The following information may sound confusing to many teenagers but it may help some distinguish what type of acne they have to deal with and also what acne medication is best suited for their type of acne, be it Lesions, Nodules, Papules, Pustules or Comodones.
What are Acne Lesions?
A question often asked, What are Lesions? Acne Lesions are small patches of skin affected by acne, although the term “lesion” is not restricted to the changes produced by acne in skin tissues. Acne lesions are the external form of comedones, the sebaceous follicles plugged by excess sebum. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest. The basic lesion in acne is called a comedo and is an enlarged hair follicle plugged with oil and bacteria.
When the comedo stays below the skin it is called a whitehead. When it reaches the surface of the skin and opens up it is called a blackhead. Papules (small inflamed lesions that look like pink bumps on the skin), pustules (pimples), nodules (large, sore, solid lesions deep in the skin) and cysts (deep, inflamed, pus-filled lesions) are other types of acne lesions. Cysts can cause serious scarring and deformity.
Symptoms of Acne Lesions: Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest. The basic lesion in acne is called a comedo and is an enlarged hair follicle plugged with oil and bacteria. When the comedo stays below the skin it is called a whitehead. When it reaches the surface of the skin and opens up it is called a blackhead.
Treatment for Acne Lesions: Treatment is designed to prevent formation of new lesions and aid the healing of old lesions. Treatment may consist of topical creams or gels, with or without oral medications, depending on the severity of the acne.
Definition of a Lesion: "Pronounced "lee-sion" with the emphasis on the "lee," a lesion can be almost any abnormality involving any tissue or organ due to any disease or any injury."
What are Acne Nodules?
Another commonly asked question, What are Nodules? The Nodule is a solid lesion, one of the most painful lesions caused by acne. Nodules tend to extend into the deeper layers of the skin and are known to lead to tissue destruction. They can be very painful to remove and leave scars behind. Nodular acne is a severe form of acne that is treated only with isotretinonin. The formation of nodules begins in early puberty; the severity increases until late adolescence and often beyond. The nodules and abscesses of severe acne often rupture and, after healing, typically leave scars. Scars may be tiny, deep holes (ice pick scars); wider pits of varying depth; or large, irregular indentations. Acne scars last a lifetime and, for some people, are cosmetically significant and a source of psychologic stress. These are the more serious acne lesions. They lodge deeper in the skin, are painful, and can cause scarring.
Symptoms of Nodules: Nodulocystic acne is characterised by multiple inflamed and uninflamed nodules and frequently, scars and is more common in males. Active nodule formation may persist for years and usually continues until the fourth decade of life. The nodules are usually found on the chest, the shoulders, the back, the buttocks, the upper arms, the thighs, and the face.
Causes of Nodules: An acne cyst is a nodule of inflammation arising from an acne lesion or a cyst that develops in the outer layer of skin. They are often filled with a thick, yellow, pus-like fluid.
Treatment of Nodules: If you have acne nodules, your doctor may first prescribe a topical retinoid acne product, a cream or lotion that contains a form of vitamin A. Treatment can also include an antibiotic that you put on your skin and/or an antibiotic you take by mouth. Nodules usually requires an aggressive treatment regimen. Furthermore - affected areas should be gently washed once or twice a day with a mild soap. [Antibacterial or abrasive soaps, alcohol pads, and heavy frequent scrubbing provide no added benefit and may further irritate the skin]. Cosmetics should be water-based; very greasy products or cosmedics can worsen acne. Doctors sometimes treat large, inflamed nodules or abscesses by injecting corticosteroids into them. People with nodules or cysts should be treated by a dermatologist. For patients with severe inflammatory acne that does not improve with medicines such as those described above, a doctor may prescribe isotretinoin (Accutane), a retinoid (vitamin A derivative). Isotretinoin is an oral drug that is usually taken once or twice a day with food for 15 to 20 weeks. It markedly reduces the size of the oil glands so that much less oil is produced. As a result, the growth of bacteria is decreased.
Definition of Nodulocystic Acne: "A severe form of acne that is characterized by numerous deep, inflamed bumps (nodules) and large, pus-filled lesions that resemble boils (cysts). The nodules tend to be tender when touched and feel firm. The severe inflammation can cause the acne to become very red or even purple. Scarring often results when the acne heals."
What are Acne Papules?
What is a Papule? The papule is a small, solid usually inflammatory elevation of the skin that does not contain pus. Very small papules can also appear in clusters, due to the tissue’s response to acne. Papules and pustules are raised bumps with obvious inflammation. The face may be the only involved skin surface, but the chest, the back, and the upper arms are often involved. These are red spots (papules) and may have a head (pustules). The inflamed spot may be large and very tender like a cyst. They usually last for 3-10 days but a stubborn one may last for several months. Papules and pustules can leave permanent scarring. The scars look like small pits.
Symptoms of Papules: A papule starts as a small inflammation which in turn is often caused by infection or abrasion of the skin which accumulates secretion of skin tissue (hyperplasia) or glandular fluids, when it reaches the surface of the skin and opens up it is called a blackhead. Papules cause small inflamed lesions that look like pink bumps on the skin.
Treatment for Papules: "Acne" Papule treatment may consist of topical creams or gels, with or without oral medications, depending on the severity of the acne.
Definition of Papules: A papule is a small, solid and usually conical elevation of the skin. Papules do not contain pus, which distinguishes them from pustules. Papules often occur in clusters and can accompany rashes.
What are Acne Pustules?
What is a Pustule? Acne Pustules are small inflamed elevations of the skin that are filled with pus and are red at the base. The pus is a combination of bacteria, white blood cells and dead skin cells. Pustules are usually formed around sebaceous follicles and hair. Pustules are common in acne.
