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What is on my face!?

Do you know the difference between a whitehead and blackhead? The type of acne you may have? From my experience, many clients aren’t really familiar with the type of breakouts / acne that form on their skin, I’ll try my best describe it as best and as simple as possible!

Blackheads – This type of acne is very mild and can form on the face and back when oil and dead skin becomes clogged within a pore of the follicle; and once the oxygen comes in contact it oxidizes and turns to black.

Whiteheads – Are tiny white dots that form when dead skin, sebum and dirt become trapped in the pore. These usually form due to hormonal fluctuations and evidence of bacterial infection that your body is trying to push out of your skin. (Sometimes they are confused with other white hard bumps know as “milia”. These are normally found under the eyes but can be anywhere on the face. They are stubborn and difficult to remove but hydration and exfoliation is usually key).

Pimples (papule) – Are raised bumps with a soft white surface and may contain fluid but will not have a white or center.

Large Pimples (pustules)- When a papule becomes large, engorged, and swollen, it is now a pustule. Usually filled with pus and inflammed.

Cysts and Nodules (deep, painful pimples)- Cysts and nodules are painful, and most difficult type of acne to treat.  A cyst does not always look like a pimple; it can be just a large red swollen lump. This occurs in the deeper layers of the skin consisting of a build up of oil and dead skin; they can lead to boil-like infections and scarring. There are varying reasons as to what causes nodules / cysts (genetics, diet, or hormones).

image courtesy of Pinterest

It’s never a good idea to pop any of these blemishes – including a pustule as tempting as it may be. By doing so, you can push the infection deeper into the layer of the skin making the area much worse and leaving a hard to diminish scar.

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