Natural Beauty Care Guide
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Acne Types

There are two main types of acne: noninflammatory and inflammatory. Noninflammatory acne consists basically of blackheads and whiteheads. This type usually results from clogged pores that have filled up with sebum and cellular debris. When this type of lesion has a covering or sac on top of it, it is called a closed comedone or whitehead. When the pore becomes filled with sebum and dilates, it is called an open comedone or blackhead. Blackheads are not filled with dirt, so you can't get rid of them by scrubbing. The dark color of the blackhead is caused by the accumulation of melanin cells and by an oxidation process that occurs when the solidified sebum comes in contact with the air. These noninflammatory lesions are the precursor of the inflamed lesions.

Inflammatory acne is divided into two categories: earlv inflamed (papule and pustules) and more severely inflamed (cysts and nodules). If a simple, noninflamed whitehead ruptures under the surface of the skin, it triggers an involuntary response that sends inflammatory cells to the site. Sometimes bacteria will grow on the sebum that has leaked from the pimple into the surrounding area. Once this chain of events has taken place, a noninflamed pimple becomes an inflamed pimple or pustule. This situation can also transform a simple pimple into a more solid type of lesion under the surface of the skin, called a cyst. Cysts are also commonly referred to as "underground" or "blind" pimples. They often seem to pop up overnight on the chin area, especially in women who are premenstrual. This type of pimple is usually surrounded by a great deal of inflammation, bacteria, and sebum. This combination of substances develops into a ball-like bump under the skin that can become tender or painful. If the cyst progresses in size and become more inflamed, it is referred to as a nodule.

Papules—small or larger red or flesh-colored bumps.
Pustules—white pus-filled bumps often with a red ring around them.
Nodules (cysts) —large pus-filled, often painful lesions.

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