Acne presents itself in three major ways: comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules. Identifying which kind of acne you have can help you determine the best course of treatment.
Comedones: These are the early blemishes caused by blocked pores. This is the stage of acne where black heads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones) occur. The skin is not generally red or inflamed at this point.
Papules/Pustules: This type of acne manifests as a pimple or zit and is larger and more inflamed. This acne is usually red and inflamed.
Nodules: These painful bumps are things like cysts and boils and are usually large and deep. This is the most painful type of acne.