Skin and scalp acne come in different shapes and forms. It’s essential to figure out the type of acne you’re dealing for targeted treatment. Fortunately, it’s not too complicated. The three major types of acne usually pop up in specific areas, making it easier for you to differentiate between them. Ahead, we’ve listed down the three major types of acne and how to effectively deal with them.


01. Bacterial acne

The 3 major types of acne, and how to deal with them

Bacterial acne is caused by clogging up of pores with sebum, which is further infected by bacteria, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, cysts, nodules and papules. Commonly seen on your T-zone and neck, this surface-level bacterial acne differs in intensity and can infect the skin around the side of a breakout as well.

How to deal: The best way of dealing with bacterial acne is by keeping your skin clean. Topical ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid can help fight the acne-causing bacteria and keep infection at bay. A good way to introduce these ingredients in your routine is in the form of cleansers and toners. The Dermalogica Breakout Clearing All Over Toner is our favourite pick for both face and body.


02. Fungal acne

The 3 major types of acne, and how to deal with them

Unlike bacterial acne, fungal acne appears as mostly uniform clusters of breakouts, do not vary in size and are far itchier. Caused by the presence of yeast (a fungus), the hair follicles on our skin can get inflamed, leading to red bumps and pustules mainly on your back and upper arms. Fungal acne very rarely shows up on your face and does not develop a head.

How to deal: When it comes to fungal acne, the best course of action is to adopt good lifestyle habits. Eating well and maintaining good hygiene can keep yeast growth at bay. A simple practice of changing out of your workout clothes quickly can be hugely beneficial in treating your back acne. Antifungal body washes can also help zap fungal breakouts, and if all else fails, consult a dermatologist who can recommend the right antibiotics for your condition.


03. Scalp Folliculitis

The 3 major types of acne, and how to deal with them

Scalp folliculitis is most commonly seen near your hairline and is caused by both bacterial and viral infections. They show up as small, itchy pimples and if left untreated, can become sore and crusty. Excessive sebum production on the scalp leads to clogging of pores and inflammation of hair follicles. Product build-up, bad hair hygiene, covering up your hair for long periods (with a scarf, hat, etc.) can also contribute to scalp folliculitis.

How to deal: The best way to deal with follicles on the scalp is to use medicated cleansers and lotions. Ingredients like ketoconazole or ciclopirox are commonly prescribed by dermatologists. Shampoos with salicylic acid and glycolic acid can also inhibit the build-up of dead skin cells. Natural ingredients like tea tree and jojoba oil can also help maintain a well-balanced scalp and keep breakouts at bay.