What do all these acne terms mean?

The correct name for common acne is acne vulgaris. The term "vulgaris" means "common" or "usual". What do the other words mean?

Non-inflammatory lesions:

  • Open comedones (blackheads)
  • Closed comedones (whiteheads)
  • Uninflamed nodules (sometimes called cysts)

Inflammatory lesions:

  • Papules (small red bumps)
  • Pustules (white or yellow "squeezable" spots)
  • Inflamed nodules (large red lumps)

Secondary lesions:

  • Excoriations (picked or scratched spots)
  • Erythematous macules (red marks from recently healed spots, mostly in fair skin)
  • Pigmented macules (dark marks from old spots, mostly in dark skin)
  • Scars

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