POPSUGAR: Different Types of Spots and Treatments

21 Aug 2017 | Category: Medical

acnePOPSUGAR’s feature on acne explores’ All the Different Types of Spots You Can Get — and What to Do About Them’ with expert advice by Dr Ross Perry.

Acne is a common issue in the UK and can be quite tricky to treat.

There is a huge variety in the nature of people’s acne, with different types of spots emerging in different places for each individual person. The root cause of the problem can also vary – often it is hormonal, but stress, diet and other lifestyle factors can also influence acne.

As a result, treatment needs to take consideration of the individual case, particularly the nature of spots.

Different Spot Types and How to Treat Them

Dr Ross Perry advised POPSUGAR on the most common types of zits, spots, blemishes and lesions:


According to Perry, these spots occur “when the normal follicles become blocked with excess oil.” As with all other types of spots, avoid touching them as they could become inflamed and leave a scar behind. To prevent and/or treat whiteheads, he recommends topical treatments such as a spot cream containing salicylic acid (an ingredient that penetrates the pores and works as an anti-inflammatory), as well as regular exfoliation.


Blackheads are essentially “whiteheads with pigmentation,” explains Perry. Unfortunately, this means that it can take longer for them to disappear, but exfoliating twice a week should help.


Papules are spots that “occur when the pore walls break, causing bigger pimples that tend to feel quite hard.” These spots should not be picked, and oral medication may be prescribed by your GP in severe or persistent cases. If you do suffer from papules, Perry suggests trying topical treatments (such as spot creams) or seeking professional treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion, or even laser.


“Pustules are like papules, but filled with pus,” says Perry. He goes on: “The same advice as for papules applies, and a patient will generally have both present, with the skin looking quite inflamed.”


Nodules are “large bumps that go deep into the skin. They can be inflamed and feel quite tender.” These tend to be treated by oral medication if they are a regular occurrence, but you might want to consider an injection if one suddenly appears on your face just before a big event.


Cysts are like nodules, except for the fact that they are filled with pus, which makes them feel softer. According to Perry, people are “likely to have both nodules and cysts, and this would generally be considered a severe case of acne.” Treating them is unfortunately quite difficult, however your GP should be able to point you in the right direction.

More Information

Read the article in full on POPSUGAR at All the Different Types of Spots You Can Get — and What to Do About Them.

More expert advice from Dr Ross Perry at Netdoctor: Dr Ross Perry on ‘Bacne’.

Acne Treatments at Cosmedics

There are now professional skin treatments and beauty treatments which can be used to improve acne and avoid the risk of long term acne scarring.

ClearSkin is a laser acne treatment available at Cosmedics’ Putney Beauty Salon. The revolutionary system uses non-ablative laser to destroy the overactive bacteria causing the inflammation within the skin, then exfoliates the skin to remove unwanted substances from the pores, leaving skin intensely clean. The laser also stimulates skin healing, leaving it healthier and more radiant.

Other options are:

  • Murad professional/medical skincare
  • Professional skin peels for smoother skin
  • Microdermabrasion – medical-grade exfoliation for radiant skin
  • Dermaroller Microneedling
  • EDS eDermastamp for a more targeted microneedling


doctor ross perryDr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.

He has particular expertise in skin surgery mole removal, sun damage and melanoma; having removed thousands of moles in his career, both within the NHS and privately through Cosmedics Skin Clinics.



Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email info@cosmedics.co.uk to book an appointment.

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