There are roughly 40-5o million Americans who suffer from acne breakouts. How do you know when it's time to do more than just look beyond the traditional over-the-counter acne medications and treatments at the drug store and start seeking help from a dermatologist? Here's a breakdown of the different kinds of acne breakouts and what to do about each one.
Blackheads and Whiteheads
These are the most mild form of acne breakouts. Blackheads are pores that are partially blocked with sebum and dead skin cells at the surface of the skin. The black color is a result of melanin in your skin when it comes into contact with oxygen. Whiteheads are blocked pores that have a closed surface. You can still benefit from seeing a dermatologist when you have blackheads and whiteheads, as you can book an appointment for a medical facial with extractions and a chemical peel to deep cleanse.
Papules and Pustules
These are moderate forms of acne. A papule is a red, inflamed bump that cannot be popped. A pustule your traditional pimple--a bump with pus inside. You will benefit 100% from seeing a dermatologist for this kind of acne. You can come in for a cortisone shot if you want to get rid of a pustule asap.
Cystic Acne and Nodules
This is the most severe type of acne. Cystic acne and nodules are both acne bumps with infections below the skin's surface. Cysts are filled with pus and nodules are not. Both of these acne types are painful and can last for months. Both nodules and cysts can cause scars even if you don’t pick at them. For this reason, a dermatologist should always treat this type of acne.
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