All About Acne: The 6 Different Kinds of Pimples

By Rose Griesgraber

Any acne is annoying, but the first step towards effective treatment is knowing your enemy. Different kinds of pimples require different solutions and methods of prevention. It’s generally agreed that there are 6 kinds of pimples: whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Their severity ranges from 😐 to 😧 to 😱 and will be ranked as such (trust me, it’s totally scientific).


Whiteheads: 😐

This type of acne is just your run of the mill clogged pores. Dead skin cells and oil build up and close off the pore and there may be a hint of redness or inflammation. These pimples tend to be small and not too serious.


Blackheads: 😐

Blackheads are just whiteheads that have been exposed to air. When the pore breaks open and exposes the clogged substances to air, they oxidize and turn dark. The opened pore may also widen and become more prominent than a white head.


Both blackheads and whiteheads are ‘easy fixes’ when it comes to treatment. Using chemical exfoliants and cleansers daily can ensure the prevention of sebum and dead skin build up. 


Papules: 😧

Papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts are all considered inflammatory types of acne. Inflammation occurs when a clogged pore’s walls are damaged and break, making the affected area bigger, redder, and tougher to treat. Part of the inflammation is the body’s immune response to the broken pore as immune cells rush to the site. Papules are the smallest form of inflammation - they don’t come to a head and remain small red bumps. Inside those bumps, though, is the same build up of dead skin cells, oil, and acne causing bacteria as in whiteheads and blackheads.. 


Pustules: 😧 

Pustules are the next step up from papules - and the type of acne associated with ‘zit popping.’ They have a distinct white head, putting their clogged contents on display. The buildup of pus usually makes them larger and more tender than papules.


Papules and pustules can be treated DIY style or after consultation with a dermatologist. Spot treatments like benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C, tea tree oil, or salicylic acid can be used to zap pimples in addition to the continued usage of chemical exfoliants and cleansers.


Nodules: 😱 

Nodules and cysts are the big leagues of acne. Nodules are small hard lumps within the skin that are very persistent. They are painful and occur after a blocked pore leads to damage and larger infection in lower levels of the skin. It takes a long time for this type of acne to heal, and an even longer time for their marks to disappear completely, sometimes leaving permanent scars. 


Cysts: 😱 

Cysts are much like nodules in their depth and cause, but where nodules are small and hard, cysts are large and soft. They are red, filled with pus, and highly inflamed. Cysts are the older, meaner sibling of nodules. 


A dermatologist should be consulted for either nodules or cysts - these are two very serious forms of acne that can have a lifelong impact on appearance. Remedy could range from hormone treatment, to antibiotics, to cortisol injections - whatever the doctor prescribes to get your skin back on track.

So with this new pimple knowledge, pop into a new era of skin care! Stay updated on all the latest in skin and skincare with VERI Nano by subscribing to us. You wouldn’t want to miss something that could save your skin! Link to our signup!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published