We are continuing a deep dive into the types, causes and treatment of acne. If you missed Part 1, click here to read.
A pustule is caused when a papule becomes infected and fills with pus. Sounds lovely, right? The red, swollen papule will form a white or yellowish top.
How is this different from a whitehead? A whitehead generally will appear less red and inflamed, while a pustule is going to look quite angry and probably feel painful.
We recommend the Supercharged Trio specially designed for oily or acne-prone skin, which deeply cleansed your pores, and provides balancing hydration to allow your skin to maintain its natural acid mantle, along with a gentle exfoliation with our Bright Skin Face Polish Powder 2 - 3 times a week.
Important to note: If you have dry or sensitive skin, or have been treating your acne with a drying acne product, for example containing benzol peroxide or an alcohol based product, you may need to use our Nourishing Trio instead, which is equally as effective in treating acne and breakouts, whilst ensuring your skin is getting the extra hydration it needs.
This kind of acne is more severe and can be more difficult to treat, once you already have a nodule occur.
They present in a similar way as a papule, but they form deeper within the layers of your skin. They usually are firm and painful to the touch, and present no “head”, just a red and angry looking bump underneath the skin.
It is important to never attempt to pop these, or any other kind of pimple! This will only increase the inflammation, probably hurt a lot, and will cause scarring.
If you already have nodules, you can apply a cold compress as relief, to reduce the inflammation and numb the nerves.
In order to prevent nodules, we do highly recommend a regular, simple skincare routine, like our Supercharged Trio, along with our Bright Skin Powder for exfoliation, cleansing and balancing hydration. It is very important to never skip hydration, even if your skin is oily! Skipping hydration can dry out your skin, causing your pores to overcompensate with even more oil.
Like nodules, cystic acne forms deep within the skin. Often the most serious form of acne, cystic acne also tends to be the largest in size and can look like boils on the skin. How they differ from nodules, is that cysts are usually soft and pus filled, which may tempt you to try and squeeze it. This is a big no-no, as cysts most commonly cause acne scars.
This last one is different to bacterial acne, like the ones we have discussed above. Despite its resemblance to bacterial acne, fungal acne is actually caused by yeast (yes, a fungus) that inflames the hair follicles on your skin and causes pimplelike bumps.
And for the record, it’s normal for this type of fungus to be living on your skin. But when it gets out of control, it can lead to fungal acne breakouts or other skin conditions, like seborrheic dermatitis.
How can you tell the difference between bacterial and fungal acne?
Regular (bacterial) acne breakouts vary in size and tend to feature blackheads or whiteheads on the face. While fungal acne will usually appear as uniform red bumps and pustules on the chest, upper arms, and back—rarely the face. Also, the bumps don’t usually come to heads. And, perhaps most noticeably, fungal acne breakouts will be very itchy.
What causes fungal acne?
- Trapped moisture, such as wearing sweaty workout clothes for too long can encourage yeast growth.
- Medication. If you take antibiotics, the bacteria on your skin can be reduced. That can allow for the overgrowth of a fungus.
- Suppressed immune system. People with compromised immune systems may be more likely to develop fungal acne.
- Diet changes. Fungi and yeast feed on carbohydrates, so balancing your intake of sweets and carb-rich foods may help slow fungal growth.
- Warm, moist environments. People living in hot climates, where sweating is more likely, may experience fungal acne more frequently.
So how do you treat fungal acne?
Depending on the severity of your breakouts, clearing up fungal acne may be as simple as adjusting your lifestyle. For instance, showering and changing your clothes right after working out or wearing looser clothes may do the trick.
But, if lifestyle changes don’t help, your next step for a mild case should be trying an over-the-counter topical treatment. Look for a body wash containing the active ingredients, either pyrithione zinc or selenium sulphide.
And the key is to let the product sit on your skin for about five minutes before rinsing.
The bottom line once again.
- Regular exfoliation is key
- Daily cleansing is a must
- Never skip your hydration, no matter how oily your skin is, trust us!
- Never pick, scratch, squeeze or pop your acne
Want to know even more steps about managing your acne? Read our blog: Steps to manage acne and breakouts: How to prevent it and how to treat breakouts.
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