Symptoms of Acne Pustules: Pustules frequently form in sweat glands or hair follicles. Pus is a mixture of inflammatory cells and liquid. They may occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly in the usual acne areas (face, shoulders, back, and over the breastbone), and in areas of increased sweating such as the groin and armpit.
Treatment for Pustules: There are many treatments for (mild acne) pustules. Mild acne can consist of whiteheads, blackheads and small pustules. Wash your face twice per day with warm water and a gentle cleanser or soap. Your doctor may suggest you also try an acne lotion or cream product.
Definition of Pustules: Simply put, a pustule is a little pimple full of puss. A pustule is a small collection of pus in the top layer of skin (epidermis) or beneath it in the dermis. Pustules frequently form in sweat glands or hair follicles. Pus is a mixture of inflammatory cells and liquid."
What are Acne Comedones?
What is a Comedone? Acne Comedones are known as blackheads and whiteheads, depending on whether the pore is open or not. Blackheads are pores whose distended openings are blocked by a mixture of keratin and sebum that is blackened at the surface. Whiteheads are closed pores filled with the secretion of the sebaceous gland that swells underneath the tissue. Condones are the usual target for picking and squeezing. However, opening a follicle in the less than sterile conditions of your home is likely to result in a slight infection. An open pore is an entry point for all kinds of bacteria.
Symptoms of Comedones: The first blemish to form as acne begins to appear is called a “comedone,” and it is critical to all the blemishes that eventually develop. A comedone is a plug that forms within the pilosebaceous duct. It is made up of dead cells from the lining of the duct that are mixed with sebum produced by the oil gland.
Causes of Comedones: Acne Comedones occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin called pores become clogged. Each pore is an opening to a canal called a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. Normally, the oil glands help keep the skin lubricated and help remove old skin cells. When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked, accumulating dirt, debris, and bacteria. The blockage is called a plug or comedone.
Treatment for Comedones: The best treatments for mild forms of acne such as comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), small pustules and scattered papules are treatments with desquamating agents such as benzoyl peroxide. Among leading over-the-counter treatments it could be counted. Its antibacterial efficacy is noteworthy in rapid destruction of Porpionibacterium acnes.
Definition of Comedones: Comedones are small, flesh-colored, white, or dark bumps that give skin a rough texture. The bumps are found at the opening of a sebaceous follicle (pore).
More Information about Acne Types & Treatments
When choosing a topical product, the type of vehicle—the cream, gel, lotion, or solution that contains the active ingredient—may be as important as the medicinal agent. For example, creams are appropriate for sensitive or dry skin, and gels and solutions can be helpful for oily skin. Lotions can be used with any skin type and are easily spread over hairy skin surfaces. Most topical treatments dry the skin to some degree and cause minor peeling that loosens oil-gland plugs. In turn, peeling smoothes facial skin and helps resolve old and new lesions. On the downside, topical medications can cause minor irritation. For mild acne, self-treatment with OTC topical products may be sufficient, while more severe or resistant cases may respond to prescription products. The active ingredients found in commonly-used OTC and prescription topical preparations include benzoyl peroxide (which kills bacteria), salicylic acid (slows shedding of cells), alpha hydroxy acid, sulfur (which breaks down blackheads and whiteheads), azelaic acid (an antibacterial agent), retinoids (suppressing skin oil production), antioxidants, and antibiotics. Combination therapy is used for people who have comedones (clogged pores) and inflammatory acne. Once topical treatment begins, it often takes four to six weeks for any significant improvement to become evident, and treatment should continue until no new lesions appear. As with most medical treatment, it is very important that medication be used consistently. This can be especially challenging when the patient is an adolescent.lef.org
Acne can affect almost anyone, but it is often thought to be a condition that just affects teenagers. Although the majority of people with acne (85%) are between the ages of 12 and 18, acne often affects adults and sometimes can affect newborns or infants. During adolescence, acne affects men and women equally but is more prevalent in adult women. How do acne lesions develop? Acne starts out underneath the skin where the cells that line the pore become sticky and do not move out of the pore onto the skin surface like normal cells. This results in a microscopic acne lesion called the “microcomedo” that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
This microcomedo can turn into any one of the types of acne lesions (whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts). The process of a microcomedo turning into a visible acne lesion can take several weeks. Most acne treatments are designed to prevent microcomedoes from forming and developing into other acne lesions. That is why it is important to apply acne medications to all areas of the skin where acne can develop and not just on the acne lesion itself. Unlike treatments for other conditions, acne treatment can sometimes take several weeks to see improvement, because it is preventing the formation of microcomedoes beneath the skin and their further progression into a visible acne lesion. ...knol.google.com
There are four specific types of acne lesions. Papules are small-inflamed lesions that are pink, bumpy and can be tender to touch. Pustules are lesions that are red at the base and have an inflamed or puss filled inner region. Nodules are large lesions that happen deep in the skin and are extremely painful to touch. Cysts also occur deep within the skin and are typically highly inflamed, puss filled regions that are several painful. Cysts acne is most likely to result in scarring. Papule lesions are typically conical elevations on the skin. They are usually small and solid. They are distinguished from pustules because they do not contain puss.
Papules are typically found in clusters and can sometimes be found along side rashes. Pustule lesions are because of puss that collects in a cavity formed by tissue after an infectious process caused by either bacteria or parasites or foreign materials. Pustules are a part of the body’s defensive reaction to prevent the spread of infectious materials to other parts of the body. A nodule is a small aggregation of cells. Nodules will typically form in response to injury. They are usually benign and painless if they occur close to the skin surface. When they are deep in the tissue, they can be extremely painful. Very few people have the nodule form of acne...combatacne.com