1. Do you have blackheads? Blackheads are what happens when you have a partially clogged pore. If you have blackheads then you likely have mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
2. Do you have whiteheads? Whiteheads occur when you have a completely blocked pore. If you experience whiteheads then you likely have mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
3. Do you have small red bumps? Papules or small red bumps occur when the underlying tissue is irritated. You can experience papules if you have acne vulgaris or Rosacea.
4. Do you have pustules? A pustule is a red inflamed bump or blemish that has a yellow or whitish center. This is standard, albeit irritating and frustrating, acne vulgaris. Do not pick or squeeze!
5. Do you have red areas on your cheeks, chin, nose and/or forehead? Do the red areas become more irritated or flushed when you get hot, are exposed to sunshine or eat certain foods? If so, you have Rosacea. It's important to know that you can have acne vulgaris and Rosacea simultaneously. It happens often.
6. Do you get large cysts or nodules under your skin? If so then you have a more severe type of acne. It's often called nodular or cystic acne. Treatment is generally different for severe acne than mild or moderate acne.
7. Do you have numerous acne lesions that are cyst like in nature and connected? Are you male? Is the acne on your face, back, arms and buttocks? If so you likely have a rare form of acne found in men called Congoblata. It's treated with Accutane and can leave deep scars.
8. Do you have the above symptoms and have the occurred rapidly following a fever? If so then you likely have Acne Fulminans. It's also treated with Accutane and/or oral steroids.
9. Have you been on antibiotics for an extended duration? Do you have both pustules and cysts? If so then you may have Gram-Negative Folliculitis. This type of acne is caused by an extended stint on antibiotics. Treatment can be tricky.
Acne is common and most likely you're experiencing mild to moderate acne vulgaris. It's treated effectively through a number of lifestyle changes and acne medications. Most often over the counter acne cleaners and lotions can both clear up your skin and prevent future breakouts. If you have a more severe type of acne consider visiting a professional for help.