You may not be aware, but there are actually six different types of acne. Firstly, we have open and closed comedones, more commonly referred to as blackheads and whiteheads. Then there are papules and pustules, which are both basically the common pimple. Finally, if you suffer with severe acne it is likely that you have nodules or cystic acne. With that being said, severe acne can be hard to classify, as if you have a huge amount of papules and pustules this could also be viewed as severe. This post focuses on nodules and cystic acne in a little more detail.
Nodules are typically red, large, hard and often very painful. The most common reason for a nodule to form is because a hair follicle has somehow become torn, thus allowing certain debris from the skin cells and also oil to make their way into the lower layer of the skin. This lower layer of skin is usually referred to as the dermis, and if it is exposed to dead cells or oil, this causes an infection. Unfortunately, this infection is the formation of nodules.
Cystic acne typically looks very similar to nodules, but unfortunately it is far more serious, as there are usually cysts also present on the skin. A cyst usually starts forming in the exact same way as a nodule, and may even feel lumpy, much in the same way as a nodule. However, even if the acne is able to naturally heal, you are likely to be left with a permanent cyst. The cyst stays under the skin, and if left untreated it stays with you for the rest of your life. You should also be aware that permanent cysts can increase and decrease in size, and may also be painful in some cases.
A cyst is actually your body’s way of defending itself against foreign matter. A prime example of this can be seen if a cyst forms after the onset of nodular acne. As mentioned, a nodule most commonly forms when a hair follicle is torn, thus leading to skin debris and oil getting to the lower skin level. However, your body’s natural defenses then surround this “invasion” with connective tissues and fat, eventually causing a cyst to form. Unfortunately, cysts can be extremely large, look extremely ugly, and can even be very painful.
There are many different forms of acne treatment, ranging from simple creams and lotions, to possible surgical procedures. When it comes to treating nodules and cystic acne you must visit a dermatologist, and you may find that the only option available to you is draining. However, you should be aware that if a cyst has formed it is likely to become a permanent feature, although draining can help to dramatically reduce the size and improve the appearance of it. Draining basically involves making a small incision in the skin and then squeezing the puss that forms the cysts through the opening that is left on the skin. If you are feeling brave enough there is a surgical procedure to remove cysts, which involves using forceps, and pulling the cyst out whole.
Nancy Baker is a freelance blogger and an ace creative write with many years of experience writing for top blogs. Nancy has written on a myriad of topics and has written several posts for us.