Quiz to Help Determine the Severity of Your Acne

Your Answers to These Questions Can Determine if Your Acne Is Severe

Woman with adult acne
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Do you have mild acne or severe acne? Why does it matter how severe your acne is? The tools needed for you to treat your acne are determined, in a large part, by how severe your acne is.

In many cases, mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medications, but those same medications may not be effective against severe acne. Use this quiz to find out how severe your acne is, then get tips on the best way to treat your acne.

The Acne Severity Quiz

Question 1: I have acne scars on how much of my face?
a. More than 25 percent
b. Between 10 and 25 percent
c. Less than 10 percent
d. I don't have any acne scars
Question 2: I have painful, deep nodules on my face:
a. Every day
b. One to two weeks every month
c. Every couple of months
d. Never
Question 3: I have painful, deep nodules on other areas of my body besides my face:
a. Every day
b. One to two weeks every month
c. Every couple of months
d. Never
Question 4: I have red bumps that get filled with pus on how much of my face?
a. More than 25 percent
b. Between 10 and 25 percent
c. Less than 10 percent
d. I don't have any red bumps that are filled with pus
Question 5: I have blackhead and/or whiteheads on how much of my face?
a. More than 25 percent
b. Between 10 and 25 percent
c. Less than 10 percent
d. I don't have blackhead or whiteheads
Question 6: I have red bumps without pus on how much of my face?
a. More than 25 percent
b. Between 10 and 25 percent
c. Less than 10 percent
d. I don't have any red bumps without pus
Question 7: I have red bumps without pus:
a. Every day
b. One to two weeks every month
c. Every couple of months
d. Never

Understanding Your Acne Quiz Responses

The more a's you have on your answer sheet, the more severe your acne is. If most of your answers fell into the middle categories, like b's and c's, you likely have moderate acne.

Last, but not least, if you answered mostly d's, you likely have mild acne. 

This quiz shouldn't be used to diagnose your acne or recommend treatment. Visit your physician, preferably a dermatologist, to better understand the severity of acne from which you suffer. The dermatologist will tell you whether you can use over-the-counter medications to treat your acne, such as those with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, or whether you need prescription strength medications for your acne.

You can also ask about acne scar types and the treatment options available to treat acne scars. Your dermatologist may also be able to discuss alternatives to traditional medicine for treating acne, or whether your acne may be caused by a hormonal imbalance and if oral contraceptive pills might work in your favor. 

Overall, acne is caused by the effects of hormones on sebaceous glands. Finding out how acne, blackheads, and whiteheads are formed will give you a better understanding of the condition. Blackheads and whiteheads are a specific type of acne called comedones.

Learning more about what causes them can also make you feel more in control of your acne.

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