2. Different types of acne are treated differently

Doctor Jacob here, and we're talking about different types of acne and how they're treated differently. My goal in today's episode is to talk about the different types of acne, and then kind of give an overview of how they differ from each other.

The four main types of acne are regular acne, inflamed acne, hormonal acne - also called adult female acne - and nodulocystic acne, which is the most severe.

Let's start with regular acne. This is the kind of acne that most teenagers get when they start to get acne. They have a few clogged pores, also called comedones, on the forehead and sometimes the cheeks and nose. The area on the face that includes both the forehead and the nose is often referred to as the T-zone, and hence T-zone acne usually refers to acne of the regular type in this oily area. So that's the regular acne, it's the least severe of all the different types of acne, and it's the easiest to treat.

Moving on, if regular acne becomes more inflamed, with more redness, with actual pimples and not just clogged pores, sometimes the pimples come with pus, too - it's called inflamed acne. So the pimples are sometimes called papules, and the pus-filled pimples are sometimes called pustules. While the main problem in regular acne is the clogged pore, inflamed acne also has some added bacterial overgrowth with it, and that's important, because when the acne is inflamed we often add topical substances with antimicrobial abilities into the treatments, versus just for regular acne stuff to unclog the pores.

Moving on, we have hormonal acne, also called adult-onset female acne, which for the most part has its onset as an adult, although it can be in the later part of puberty. It is exclusive to women, so men don't have to worry about this type of acne. It's important to discover if there are certain hormone imbalances, particularly the polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS. If it is, treatment of the PCOS sometimes improves the adult-onset female acne, also called hormonal acne.

Finally, we get to the most severe type of acne, which is nodulocystic acne. Nodulocystic acne is more inflamed then the inflamed acne, with large nodules or cysts sometimes measuring half an inch or more on the face. It can also be on the chest or back.

The secret is to find out which type of acne the patient has, and then the treatment follows from the correct diagnosis. Often times the type of acne may evolve, so if somebody has regular acne as a teenager but it goes uncorrected, it can progress into inflamed acne, for example.

One last word is that occasionally, the hormonal type female acne can also have the regular acne or the inflamed acne with it, so-called combination acne, with the hormonal type plus one of the other three.

I'm Doctor Jacob, we'll see you next time.