What are Acne Lesions?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
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An acne lesion, at its most basic level, is a wound in the skin that becomes inflamed. Lesions are caused when the follicles in the skin become blocked by a substance called sebum. There are several different types of lesions caused by acne, including papules, which are small bumps; and cysts, which are much more inflamed, deep lesions. Other types include blackheads, whiteheads, and nodules. The appearance and type of acne lesions depends on the severity of the acne involved.

Acne any affect part of the body, although the most common areas are the neck, back, or face. Some acne lesions are small and difficult to notice, while others are much larger and have a greater effect on the appearance of the skin. In severe cases, acne lesions can appear as red, swollen bumps.

Usually, acne lesions are associated with teenagers. Although the symptoms of acne are more common during adolescence, lesions can occur throughout a person's life. Symptoms of acne lesions, aside from appearance differences in the skin, include pain and potential long-term scarring.

One of the most common forms of acne lesion is the blackhead. When bacteria becomes trapped in the skin's pores, it can cause sebum, a product of the body's sebaceous glands, to rise up to the surface. This can cause a dark spot on the skin, known as a blackhead. If the bacteria and sebum are trapped beneath the surface of the skin instead, then a whitehead is created.


If the acne lesion occurs deeper down in the layers of the skin, then the area becomes inflamed, causing a nodule. These lesions are larger than blackheads and can be painful. Nodules are much more likely to cause scars. This type of lesion shouldn't be confused with macules, which occur after the disappearance of acne lesions. Macules are usually red in appearance, and give the skin an angry, inflamed look.

The most painful acne lesion is a cyst. These are lesions that occur deep down in the tissue of the skin, and can usually be seen as lumps within the skin. Cysts are also most likely to cause permanent scarring.

Treatment for acne lesions depends on the type involved. Usually, treatment focuses on healing the current lesions and preventing new ones. Although there is no cure for acne, there are gels, creams, and prescription medications that can help to speed up the skin's recovery process. There are also many home remedies for acne lesions, but these can often make the condition worse if performed without the aid of a doctor or dermatologist.



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