Is acne an infection?

Acne is the common name for acne vulgaris, which is a human skin disease that is common in many people. It is characterized as various areas of the skin having many non-inflammatory papules or comedones and inflammatory papules, pustules, and nodules in various forms of severity.

Acne affects the skin where there is a dense section of sebaceous follicles. This is common on the face, back, arms, and chest. Acne can be inflammatory and non-inflammatory depending on the case. Acne is often causes by changes in the skin structures where hair follicles and sebaceous glands reside. When these changes occur, breakouts can occur. These unites are called pilosebaceous units.

When these units are blocked, acne develops in the follicles. Sebaceous glands enlarge, due to formation of keratin and sebum, and chemicals increase. Different chemicals and different blockages cause different kinds of acne. Particular blockages cause reddening of the skin as well as oil and dead skin.

Different Kinds of Acne
Acne comes in many different types and many different severities. The least of these kinds of acne is the whitehead. These are the result of a completely blocked pore, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. These occur quickly and go away quicker than any other blemish.

Blackheads are another less severe form of acne. Blackheads are the result of partially blocked pores as well as oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that drain to the skin's surface. The black color is the cause of pigmentation, melanin, and oxygen. These take a while to develop and take a while to diminish.

Papules are a form of acne that is signified by red, inflamed bumps without heads. Because there are no heads, these should not be squeezed as it will aggravate scarring.

Pustules are inflamed red circles with white or yellow middles. These come in all forms. These kinds of acne can be squeezed but must be done in a particular fashion as to not form scars.

More severe forms of acne
The more severe of acne kinds is that of nodules and cysts. Nodules are lesions of acne that are rather large in area, are painful, and can last for many months. These bumps are under the skin's surface and are hard. They often cause scarring and can reoccur many times in the same area. These kinds of acne should not be squeezed because it will aggravate the blemish and make it last longer. Injecting the nodule with cortisone, via a dermatologist, is usually one of the only ways to decrease scarring and swelling.

Cysts are also common kinds of severe acne. They are similar to nodules but are filled with pus. Cysts can be very large and are very painful. They often cause scarring. If squeezed, a deeper infection often develops, which in turn will cause inflammation to last longer. As with nodules, these can be treated by a dermatologist by cortisone shots, which can prevent scarring and swelling.

More severe forms of acne include acne rosacea that is red all over due to inflamed blood vessels; Acne Conglobata, Acne Fulminans, Gram-Negative Folliculitis, and Pyoderma Faciale - all of which can be caused by bacteria infections and inflammation.

Other resources
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