What Are the Common Types of Acne?

types of acne

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by Steal the Style

Anyone that has had acne will know how frustrating and awkward it can be. If you had a friend or classmate with bad acne, you would have likely joked about them and made it clear that it was not okay.

However, most people with acne are kind and understanding because they know what it’s like. If you have acne, you’re not alone. Many people have acne in the US, so don’t worry if you’re part of them.

The types of acne vary from mild and temporary, to bad and unfortunate. Let’s look at the most common types of acne and see how we can clear up the skin.

Let’s get started!

Acne Vulgaris

Acne is a widespread condition that results in many skin imperfections, each of which has a distinctive look and set of characteristics.

It is the most common form of acne that typically appears as one or more of these blemishes on the face, neck, chest, back, or shoulders. 

The four main characteristics of acne are:


Blackheads are small, dark-colored bumps that form when dead skin cells and oil clog pores.


Whiteheads are similar to blackheads, but they are covered with a white substance called sebum.


Papules are small, red bumps that occur when the walls of the pores break down.


Pustules are large, red bumps that are filled with pus. Acne can also lead to scarring.

Hormonal Acne

It is characterized by deep, large pimples that are often red and inflamed. Hormonal acne is often seen in teenagers and young adults but can occur at any age.

It is caused by an increase in androgens, which are hormones that stimulate the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Androgens increase in both boys and girls during puberty, which is why hormonal acne is often seen in teenagers.

Hormonal acne can also be caused by an increase in androgens due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), pregnancy, or the use of certain drugs, such as androgenic steroids.

Hormonal IUDs also known as Mirena, may trigger acne for some women because they release progestin (an artificial form of the hormone progesterone) into the body.

Check out more info about Mirena and acne treatments through this link!

Stress Acne

This type of acne can be caused by a variety of different things, but stress is often a trigger. Stress acne can appear as different types of blemishes, including blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples.

Treatment for stress acne may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as lifestyle changes, to reduce stress.

Cystic Acne

This type of acne is characterized by deep, pus-filled pimples that can be painful and cause permanent scarring. Cystic acne is often caused by hormonal imbalance, but it can also be triggered by stress, diet, and certain medications.

Treatment for cystic acne typically includes oral antibiotics and prescription medication. It is a more serious form of acne that is characterized by large, red, and painful bumps. 

Steroid Acne

Steroid acne is a type of acne that is commonly seen in people who use steroids. This type of acne is different from other types of acne because it is caused by the use of steroids. Steroid acne typically appears on the face, chest, and back.

It is characterized by the presence of small red bumps that may be tender to the touch. Steroid acne is usually not painful, but it can be unsightly. If left untreated, steroid acne can lead to permanent scarring.

What are the Causes of Acne?

Acne occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. The bacteria that are normally present on the skin can then infect the clogged pores, leading to inflammation.

The main causes of acne are excess oil production and other factors that can contribute to the development of pimples, such as hormones, certain medications, diet, and stress.

Treatment for Different Types of Acne

Here are the different ways of getting rid of acne depending on its severity:

DIY Treatment

Acne is a common skin condition that can be treated with a variety of DIY treatments. A variety of DIY treatments can be used to treat acne, including the following:

  • Wash twice a day
  • Use a gentle cleanser
  • Rinse with lukewarm water
  • Shampoo regularly
  • Avoid touching the face
  • Stay out of the sun

Seeing a Dermatologist

If you are struggling with any type of acne, it is important to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help you determine the cause of your acne and develop a treatment plan.

In what ways do dermatologists manage acne? The acne treatment strategy that is best for you will rely on several factors, including:

  • The  kind of acne you have
  • The part of your skin acne first emerged
  • The medications you’ve tried
  • The onset of the breakouts
  • Whether you have dark patches or scars 

Balanced Diet

According to certain research, what you eat may also contribute to better skin. Your diet may play a vital role in their prevention and treatment. Diet may influence the development of acne vulgaris by affecting hormone levels, inflammation, and the composition of the skin’s microbiota.

For example, consuming a diet rich in processed foods, dairy, and sugar may increase the risk of developing acne vulgaris, while a diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats may help to prevent or treat it.

Enjoy the Benefits of Having Healthier Skin

Overall, the different types of acne are not just cosmetic problems, but can also lead to psychological problems such as low self-esteem and depression. Having healthier skin can help improve one’s self-esteem and overall mental health.

So, start changing your lifestyle, eat the right kind of food and, if you think you have serious acne problems, don’t be shy. You are not alone. Consult the dermatologist right away to get the necessary treatment.

After all, you deserve to be mentally and physically healthy!

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our blog to see more!