If you have acne or speak to friends and family about acne, you’ll often hear the phrase “I/you/they/ have acne prone skin”. In modern English it’s all too common to hear that phrase but what does it even mean?
What does acne prone skin mean?
The short and concise answer is you have acne prone skin when your pores produce excessive oils or dryness which causes excessive flaking. Both causes block and inflame pores to cause visible redness, irritation, and potential embarrassment. This can range from mild or severe cases.
How to tell if you have acne prone skin?
Sadly there is no test to tell you that you have acne prone skin. However, if you have frequent breakouts without altering your cleansing routine which looks like “run in the mill” acne, then you are likely to have acne prone skin.
How to tell if you Do Not have acne prone skin and it’s something else?
Firstly if you feel you have a more chronic condition of acne go see your dermatologist now! Don’t keep googling around until you are convinced that you have something worse than acne. We’ve all been there!
To help you figure some of these out, here are the short descriptions below to help:
Acne Vulgaris: This is the everyday “normal” type of acne that affects most people. It can range from mild where someone only suffers from small blemishes and no inflammation to severe cases where there is scaring, lots of inflammation and large pustules, cysts, nodules etc.
Acne Fulminas: Usually a severe and rare form of acne that males suffer during puberty. Besides the acne, there are symptoms of joint pain and other health issues.
Acne Mechanica: As the name suggest this is acne caused by excessive “mechanical” stresses on the body. These stresses are excessive heat, friction, and pressure found in professional athletes. This shouldn’t affect the average person.
Acne Conglobata: This form of acne is synonymous with large painful pustules and abscesses with lots of inflammation. It can begin with innocent looking blackheads which slowly become filled with pus and then bursts. Usually, this is associated with men with high levels of testosterone.
Folliculitis: Definitely not acne but looks like acne. This a bacterial infection of the hair follicle within the skin and is usually found on the scalp and back but can be in other areas of the body.
Rosacea: Also definitely not acne! This condition is characterized by the redness in the cheeks and face caused by enlarged blood vessels.
The vast majority of my readers will suffer from a mild to severe form of acne vulgaris which can be treated without too much lifestyle alteration. If you’ve read some of the other types of acne symptoms and are concerned go see your medical practitioner. No if’s buts or ands!
In my experience, it does take a little bit of trial and error to treat acne vulgaris as it’s a matter of treating the underlying cause (diet, stress, lifestyle etc) and external things you can do to help (washes, creams, gels and showering routine). There are lots of resources on this website to help you through your trouble with acne, try this and this.