What are the Different Types of Acne and Acne Scars?

What are the Different Types of Acne and Acne Scars?

Acne is an unfortunate part of life that everyone will experience at some point. If you want to treat your acne and the scars it leaves behind, it's important to know the different types of acne. What works for one type of acne may not work for another.

We've created a guide to the different types of acne and acne scars to help you identify and specifically treat the issues with your skin. Read on to learn more!

The Different Types of Acne

Acne can look different to every person. Identifying the different types of acne will help you determine the cause and the best way to treat it. We have outlined a few of the most common acne types and their causes.


Whiteheads are what people tend to think of when they think of acne. They are small round bumps that develop under the skin with a white or yellowish top (the head).

Whiteheads form when a pore gets clogged by dead skin cells and sebum, an oily substance the body produces to keep skin hydrated. When a thin layer of skin grows over the blocked pore, it becomes inflamed and turns into a whitehead. While it can be tempting, avoid popping whiteheads if you can. Popping can spread bacteria to other parts of the face and cause future scarring.


Blackheads are also a result of pores blocked by dead skin cells and sebum. However, unlike whiteheads, they remain open. The exposure to oxygen is what causes the material in the pore to darken. Blackheads are relatively easy to treat, and they don't get inflamed like other acne.


Papules occur when clogging in a pore builds up until the pressure ruptures the walls of the pore, spreading bacteria to the surrounding area. Your immune system reacts to the bacteria by sending white blood cells to fight infection, which causes inflammation and redness.


Pustules are like papules; however, the immune response causes them to fill with pus, causing them to be more inflamed and redder than papules. While they look like whiteheads, pustules are often identifiable due to their redness and swelling.


Nodules are a more severe type of acne and often leave scars. Nodular acne forms large, hard bumps underneath the skin. These bumps are often very painful as they form deeper under the skin and can be very difficult to treat.

The Different Types of Acne Scars

Along with the acne itself, acne scars are a concern for many people. Some people may successfully treat their acne, but scars can remain. Below we explore some of the different types of acne scars.

Ice-pick Scars

Ice-pick scars look like small, deep holes pierced by something sharp, like an ice-pick. These scars result from deep infection, which destroys skin tissue, such as nodular acne.

Boxcar Scars

Boxcar acne scars are pitted depressions in the skin caused by the loss of collagen due to inflammatory acne.

Rolling Scars

Long-term inflammatory acne can lead to rolling acne scars. Rolling scars bring a wavy unevenness to the skin's surface. Rolling scars become more obvious the older you get as your skin loses its natural elasticity.


Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common scars that people experience after acne. Unlike the other types of scarring, hyperpigmentation doesn't affect the skin's texture. Hyperpigmentation is a discolouration left on the skin where the acne was.

Treating Acne and Scarring

There are many different treatments available for acne. A good skincare routine is enough for some people to keep their skin looking clear. However, for more severe acne, you may require more intense treatments. Cosmetic treatments such as laser treatments, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel target deep and severe acne in a way that at-home treatments can't.

Acne scars are a little more complicated to treat than active acne, and they will require professional help to resolve. Laser or collagen treatments can be effective. Always talk to a dermatologist or skincare professional before getting any treatments done.

Get Glowing Skin with Avana

If you are struggling with acne or acne scars, Avana Cosmetics and Laser Clinics offer a huge range of treatments to achieve glowing skin and boost confidence. Our specialist consultants have over 25 years of experience in the industry. Get in touch today to discuss which treatment option is best for you.

Different types of acne

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