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Types of Acne on Black Skin: Pictures & Treatment

Black skin has a unique set of characteristics and needs that should be considered when treating acne. In this post, we will discuss the different types of acne that can affect black skin, and provide tips for how to best treat them. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. If you are having difficulty treating your acne, be sure to consult with a dermatologist.

Do Black People Get Acne?

Yes, black people can get acne – just like people of any other race. Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, hormones, and the skin’s natural oil production.

Black people are more likely to have acne than people of other races because their skin produces more oil.

The best way to treat acne is to see a dermatologist who can prescribe the right medication or treatment plan for you. There are many different types of acne medications available, so it’s important to find the one that works best for you.

Black Person with Acne

People of all races and ethnicities can get acne. However, the prevalence of acne in different populations varies. Acne is most common in people of African American descent.

Black people with acne often have more severe cases than people of other races. This is because the sebaceous glands that produce oil are larger in black people.

The oil produced by these glands can mix with bacteria and dead skin cells to form a plug called a comedone. This plug can cause inflammation and lead to the development of pimples, blackheads, and cysts.

If you are a black person with acne, it is important to seek treatment from a dermatologist who specializes in treating skin conditions in people of color.

Below are some pictures depicting black persons with acne.

Types of Acne on Black Skin

1. Blackheads

A blackhead is a type of non-inflammatory acne that forms on black skin. It’s called a “blackhead” because the top of the pimple looks black or darkened due to exposed, oxidized melanin.

Blackheads are caused by clogged pores that become infected with bacteria. The pore becomes blocked when sebum (oil) and dead skin cells accumulate at the opening of the hair follicle. Bacteria feed on the sebum and multiply, leading to inflammation and the formation of a pimple.

Some people are more prone to blackheads than others due to their genetic makeup or because of their lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking, using oil-based cosmetics, etc.).

2. Whiteheads

A whitehead is a type of non-inflammatory acne on black skin. It forms when the opening of a plugged follicle, or pore, fills with bacteria and dead skin cells. The trapped material darkens and appears as a whitehead.

3. Cysts

Cysts are a type of inflammatory acne that is most common on black skin. Cysts form when the pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. If the clog ruptures, bacteria can invade and cause an infection.

Cysts are often painful and can be very difficult to treat. Treatment options include topical medications and oral antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the cyst.

4. Papules

Papules are a type of inflammatory acne lesion that is common on black skin. They are typically red in color, and can be quite painful.

The best way to treat papules is with topical benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which will help to clear them up quickly. In addition, it’s important to keep your skin clean and free of oils and dirt, which can aggravate the lesions.

Make sure you use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils and follow up with a good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

5. Nodules

Most nodules on black skin are inflammatory acne lesions. They are usually red, tender, and contain white or yellow pus.

Nodules can be treated with a variety of methods, including topical medications, oral antibiotics, or isotretinoin. However, it is important to consult with a dermatologist before starting any type of treatment regimen.

6. Pustules

Pustules are a type of inflammatory acne that is common on black skin. They are typically characterized by a white or yellowish head on a red base.

They can be treated with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide products, prescription topical antibiotics, or oral antibiotics.

Black Skin Acne Scars Treatment

Question: I’m a black person with acne. What can I do about it?

There are a few things you can do to help clear up your skin. First, try to keep your skin clean by washing it regularly with a bar of mild soap and warm water.

Second, avoid picking or popping your pimples, as this can make them worse. Third, use a topical acne treatment such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help clear up your skin.

Finally, see a dermatologist if your acne doesn’t improve after using these methods. They may be able to prescribe you a stronger topical treatment or an oral medication that can help clear up your acne.

Best Acne Products for Black Skin

The best products for acne-prone black skin are those that are gentle and non-comedogenic. This means that they will not clog pores and will not cause blemishes.

Some of the best acne products for black skin include Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, Clinique Acne Solutions Clear Skin Gel, and Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution.

All of these products have been shown to be effective at cleansing the skin without causing irritation or exacerbation of acne symptoms.


Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and skin colors, including black people. The main types of acne on black skin include cysts, papules, pustules, nodules, whiteheads, and blackheads. Acne can cause physical and emotional scars if not treated correctly.

If you are suffering from acne, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. We hope this article has helped to educate you about the different types of acne and their treatments.

READ MORE: Can bio-oil be used for acne on black skin?