Papules are those small red bumps that can appear on the skin. The redness is caused by inflammation, which can also make the spot feel tender or painful.

Pustules tend to be bigger than papules, but they, too are red and inflamed and also fill with pus as the spot develops.

Nodules form deeper underneath the skin, and feel like large, hard lumps. They are not necessarily painful but can take weeks to resolve.

Cysts are symptomatic of the most severe types of acne. Like nodules, they are hard lumps under the skin; unlike nodules, cysts can be terribly inflamed and painful and can become infected. Cysts pose a much greater risk of doing permanent damage to the skin and causing scarring.

If you are suffering from active acne, it is important to seek treatment before it starts to have an adverse effect on your confidence. A wide range of acne treatments are now available, from topical or oral antibiotics, to laser treatments using Intense Pulsed Light. These treatments target the bacteria that result in infection and inflammation, while others modify the hormone levels in the body.