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Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is the most common skin problem for almost everyone, and usually begins with skin congestion or commonly known as comedones. When comedones become infected they can break out and cause acne, open pores and eventually scars. The stages of acne vary from mild acne (non-inflammatory acne) to moderate and severe acne (inflammatory acne) as follows:

Non-inflamatory acne or mild acne

The first stage in non-inflamatory acne gennerally occurs on oily skin and begings with comedones or blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones). In this stage excesive sebum, dead cells and environmental factors clogg the pores causing blemishes and breakouts. This is also known as congestion. Is this your case? Then read more about congestion and our solutions here.

Inflammatory acne

Inflammatory acne evolves from blackheads and whiteheads into papules and pustules. Papules are closed lesions similar to whiteheads but inflamed. A pustule is being formed when the papule begins to rupture onto the skin’s surface. The dead white blood cells (pus) that have been fighting the infection appear as a white top or head. While pustules erupt onto the skin’s surface, nodules and cysts erupt below the surface of the skin. Inflammatory acne can be moderate (with papules and pustules) or severe (with nodules and cysts).

Moderate acne

Moderate acne is characterized by the presence of inflammed lessions called papules and pustules.

What is a papule?

A papule is an inflamed acne leasion that appears as a small red bump on the skin. It does not contain pus (liquid).

What is a pustule?

A pustule is a red bump on the skin with a white head full of pus, oil and cell debris. It often follows a papule and it is more comonly known as a pimple or a zit.

papuple pustule

Severe acne or nodulocystic acne

Severe acne, or nodulocystic acne, is carachterized by the presence of inflamed lessions that evolve from the papule form into nodules and cysts.

Inflamed papule ruptures into the dermis creating nodules and cysts.


What is a nodule?

A nodule is a thik leason located under the surface of the skin.


What is a cyst?

A cyst is the most severe form of acne and it is similar to a nodule but it is filled with pus.