There are several kinds of acne, and each kind should be treated in different ways. That way, you are getting the best possible results from your treatment.
Inflammatory vs. Non-inflammatory
Acne is classified in two ways, inflammatory and non-inflammatory. They are broken down that way to describe how the skin around the acne reacts. If the skin around the acene becomes red, painful, or swollen, then that kind of acne would be inflammatory. Once you get past that breakdown, each category has several kinds of acne in it.
Whiteheads are small pimples and are non-inflammatory. They can look white or they can look flesh-toned. The pimple may have a small red area surrounding it, but it shouldn't hurt. The head of the pimple should be white and may look like it has a hair trapped in it.
Blackheads are another kind of small, non-inflammatory pimple. A lot of people think that they are black because of all the dirt, oil, and other things trapped in the pimple. But, that's not true. Blackheads are actually whiteheads that have opened up and gotten wider. The material inside the blackhead appears black because it is exposed to the air, which causes it to turn black. The more air it's exposed to, the blacker it will be.
Since they are non-inflammatory acne, you can treat them both pretty much the same way. You can treat them by washing your face in lukewarm water with a very mild soap twice a day. You can also try over the counter things like creams or toners that include things like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. You will want to be careful when you are using these products as they can dry out your skin in higher dosages. You don't want to treat your acne only to have your skin so dry that it's painful. You may want to make sure that you start with the lowest dosage possible and then work up if you are seeing some success. And while you might feel some satisfaction in popping those white and blackheads, you really shouldn't. Even though you generally won't get scarring from non-inflammatory, if you irritate the skin enough, then you may end up with scarring or localized infection.
If you have acne that won't go away, then you should go see your doctor and see if they can help you. You may have to get a prescription for antibiotics or something similar in order to treat your acne. For more information, visit websites like http://www.greaterdesmoinesdermatology.com/.