Acne Symptoms and Treatment

By: Todd Mumford

Acne Vulgaris or common acne affects millions of Americans (usually during puberty) every year, varying from mild to fairly complicated cases. It involves the face, neck, scalp, chest, shoulders, upper arms and back and is caused due to blocked pores of the hair follicles. Acne symptoms generally appear in the form of blackheads when the follicle plug made up of dead skin, dried sebum and hair cells all combine together to form painful bump or lesion on the skin.

Blackheads are darker in color due to the presence of a skin compound called melanin. Incidentally, blackheads are not caused due to accumulation of dirt or dust. Other than blackheads, acne symptoms may also appear in the form of whiteheads when the bump or lesions are simply skin colored or in other words, are white in color. However, these are ordinary or simple symptoms of acne.

In more serious or complicated cases, symptoms include Papule, Pustule or Nodule. These are the cases when the lesions turn red and become swollen on account of inflammation or infection of the surrounding tissue. These are usually quite painful, feeling hard to the touch. Cysts are another form of acne symptom where medical care is often needed.

A more detailed study of acne symptoms may reveal two primary types of acne common to most people. They are commonly divided into (a) Inflammatory and (b) Non-inflammatory acnes.

In Inflammatory acne, the whiteheads get inflamed, giving rise to red pimples and pustules. In some cases, inflammatory acne causes pitting scars and may even need surgery.

Non-inflammatory acne on the other hand, is a milder type that does not require surgical intervention and may be treated with simple medications.

In order to pin point acne symptoms in a more positive way, the following factors may be of help in diagnosing the disorder.

(1). When in doubt, look for pimples that are persistent, and where the skin swellings and the red spots keep coming back. These swellings are usually filled with pus and can be seen on the neck, shoulders, chest, back and the face.

(2). Look for darker spots on the skin with open pores (blackheads).

(3). One cannot miss the Pustules that look like angry red swellings on the skin and are filled with pus. These are often the secondary stages of blackheads or whiteheads.

(4). Similarly, one cannot overlook the bulge under the skin without any opening (whiteheads).

(5). Large inflamed lumps with fluid below the skin are difficult to ignore. These are cysts that require attention and care.

Yes, there are some other ailments where the symptoms are more or less similar.

(a). Acne Rosacea also produces Pustules (small, white blisters with pus) and Papules (small raised bumps) similar to Acne Vulgaris but requires a totally different line of treatment.

(b). Skin cancer symptoms look similar to acne symptoms at the very early stage.

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