What is Acne?

The easiest way to describe acne is to say that the oil glands in the skin are either becoming clogged, inflamed, or infected. Those are the three main factors when acne is developing.There are three main types of acne: comedonal acne which most people describe as blackhead and whitehead acne, where the pores are actually clogging; inflammatory acne, which a lot of people describe as big red pustules on the skin, a lot of my patients will describe it as something that they want to pop or pick at to try to open up that pore; and the third type, which is the most uncomfortable type of acne for most patients is something called nodule cystic. A lot of people describe those as hard lumps, or what we refer to as nodules under the skin. They’re really painful, they last for weeks to months, and they can leave discoloration and scarring behind.

Scarring can actually happen from inflammatory acne as well, especially if it’s manipulated. If somebody is picking at it, or trying to pop those breakouts, they can lead to discoloration. In Arizona, the amount of sun we get on a daily basis can lead to discoloration, even without manipulation of those lesions, and they can also lead to indentations that are being left behind as well.