you see a dermatologist about your acne, the sooner you will notice an improvement.


There are four main types of beans. These include papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.

Papules and pustules can be treated at home. Try a benzoyl peroxide cleaner or salicylic acid spot treatment.

Acne nodules and cysts may require the help of a dermatologist. A dermatologist can give you a cortisone injection or prescribe a medication to help clear up your skin.

A word from Verywell

Having a pimple every once in a while is not a big deal. However, if you're constantly battling breakouts and struggling to control them, it's time to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

This is especially true if you're prone to major blemishes, like acne bumps. Medications can help lighten the skin.

frequent questions

  • How can I remove dark spots caused by pimples?

    Dark spots caused by pimples can be treated with retinoid products likeRetina. These can help reduce pigmentation and scarring.

  • Why not pop the pimples?

    Squeezing pimples can cause permanent scarring. It can also cause irritated and painful blemishes. This is because squeezing can push dirt deeper into the skin.In some cases, popped pimples can cause a bacterial infection on the fingers.

    (Video) Types of Acne
  • What are pimple stickers?

    Hydrocolloid patches, sometimes called "pimple stickers," can help get rid of pimples fast. These deliver medicine to the site, prevent sun exposure and irritating bacteria, and discourage collection.You can find these products at your local drug store or pharmacy.

  • What is fungal acne?

    Fungal acne is often confused with hormonal acne. Also know asMalasseziaopitirosporumFolliculitis is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast or fungus. Like hormonal acne, it starts in the hair follicles. Fungal acne causes whiteheads that often become red, inflamed, and irritated. It can also be very itchy.

  • How to know if acne is bacterial?

    Bacterial acne causes whiteheads with a red ring around the bump known as pustules. Most acne is caused by bacteria trapped in the pores. Antibiotics may be prescribed for moderate to severe outbreaks.

  • How do I know if my acne is hormonal or bacterial?

    Hormonal acne is a form of bacterial acne. Associated with puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, it occurs when hormones trigger excess sebum production. Bacteria get trapped in the pores and cause breakouts.
    Other bacterial acne triggers include stress, steroid medications, and lithium.

  • What are blind pimples?

    A blind pimple is a pimple that forms under the skin and does not have an obvious head. Some pimples start out as blind pimples before turning into a white head. Blind pimples can be sore and red. Don't try to pop a blind pimple. It will only make it more irritating and more obvious.

  • What does stress acne look like?

    (Video) Acne: Understanding the Types of Acne and Treatment Options

    Stress acne tends to appear on oily areas of the skin such as the forehead, nose, and chin. It can include whiteheads, blackheads, and enlarged pores. The skin around the acne may also turn red and have an oily sheen.


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