The clogging of pores on the face primarily causes acne. But it can occur on the neck, chest, upper arms, legs and back. There are some very confusing terms that are associated with acne - papule, comedo, cyst and nodule. It will be helpful for you to know more about each of them.
This is caused by a change in body tissue due to injury or disease. A lesion can be external like skin cancer, acne, knife cut or psoriatic plaque. It can also be internal for example cirrhosis of the liver, lung cancer, atherosclerosis.
Acne lesions occur in the form of comedones (whiteheads or blackheads) as well as nodules and cysts.
Comedo: - this is a sebaceous follicle filled in with sebum, dead cells of the follicle or bacteria. It is called a blackhead when a comedo is open and it has a blackish color. When a comedo is closed it is called a whitehead. This has the appearance of an inflamed skin colored bump on the skin. One needs to be very careful in the way whiteheads or blackheads are handled. They should not be picked or squeezed. Only a dermatologist should do it with proper sterilization. Squeezing or picking can cause infection by streptococci, staphylococci and other types of skin bacteria.
Papule: - it is a solid, raised lesion on the surface of the skin. Papules occur along with comedones on the face and give a sand paper like feel. It is caused by local cellular reaction to the acne process.
Pustule: - this has pus containing white blood cells, bacteria and dead skin cells inside its dome shaped structure. It is usually formed on top of a sebaceous follicle with a hair in its center. These usually leave no scars unless it has developed into cysts.
Macule: - this is a small red spot that develops after an acne lesion has healed. It is red or pink in color, flat with a clearly visible border. When a good number of macules develop on the face it becomes reddish in color.
Nodule: - it resembles the papule in structure but this causes scarring as it extends into the deep layers of the skin. It can cause tissue destruction leading to scarring and it might not respond to skin therapies as well.
Cyst: - it is a sac that contains dead cells, white blood cells and bacteria. It is bigger in size than a pustule, inflamed and it extends well into the deeper layers of the skin. It is painful and often results to scarring.
These are the common terms that are used to describe acne and its varieties. Now you will be able to treat them accordingly.
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