What your acne breakout is telling you

Unfortunately, there are many types of blemishes, but the two most common are comedones and inflammatory lesions. Comedones are blackheads and whiteheads, while inflammatory lesions are red and raised bumps, pimples, and cysts. Blackheads and whiteheads are essentially clogged pores with either a black or a white top, Inflammatory pimples are red, raised, and sometimes pus-filled or painful.

Acne falls into three categories 

Mild, moderate, and severe are terms you’ve most likely heard if you suffer from the occasional pimple.

Mild acne is usually if you have just a few whiteheads or blackheads, moderate acne if you have a considerable amount of blackheads, whiteheads, and inflamed pimples and severe acne if you are experiencing multiple cystic nodules under the skin.

So….. getting down to the details….

Before trying to figure out the best way to treat your acne, it’s important to know the type of breakout you’re experiencing. If the inflammation is right near the surface, you’ll get a pustule if it’s deeper, a papule (pimple) deeper still and it’s a cyst. If the oil breaks through to the surface, the result is a whitehead, but if the oil becomes oxidised it changes from white to black, and the result is a blackhead.

Mild to moderate acne can be treated with professional salon products and clinical skincare treatments, such as facials, laser, microdermabrasion or peels but someone suffering with severe acne would most likely need to see a dermatologist. Regular washing with a gentle, oil-free cleanser and moisturising with oil-free, non-comedogenic formulas are key to maintaining acne-free skin. Bonus if one or both has alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid (our favourite is the BETA range by Medik8 Cleanser, Moisturiser, and blemish pads), which can dissolve the bonds that keep dead skin cells stuck in place, blocking your pores. And as much as you want to pop that whitehead, don’t. Leave that to the experts. Blackheads and whiteheads are on the surface, so you can usually remove them quite easily with steam and a extractions. But pimples may need to be opened with a needle, AGAIN leave it to the pro’s.