Understanding Acne -Basic Classification

September 06, 2017

acne classification

Acne is a very common skin problem. To understand acne it is helpful to answer the following:

  1. How Severe is the Acne?
  2. What Type of Acne is it?
  3. What Stage of Life is the Acne in?

Answering these questions will help direct the best action plan.

1. How Severe is the Acne?

This is an emotional question to ask anyone who is dealing with acne. Dermatologists use a grading system (I through IV, with I being the mildest and IV being the most severe). We recommend understanding the levels of severity as a spectrum to understand the possible severity of the acne.

Mild Acne 

Acne occurs in breakouts, where there is a fluctuation between the occurrence of acne and not. If your breakouts and a few bumps, fairly minor and isolated to one area of the face, you have mild acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, bumpiness, and even an inflamed pimple here and there would fit on this end of the spectrum. Treatment can be managed through topical treatment like the Miiko Skin Co Glitter Face Line. 

Moderate Acne

Acne occurs more frequently as breakouts, the breakouts are noticeable and possibly uncomfortable. Blackheads and bumpy skin are apparent, but also there are regularly inflamed papule and pustules. Treatment requires more attention and consistency. Both topical treatments like the Miiko Skin Co Glitter Face Line.  and internal evaluation can be helpful. Food allergies, over-production of yeast in the gut, or other gut imbalances can be culprits behind moderate acne.

Severe Acne

Severe acne is visibly different than moderate acne. There is inflammation, blemishes are larger, red, swollen and there is no break between breakouts. If your acne is severe, see a health professional you trust. It is difficult to get severe acne under control on your own and also a psychologically taxing condition. 


2. What Type of Acne is it?

Differentiating between the types of acne is one of the most helpful steps to treatment. 

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the most common type of acne. if you are breaking out, it is most likely Acne vulgaris. It can occur on your face, back, shoulders and even on your butt! Acne vulgaris can progress from mild to severe, so classification and treatment early on is recommended. 

Comedonal Acne

Comedonal acne is a subgroup of acne vulgaris. Blackheads, bumps, and milia are best associated with comedonal acne. Milia are small, raised, pearly-white or yellowish bumps on the skin. This type of acne can happen anywhere on the face or body, and it can range from very mild to quite severe.

Cystic Acne

This is the most severe form of acne vulgaris. Cystic acne is inflamed, painful, and appear as cysts deep under the skin. They are different than a typical pimple and can take weeks to heal and can cause long-term scar tissue. Cystic acne occurs when an infection in the follicle ruptures and fills with fluid and infection below the skin's surface. If you have cystic acne we recommend finding a professional to help navigate the best treatment. 

Acne Rosacea

Acne rosacea is a common type of acne for women over the age of 30. Rosacea has some bumpiness and pimples. Other symptoms include a red, flushed face, and tiny blood vessels on the nose and cheeks.  Rosacea can often be triggered by stress, spicy foods, hot liquids, food allergies, and sun exposure. 

Rosacea can be mild to severe, and a simple topical treatment is your best option. We have received testimonials of the Safe Summer Skin Cream being an effective treatment for mild rosacea. Severe rosacea symptoms include an inflamed, bulbous nose, and even eye problems. 

Acne Mechanica 

Acne Mechanica is a type of acne caused by a reaction to excess heat, pressure or friction on the skin. It is more common in the body but can occur on the face too. 

Acne Mechanica is trigger based and common in for athletes or anyone coming in regular contact with helmets, athletic pads, sweat bands or anything that traps heat and rubs against the skin.

It's sometimes called sports acne because it's common in young athletes -- thanks to helmets, athletic pads, and sweat bands.  But anything that traps heat and rubs against the skin can trigger acne Mechanica.

Topical treatment such as the Glitter Face Line, specifically the Saving Face Wash and Saving Face Toner are effective tools for managing acne Mechanica. 

Acne Cosmetica

This is a new type of acne that has emerged as an allergic reaction to the cosmetics available on the market. Many popular products like makeup, creams, and moisturizers, cleansers, shampoos, and conditioners contain allergens which trigger a reaction on the skin. Choosing natural non-toxic skin care and letting your skin breathe as much as possible can clear acne cosmetica quickly. Vet the makeup brand you choose for your skin and make sure the ingredients are non-toxic. We recommend our Elate Cosmetics

Excoriated Acne

This is self-inflicted acne. We can all attest to the satisfaction of picking a pimple, however chronically and excessively picking the skin can cause infection and wounds. If you suffer from excoriated acne ask for help! This is a habit worth breaking, and sometimes having an accountability partner is all you need!


3. What Stage of Life is the Acne in? 

This question can and should have two meanings. How old is the person with acne, and how old is the acne? Acne is common during the hormonal fluctuations of life (puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and menopause) and while it can still be treated sometimes time is the only factor that makes a difference. 

Similarly, acne will progress through beginning - middle - end stage of life. Allowing this process to happen is part of any acne treatment therapy. 



Miiko Skin Co has provided the best results for mild acne conditions and some moderate acne conditions. Best results occur in combination with understanding diet and lifestyle and working to eliminate any food allergies, overproduction of yeast, and gut flora analysis. 

Understanding the complexity and brand spectrum of acne can help to decide on the best treatment for your skin. If you have any questions about your skin we can do our best to offer you a skin consultation and skin care routine to find results. 

Mindful Medicine is our in house herbalist who works with customers to manage skin health from the inside out.