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If acne is mentioned, they all have one thing in common: clogged pores. The point that separates inflammatory acne from non-inflammatory acne is the components inside the clogged pores and the underlying causes.


Inflamed acne; It is caused by the action of the bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) from the pores that are swollen, reddened, deeply clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Non-inflammatory pimples, on the other hand, are closer to the skin surface and do not contain bacteria.


Inflamed acne is different from each other, and each type of inflamed acne has different treatment methods that work. The passage of inflamed acne depends on choosing the right treatment method. Therefore, it is very important to determine the type of acne on your skin.

The most common types of inflammatory acne are as follows;

  • Papules: They appear on the surface of the skin as small, pink-red bumps.

  • Pustules: They are pus-filled papules.

  • Nodules: They are firmer pink-red bumps located under the skin.

  • Cysts: Cysts are the most serious type of inflamed acne. They are located under the skin surface like nodules. The pus-filled, usually large, cysts are painful to the touch.

Although inflamed pimples are more common on the face, they can also appear on the neck, chest, back and shoulders.


Inflamed acne can spread and leave scars when it passes, so it would be best to start treatment as soon as it appears. Regardless of the type of acne, the first thing to do is to provide daily care with appropriate anti-acne products. It is necessary to continue the daily care on a regular basis. The effect should be expected in at least 3-4 weeks, and the right care and treatment should not be left even when the oiliness is under control or the acne is gone.


There are many different over-the-counter, dermocosmetic products available for inflamed acne. In the light of the information below, you can familiarize yourself with the three main ingredients mostly found in these products;

Benzoyl peroxide: This ingredient helps by reducing the bacteria called P. Acnes, which plays an important role in the development of acne, and thus reduces inflamed acne. It can dry and irritate the skin in some people.

Salicylic acid: This substance combines with sebum on the surface of the skin and provides peeling and removal of dead cells that block the pores. In this way, dead cells deep in the pores are purified from the skin. It also reduces inflamed acne lesions and prevents them from reappearing. Salicylic acid can be applied to the entire skin, but it should be ensured that the skin is sufficiently moist. because this ingredient can cause dryness over time.

Sulfur: You can find this ingredient in many acne treatment products, but it works best on mild, non-inflamed acne. It does not affect the inflamed acne badly, but it will not work much in terms of treatment.

You can start by adding a cleanser containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to your skincare routine. It may take several months before you notice a change. Remember that inflamed acne may not always respond to mild, over-the-counter skin care products. This probability increases, especially if they are overspread and reoccurring. If you do not observe any changes after three months, you may want to consider seeing a dermatologist.


Depending on your symptoms, your dermatologist may recommend one or a combination of prescription medications or topical acne creams, detailed below;

Topical retinoids: Retinoids are powerful derivatives of vitamin A that exfoliate dead skin cells. Prescription and potent retinoids are most effective on inflamed acne, although they are included in some over-the-counter anti-aging products. In addition to causing redness and peeling, retinoids also make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. That's why you need to make sure you use sunscreen while using retinoids.

Zotretinoin: Derived from vitamin A, this oral remedy is one of the most powerful treatments prescribed for acne. Isotretinoin can cause a number of side effects. For this reason, it is prescribed for those who do not respond to other topical or systemic treatments or have very severe inflammatory cystic acne problems. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or think you may be pregnant, isotretinoin should not be used.

Oral antibiotics: Antibiotics suppress P. Acnes and regress inflamed acne. If you have inflammatory acne, your dermatologist may prescribe a range of oral antibiotics along with daily care products and topical treatment. Antibiotics are often used temporarily to control bacteria in common acne.

Topical antibiotics: Unlike the oral versions, topical antibiotics applied to the skin can only be taken twice a day for a short period of time for up to two months. However, because they are not as potent as oral antibiotics, they work best on milder acne types.

Hormone treatments: Some inflammatory acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance. In such cases, your dermatologist may prescribe hormone-regulating drugs. Additionally, birth control pills are a drug that works for some women who experience more inflamed acne before and during their menstrual cycles. Anti-androgen drug types can help with nodules and cystic acne caused by unusually high androgen levels.


If you don't take care of your skin on a regular basis, no treatment method against inflammatory acne will work. Be sure to follow the skin care recommendations to get the most out of the treatment methods mentioned above;

  • You should try to pop any acne lesion, which is especially important for inflamed acne. Doing so both increases inflammation and can lead to scarring.

  • Wash your face morning and night with a gentle, non-irritating, gel-based cleanser.

  • If the problem of blackheads and pore width is intense, do a deep cleaning with tonic, weekly mask or exfoliating products after washing.

  • Take a shower immediately after exercising.

  • Complete your cleansing routine with a moisturizer. Skipping this step can deplete the natural oils and water in your skin, especially on dry skin areas. In turn, your sebaceous glands produce more oil, which leads to more acne. On the other hand, frequent and heavy use of moisturizers can also increase acne. Apply a small amount, especially on dry areas.

  • Use a sunscreen cream or moisturizer with sunscreen every day. While this helps protect your skin from UV rays, it's a must-have for retinoids or other treatments that make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

  • If you're going for makeup, try oil-free and non-comedogenic options that won't clog your pores or make your acne worse. Also, be sure to remove your makeup thoroughly before washing your face at night.


Treating inflamed acne can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Start by adopting a simple skincare routine that includes an oil-free moisturizer, a gel-based cleanser, and salicylic acid against acne scars. If your inflamed acne is mild, you can probably get good results from over-the-counter products and treatments. Try these for a few weeks and observe how the acne responds. If you don't see any improvement after a few months, make an appointment with your doctor.

You don't have to live with inflamed acne. There are many good treatments available today, and one of them will help clear your skin. Finding the one that works for you just takes some time and patience. It is possible to get a much faster response with the medical treatment that your dermatologist will recommend after examining you and asking you for the necessary tests. Thus, the result achieved will make you more happy.

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