Grades & Types Of Acne
Acne formation can be categorized into 4 grades. This grading system helps in treating acne and its symptoms. Over several studies, the treatment of acne according to grading system has been proven effective. The recurrence rate is much smaller compared to treatment without reference to acne grading system.
Dermatologists refer to treatment of acne as individualized because not all treatments and symptoms are indicated for the entire population of people affected by acne. In order to grade the acne carefully, several characteristics are inspected visually, which are the following:
Type and presence of non-inflamed comedones
Type and presence of inflamed comedones
- Parts of the body affected by acne
The Acne Grading System
Prior to seeing your dermatologist, it can be helpful to assess which grade of acne you are suffering. These grades will assist in product selection and treatment. Below are the four grading systems of acne, their symptoms, and preferred treatment:
- Grade I (Mild) – appears with small, little in amount pimples. This grade is considered as the mild acne. No inflammation is seen in this grade, however, several milia and blackheads are found in large amounts. Most people affected by this grade are in their early adolescent years and first show on the forehead and nose. Blackheads and milia are commonly found on nose, eye area, and chin. Treatment for this grade usually involves OTC products infused with salicylic acid. It helps dry the acne and prevents further spread and complication.
- Grade II (Moderate) – this is resulting acne once grade I acne is left untreated. More blackheads and milia are present. In this grade, pustules and papules start developing. The skin breakouts are more prominent and frequent with slight inflammation. This acne is now spreading on other parts of the face. It may also spread on shoulders, chest, and back. The treatment for this grade is also the same with grade I. Benzoyl peroxide may also be used besides salicylic acid, as it helps in eradicating bacterial infestation on acne. If the skin condition still persists even with proper treatment, it is best to seek a dermatologist.
- Grade III (Severe) – more numbers of pustules, papules, milia, and blackheads are present. Compared to Grade II, this stage presents a more inflamed, reddened skin. Other areas are also infected with acne such as chest, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Here, scarring may be potential since the infection is higher compared to the previous acne grades. This stage does not need any self-medication, as the dermatologist should be the one to treat this type of acne. The medications can only be purchased with the prescription of dermatologist.
- Grade IV – often called the cystic or nodulocystic acne. More than cysts, it also displays pustules, nodules, and papules. Other than inflammation, this type of acne also presents severe pain on lesions with infection being deep. The treatments for this grade are often prescribed by the dermatologist. Several sessions may be needed in order to see results.
The grading system of acne has helped people in identifying which treatments are favorable to their skin condition. Without this grading system, it might be hard even for dermatologist to construct an individualized treatment for each patient.