Did you ever wonder how many types of acne there are? If you have acne, you probably have, and you likely want to know which kind is affecting your skin.

But identifying acne types and corresponding pimple types is more than a matter of curiosity. It’s a matter of diagnosis, which is an essential preliminary to proper treatment.

Now, there are different ways you can classify acne types and pimple types. But we have stuck with basic, clearly defined acne categories and the most commonly accepted pimple categories.

Read on to gain more insight into what sorts of acne and pimples are afflicting your face and body so you can be better equipped to find the right remedies!

The Different Types of Acne in Pictures

Most acne is a form or severity level of acne vulgaris, and many of our acne types listed below fall under that umbrella term.

Acne vulgaris is the most common type of acne.

If you want to learn more about particular areas often affected by acne vulgaris, click the relevant link on the topic of forehead acne or body acne.

If you are interested in how acne differs among different age groups, click here. As acne is particularly common and severe among adolescents, follow this link to learn how to treat acne in teens.

In rarer cases, acne may even affect babies. If you have an infant with signs of acne, you’ll definitely want to find out about baby acne.

Otherwise, just read on to see pictures and descriptions of acne types defined by severity level or by the underlying cause:

  • Mild Comedonal Acne
    Mild Comedonal Acne TypeAcne that reveals itself primarily in a few scattered whiteheads, blackheads, or other pimples on your face, neck, or back is called “mild comedonal acne.”
    Typically, this kind of acne is not painful but simply annoying. A pimple may pop up in a very inopportune location, for example. Anyone with 20 or less total acne skin blemishes would be considered a mild case.
    Over-the-counter topical treatments or natural home remedies often cure mild acne.
  • Moderate Comedonal Acne
    Moderate Comedonal Acne TypeIf you have 20 to 100 or more acne pimples and blemishes, then it’s considered moderate acne. That is if it’s still just comedonal acne we’re dealing with.
    It’s possible to get severe comedonal acne, but typically, it becomes nodulocystic acne in severe cases.
    For moderate acne, you probably need some prescription medications from a dermatologist. And it will likely take a few weeks or months to fully win the acne battle.
  • Severe Nodulocystic Acne
    Severe Nodulocystic Acne TypeWhen you have anywhere from a few to several dozen inflamed acne cysts and nodules, it’s a truly severe case.
    This type of acne involves affected areas turning red or purple and feeling painful. You need to get assistance from a professional dermatologist without delay if you’re facing severe acne.
  • Pregnancy Caused Acne
    Pregnancy Caused Acne TypeAcne often appears in women during pregnancy. Why? Because of the increased hormonal activity going inside the body.
    The severity of symptoms will vary from woman to woman and from one stage of pregnancy to another. Pregnancy acne is really just a kind of hormonal acne.
    To learn more on what to expect if you have acne while pregnant and what you should and shouldn’t do to treat it, click here.
  • Acne Conglobata
    Acne Conglobata TypeAcne conglobata occurs in men more often than in women. It is a very severe type of acne that involves interconnected acne nodules.
    It is one of the worst kinds of back acne and chest acne, though it can also afflict the arms, buttocks, and other regions of the body. Sometimes, this kind of acne is caused by taking steroids or testosterone boosters, but not always.
  • Acne Mechanica
    Acne Mechanica TypeAthletes often suffer from what is known as acne mechanica. This type of acne results from the rubbing of sweatbands, ball caps, helmets, and other sports and athletic gear against the skin.
    It often forms on the forehead, but if you lack hair on top, it might also form on the crown. Read more about it here.
    By wearing more absorbent clothing and gear and by showering right after athletic activity, acne mechanica can often be reversed and prevented.

Types of Pimples

There are five major types of acne pimples that we’ll look at below:

  1. Blackheads
    Blackhead PimpleA blackhead results when a hair follicle gets stuck under the skin and its skin pore gets clogged with oil and dirt. The dark brown to black coloration results from contact with oxygen in the air. Most blackheads can be easily treated with even over-the-counter medications.
  2. Whiteheads
    Whitehead PimpleWhiteheads are just exactly like blackheads except for the color. And the reason for the color difference is that, with whiteheads, the pore is closed, while with blackheads, it’s open. Thus, oxygen can’t interact with whiteheads to turn them black!
  3. Papules

    Papules PimplesA papule results when a blackhead or whitehead gets inflamed, resulting in red or pink coloration on the skin. The skin will also become bumpy. Don’t pick at or squeeze papules or they may get worse or leave scars.

    What Are “Comedones?”
    Both whiteheads and blackheads are comedonal pimples. That means they are formed when a hair follicle gets stuck under your skin due to the skin pore getting clogged up with oils, dirt, and dead skin cells.
  4. Pustules
    Pustules PimplesA pustule is basically a papule that has developed until it has filled up with white or yellow pus. It looks like a large, bumpy whitehead with a red ring around it. The ring is caused by inflammation.
  5. Nodules and Cysts
    Nodule/Cyst PimplesNodules and cysts are very similar, and some don’t even distinguish them. We do, but we’ll use just one picture for both.
    Cysts are like pustules, still being filled with pus to some degree, but now larger and more painful. Learn more about cystic acne here. Nodules result when the pus hardens.

What Type of Acne do I Have?

Around 50 million US adolescents and adults suffer from some form and severity of acne at any given time. That’s a huge national problem that calls for serious diagnosis efforts.

Healthy skin and Pustule

Now, you can diagnose acne partly based on these three things:

  1. Type of pimples found.
  2. The number of pimples.
  3. Location of pimples.

Here, we want to focus on location. What is the “meaning” of the location of your pimples? What are your pimples trying to tell you?

Acne pimple locationHere is the meaning of facial acne pimple location:

  • Acne along the hairline may mean pomade in hair products you use is blocking the oil from exiting your skin pores there. Witch to a non-pomade product!
  • Acne on the cheeks is likely caused by bacteria from your smartphone, pillowcase, or just from touching your face with your fingers.
  • If acne is on your jawline or chin, it’s usually hormonal. That can be caused by your diet or just by genetics. Click here to discover the best acne spot treatments to curb hormonal acne!
  • When acne’s on the forehead and nose, often called the “T Zone, ” it’s usually caused by excess oil production. It can also be exacerbated by being over-stressed.

And here is what we can learn from acne being located on other areas of the body besides the face:

  • Neck acne is often caused by eating too much sugar, adrenal gland problems, or too much stress. If you have pimples on your neck, read this to find specific information on how to get rid of them!
  • Acne on the shoulders is typically due to stress and to wearing sweaty clothes too long.
  • Pimples on the chest or breasts typically come from an improper diet, a food allergy, or some kind of indigestion problem. The same can be said of a lot of back acne.
  • Acne of the arms is usually caused by not getting enough vitamins and nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • If acne appears on your stomach, you probably have high blood pressure.
  • Acne in the pubic area is often caused by wearing sweaty underwear or just not changing it often enough.
  • Acne on the thighs often occurs due to an allergic reaction to certain laundry detergents or shaving cream.
  • Finally, acne pimples popping up on the buttocks region often indicates a poor diet is causing inflammations in your body. Click on the provided link to learn how to get rid of butt acne.

Body Acne Map

Now, we’ve given a lot of information on how to diagnose acne types and pimples, with links on how to treat them. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a link, right here, to show you how to deal with what acne leaves behind – acne scars.

If you have acne, you need to take the time to figure out which kind it is and what acne location may indicate. This article helps you do that!