Types of Acne and How They are Graded

Types of AcneAcne is something most people will deal with throughout their lives, but not everyone has the same type. In fact, there are different severities of acne that range from mild to serious. Whether you have an occasional pimple or acne you can’t seem to get rid of, it can be beneficial to learn about all kinds.

Grade 1 – Mild Acne

Anyone who has pimples that appear occasionally or only in small numbers will have this form of acne. For example, if you have one or two pimples on your skin from time to time, then you have mild acne. Other characteristics of this grade include blackheads and milia.

Keep in mind that sebaceous filaments may look like blackheads, but they are different, which means you shouldn’t pick at them. Milia or blackheads may be present on the nose area or even on the chin and forehead. The individuals who commonly suffer from this are kids just entering their teenage years and adults who are already past adolescence.


Grade 2 – Moderate Acne

If you have a lot of milia or blackheads on your skin along with areas that have a lot of breakouts, then you have moderate acne. Papules and pustules will also be apparent your skin; which look like small bumps that start out red and turn to white on the very tip of them.

Types of acne like this may not just be on your face, as they have the ability to develop all over your body. You may find that you have it on your back, arms or other areas of your body as well as your nose or forehead.

Grade 3 – Severe Acne

If you have a lot of inflammation on your skin (which means it looks red and raised), then this is the type of acne you have. Instead of just papules and pustules in large numbers, you will also have nodules. These are hard lumps that you can feel underneath your skin, which should be painful to touch.

These are developed when the wall of the hair follicle gets contaminated with bacteria. After this happens other follicles get infected, which is why the lump may feel so large.

Most people with grade 3 acne will have it on their face as well as other areas of their body. The back, chest and neck are the most common areas where outbreaks occur. Unfortunately, this is the type of acne that will normally result in scarring on the skin.


Grade 4 – Cystic Acne

This is the most severe of all the different types of acne out there. Individuals who suffer from this will show all the symptoms of acne, including the nodules, pustules and papules. All of these will grow in large numbers on the face and the rest of the body as well. Cysts will also be present and can be extremely painful.

These are soft lumps that you can feel underneath the skin. These develop when the follicle wall ruptures and bacteria goes into the dermis of the skin. This then causes an infection, which spreads throughout the dermis and causes other cysts to form.

The information above can help you determine your grade of acne, but you can also visit the American Academy of Dermatology for detailed information about the various types of Acne


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