What forms does acne take and does treatment differ accordingly?

Acne can be present as papules, pustules, comedones and nodules.  Papules are small acne bumps, which are usually red.  Pustules are papules filled with white material (these are commonly referred to as whiteheads).  Comedones consist of both whiteheads and blackheads; the blackheads are dilated pores containing dark oily material (sebum).  Nodules are larger bumps on the skin, usually filled with infection.

Treatment varies according to the size and depth of each acne lesion.  Comedones, blackheads and whitheads are frequenly treated by incision and drainage of the lesion with the use of a tool known as a comedone extractor.  The cores of the pustule and blackhead are removed with this instrument.  Papules are usually treated with an oral or topical antibiotic, as well as a drying agent.  Nodules may require stronger oral medication and sometimes even cortisone injections, as well as oral and topical antibiotics.

Treatments for these lesions should only be done in a sterile environment in a doctor’s office or under the direction of a dermatological practitioner.  Nicking and poking the skin at home can introduce more infection into the area and increase the chance of scarring.

– Dr. Bussell

Beverly Hills Dermatology Consultants

433 N. Camden Drive, Suite 805   Beverly Hills, CA 90210 | 310-550-7661

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