Crestview Hills Dermatologist: The 4 Common Types of Acne

If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from acne, you know that it can be a frustrating and embarrassing condition. Acne comes in many different forms, and each type requires a different treatment approach. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the four most common types of acne and how to treat them. So if you are looking for information on acne, keep reading further! Our Crestview Hills Dermatologist in Northern Kentucky is here to help.

Types of Acne

When you see pimples forming, you may not think about which type of acne you have. Instead, you are more likely trying to figure out how to get rid of it quickly. Though effective treatments exist for all types of acne, it is essential to know which type you have in order to treat it most effectively. 

Acne comes from oil production, clogged pores, bacteria, and hormones. During puberty, hormone levels increase, which can cause acne. The stress of being a teenager can also contribute to breakouts.

These are the four most common acne types:


Whiteheads, medically known as comedones, are acne found on the face, chest, back, or other areas where hair follicles are present. Whiteheads form when a clogged pore becomes infected with bacteria. The infection causes the sebum and dead skin cells to turn white as they fill with pus. 

Whiteheads are different from blackheads and are also a type of acne in that they are not open at the surface. Unfortunately, they are more likely to become infected and can be more challenging to treat.

Treatment for Whiteheads

While whiteheads can be unsightly and embarrassing, there are, thankfully, many ways to treat them. Some over-the-counter treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, can help to dry out the pus and dead skin cells, making it easier for the whitehead to heal. 

In addition, the dermatologist can use several stronger treatments to eliminate whiteheads if the over-the-counter medications do not work. Some of the most common treatments a dermatologist may use include:

Topical Acne Treatments

Acne treatment come in creams, gels, or lotions and are applied to the affected area. Common active ingredients include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids.

Oral Medications

They are for more severe cases of acne. They can have side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness. Common oral medications to treat whiteheads include antibiotics, birth control pills, and isotretinoin.

Drainage and Extraction

A qualified dermatologist or skin care professional should only perform this procedure. It involves using a small tool to open the whitehead and drain the pus.

Laser Therapy

This therapy can help to kill the bacteria that cause acne and can also help to decrease the production of sebum. The effectiveness of laser therapy varies from person to person.


In addition to medication, some lifestyle changes can help to prevent whiteheads from forming in the first place. For example, wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser, and avoid touching your face with your hands throughout the day. Keeping your hair clean and away from your face is also essential, as oily hair can contribute to clogged pores. 

If you are prone to whiteheads, make an appointment with Crestview Hills Dermatologist in Northern Kentucky to discuss your treatment options.


Blackheads are small, dark bumps that appear on the skin. They’re caused by a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in the pores and can be a feature of acne. 

Blackheads are a type of comedo, a medical term for a blocked pore. Comedones can be open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). Blackheads get their color from the melanin in the skin.

When the build-up of oil and skin cells occurs, it can cause a blockage in the pore. The blockage causes the sebaceous glands to become enlarged, which leads to an increase in sebum production. 

Sebum is an oily substance that helps keep the skin lubricated. When there’s an overproduction of sebum, it can mix with dead skin cells and dirt to form a plug. The plugged follicle is called a microcomedo.

If the microcomedo stays open, oxygen exposure causes it to turn black or dark brown, forming a blackhead. If the microcomedo remains closed, the top of the bump appears white, creating a whitehead. Whiteheads are also known as closed comedones.


There are several ways to treat blackheads, depending on the severity of the problem. For mild blackhead problems, over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be enough to keep the pores clear. More severe cases may require prescription medication from a Dermatologist, such as an antibiotic or retinoid.

In some cases, blackheads may resolve on their own without any treatment. That is more likely to happen if the blackheads are caused by a temporary increase in oil production or when using certain medications.


If blackheads are a persistent problem, it’s essential to take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place. That includes keeping the skin clean, using non-comedogenic products, and avoiding oil-based makeup. Exfoliating on a regular basis can also help to prevent blackheads by removing dead skin cells and dirt from the pores.


Pustules are small, raised bumps on the skin filled with pus. They can occur on any body part but are most commonly found on the face, chest, back, or shoulders. Pustules are surrounded by redness and may be painful or itchy.

Pustules are a type of acne and are most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults. However, they can occur at any age. Whiteheads and blackheads are a type of pustule.

Pustules are caused by oil build-up and dead skin cells in the pores. This build-up can be due to hormonal changes, certain medications, or cosmetics. Pustules are also more likely to form if someone has a family history of acne.


Most pustules will go away on their own with time. However, there are specific treatments that can speed up the healing process. These include over-the-counter creams and gels, as well as prescription medications.

If over-the-counter treatments do not work, it is vital to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe stronger medications, such as antibiotics or retinoids. They can also provide tips on preventing pustules from forming in the future.


You can do certain things to prevent pustules from forming. These include:

  • Washing the face twice a day with a mild cleanser
  • Avoiding harsh scrubbing or picking at the skin
  • Using oil-free and non-comedogenic makeup and sunscreen
  • Keeping hair clean and away from the face
  • Showering after sweating
  • Avoiding touching the face

Pustules can be unsightly and frustrating, but treatments are available to help. By following the tips above, you can help prevent pustules from forming in the first place.


Papules are small to medium-sized bumps that rise from the skin. They can be red, white, yellow, or tan and are often found on the face, chest, back, or shoulders. 

Papules can be caused by various things, including acne, allergies, and other skin conditions. If you have papules, you may want to see a dermatologist to find out what is causing them, and get treatment.


Treatment can vary depending on the cause. For instance, a dermatologist may treat acne papules with topical creams or antibiotics. 

A skin doctor may treat allergic papules with antihistamines or corticosteroids. Papules caused by other skin conditions may require different treatments.


You may be able to prevent papules by avoiding things that trigger them, such as certain foods or cosmetics. You can also help avoid papules by keeping your skin clean and using gentle cleansers if you have acne.

If you have papules, it is important to avoid picking at them or popping them. Picking with them can cause the pimples to become infected or lead to scarring.

Schedule an Appointment for Acne Treatment With Crestview Hills Dermatologist

If you are struggling with acne, it is vital to seek treatment. Acne can be embarrassing and cause low self-esteem. It can also lead to scarring. 

qualified dermatologist can help you find the proper treatment for your acne.

Crestview Hills Dermatology in Northern Kentucky offers a variety of acne treatments, both medical and cosmetic. Medical treatments include oral, topical, chemical peels, and light therapy. Cosmetic treatments include facials, microdermabrasion, and laser skin resurfacing.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will work with you to find the best treatment for your acne.

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