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Skin Acne: Do You Know Your Type?

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Whether you call them pimples, zits or breakouts, acne can be a stubborn and frustrating skin condition for many teens and adults. However, not all acne is created equal. A board certified dermatologist from MJR Dermatology can determine which type of acne you have so that a more effective treatment plan can be put in place. Here is a closer look at the different acne types, including their characteristics and optimal treatment regime.

Whiteheads and Blackheads (Comedonal Acne):

Comedonal acne is characterized by the presence of non-inflammatory lesions on the skin’s surface. Whiteheads occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, resulting in a small, flesh-colored bump. Blackheads, on the other hand, form when the clogged pore remains open, allowing the trapped debris to oxidize and turn dark. Both whiteheads and blackheads are considered mild forms of acne and can often be managed with proper skincare routines.


Papules are small, raised, and red bumps that develop due to inflammation and infection within the hair follicle. They are typically tender to the touch and do not contain pus. Papules occur when the clogged pore becomes further inflamed, leading to an immune response. It is essential to avoid picking or squeezing papules, as this can worsen the inflammation and potentially cause scarring.


Pustules are similar to papules, but they contain a visible white or yellowish center filled with pus. These inflammatory lesions can be painful and may be accompanied by redness and swelling. It is important to resist the urge to pop or squeeze pustules, as it can lead to further infection and potential scarring.


Nodular acne is a severe form of acne characterized by large, painful, and deep-seated lesions beneath the skin’s surface. These hard, solid bumps develop as a result of the follicle wall rupturing and causing inflammation deep within the skin. Nodules are difficult to treat with over-the-counter products and often require professional dermatological intervention.


Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. It is characterized by large, painful, pus-filled lesions that are deep within the skin. Cysts can cause significant discomfort, scarring, and emotional distress. They are formed when the follicle wall ruptures, leading to an intense inflammatory response. Treatment for cystic acne typically involves a combination of prescription medications and professional dermatological care.

Acne manifests in various forms, each requiring a tailored approach for effective treatment. By understanding the different types of acne, you can make informed decisions regarding skincare routines and seek appropriate professional care when needed. Remember, maintaining a consistent and gentle skincare routine, avoiding harsh products, and seeking our professional dermatological advice can help you manage and overcome acne-related concerns.

When OTC Acne Treatments Don’t Work

At MJR Dermatology in Lawrenceville, we are here to support you in your journey to clear, healthy skin. Our experienced dermatologists will provide an accurate diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan to address your specific acne concerns. Our clinic offers modern treatments such as antibiotic medications, prescription acne medications (Accutane), laser therapies, Retinoids and medical grade skin care products

Don’t let acne hinder your confidence—reach out to our knowledgeable team and let us help you achieve the radiant skin you deserve.

Posted on behalf of Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC

2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

Phone: (678) 535-0067

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Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC


2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

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(678) 535-0067

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