Common Symptoms and Locations of Acne

Most of us are familiar with common acne symptoms. A typical whitehead will have its characteristic color and sensitivity. A small blackhead may be mistaken for a large pore, but it’s otherwise easy to identify. But some forms of acne are harder to diagnose, which can make them more difficult to treat at home with over-the-counter medication. What’s more, most people will develop acne on a part of the body other than the face. If you’re not expecting to see a papule or pustule somewhere, you may have trouble figuring out exactly what it is.

The following overview is designed to help you identify acne symptoms on your face and various body parts. If you’re still having trouble figuring out whether that pimple is actually acne, visit one of our Minneapolis-area dermatology offices. We can help you get to the bottom of it.


Identifying Acne Symptoms

Acne symptoms can run the gamut. Acne pimples and lesions can be large, small, black, white, red, and anywhere on the body. While you might not have trouble identifying a common pimple, other, rarer and more severe forms of acne can give you some trouble. Read about some common acne symptoms below.

  • Comedones: The most common type of acne lesion, a comedone is a blackhead or whitehead. They are characterized by white pus inside an inflamed pore or black debris inside an opened pore.
  • Papule: A papule is an inflamed lesion that is not filled with pus. These bumps are typically sensitive and can be painful to the touch.
  • Pustule: Pustules are similar to papules, only these are filled with pus, which gives them a yellow or off-white color. They can be very sensitive and should never be popped outside of a medical setting.
  • Cysts: Cysts are a severe form of acne. The lesions are deeply inflamed and filed with pus. Cystic bumps are soft to the touch and may feel very painful.
  • Nodes: Like cysts, nodes are deep-set acne lesions. Crucially, however, they are not filled with pus, which means they are hard to the touch.

Visiting Zel Skin & Laser Specialists can help you figure out if your symptoms are related to acne. Once we determine the type of acne you have, we can also develop a personalized treatment plan designed to clear your skin. Visit one of our offices today to get started.


Acne on the Face

The face is the most common place for people to develop acne. In fact, face acne affects more than 50 million Americans each year. This type of acne is difficult to hide, which means most people seek fast-acting spot treatments to clear pimples quickly. In some cases, patients may even resort to popping facial acne on their own. Unfortunately, popping an acne lesion will only lead to increased inflammation, swelling, and potential scarring. Learn more about face acne and how you can treat lesions without causing further damage.


Acne on the Back and Shoulders

The back and shoulders are among the most common places to develop acne. Unlike the face, however, these parts of the body are typically covered in clothing, which can make the lesions both harder and easier to treat. Tight-fitting clothing, such as athletic wear, can create acne-causing friction, which may exacerbate your lesions. However, because these parts of the body are easier to hide, there is less of a chance of picking, popping, and exposing your acne to the elements. Learn more about acne on the back and shoulders, as well as which treatment options will work best for these locations.


Less Common Acne Locations

While the face, back, and shoulders are the most common places on the body to develop acne, pimples can appear nearly anywhere. Most acne is caused by inflamed pores and hair follicles, which means anywhere that can grow hair can develop a pimple. This includes the chest, buttocks, genitals, and around the eyes. Unfortunately, these locations can make identifying acne significantly more difficult, as you might not expect to see a zit in any of these places. What’s more, what you suspect is acne may actually be something different, like a wart or growth. Learn more about identifying acne in less common locations.

When to Visit the Doctor for Acne Symptoms

If your acne symptoms are severe, in a hard-to-reach area, or are not responding to treatment, visiting the doctor is a great idea. Our Minneapolis-area clinics are conveniently located throughout the metro area, which means scheduling an appointment with us is easy. Contact us to set up a consultation to better understand your acne, no matter where it appears.