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Acne is a general umbrella term used to describe blemishes, breakouts, pimples, or “zits” that occur as a result of excess oil production, dead skin cell build up, bacteria proliferation, and internal factors such as hormonal fluctuations, causing a blockage that occurs at the opening of a pore.
Acne is such an individual condition that it’s hard to know for sure what the root cause is without proper consultation. There are often actually many factors at play and not just one thing causing the pesky breakouts. Overall we know that there is inflammation in the body when we experience acne. This could be caused by:
Acne can have many variances and ways to categorize or identify the type of acne present. Most commonly you will see breakouts separated by Grade I-IV based on severity.
It is not uncommon to have multiple types and grades of acne present at once, as often Grade I acne can develop into more aggressive grades if left untreated. Grade I acne is often referred to as non-inflammatory acne, while Grade II-IV are inflammatory acne.
Sometimes referred to as “flat” acne, Grade I acne is primarily blackheads and the occasional whitehead. Mild acne may never progress beyond this stage.
Grade II acne consists of blemishes in greater numbers and the more consistent presence of whiteheads. With this type of acne, you will also see papules and pustules.
Cystic acne or Grade IV is usually characterized by large, extra-angry-looking blemishes. Due to the severity of Grade IV and the depths to which it extends, scarring is a very real possibility.
This is much less common, but often what we think of when we hear the condition. This type of rosacea results in thickening of the skin with a bumpy, uneven texture, along with symptoms of mild and moderate cases. The nose is commonly affected by phymatous rosacea and the thickening of tissue creates a bulbous and enlarged nose, a phenomenon known as rhinophyma.
Results largely depend on the type of acne and treatments selected. However, most patients will experience improvement in overall skin health and amount/severity of acne and blemishes, with reduced acne scarring for clearer, more even skin. The best course of action is to ensure you’re following a skincare routine customized to your specific needs, and following up with corrective and preventative treatments as needed.