Is it Acne or Rosacea?


You may think you are dealing with acne when a pimple appears, or when a series of bumps invades your skin, but these signs may be symptoms of a completely different skin issue. Rosacea and acne may share similar visible symptoms, but treatment solutions are quite different.

While rosacea can include bursts of redness on the cheeks and nose, bumps, blemishes, burning, itching, facial skin swelling or tiny thread veins which come and go, over-the-counter creams or anti-acne medications may cause additional skin reactions rather than relief. Incorrect treatment is why a board-certified dermatologist should assess your skin condition before choosing a solution plan.

Acne is common along the jawline in females and mid-forehead in younger patients. The telltale symptoms are true blackheads and whiteheads. It results from oil secretions from hormonal imbalances common in teenagers but can affect patients in their twenties and beyond. One in five adults has some form of acne between the ages of 25 and 44.

Rosacea Signs and Symptoms

Rosacea is a skin disease with chronic inflammation. Patients tend to blush easily, and the redness can spread from the mid-face to the chin and forehead areas. The ears and chest may also have breakouts as well. Other symptoms include thick skin with bumps or breakouts which look like acne over the nose and cheeks.

Fair skin patients seem to be more vulnerable to rosacea, particularly those of Northern European and Celtic descent. Although it can affect darker skinned patients, it is less common and less noticeable. As many as fifty-percent of rosacea patients may have eye involvement or ocular rosacea, with symptoms including eye dryness, chronic tearing, flaking, recurring styes, and a gritty sensation in the eye.

Many rosacea patients can’t tolerate various skin products because of sensitive skin. Also, certain environmental and lifestyle factors like excessive sun exposure, temperature extremes, and certain foods will trigger the skin ailment. Additionally, emotional stress can bring on the breakouts.

Its cause is unknown, but unstable blood vessels are common with patients who deal with this condition. This instability may result from changes in nerve signaling or the presence of inflammatory skin molecules. Also, microscopic organisms which dwell in hair follicles known as Demodex mites are more prevalent in rosacea patients and may play a role in its development.

Finding the Right Treatment

Because rosacea symptoms are similar to other skin issues like lupus, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne, this complicates the assessment for patient and doctors alike. A board-certified dermatologist has extensive training and expertise in diagnosing rosacea as well as other skin issues and are the best choice in medicine to treat the condition.

There are several topical creams and medications that are designed to manage rosacea and enhance your quality of life. Proper treatment will help the patient reduce symptoms and the embarrassment of dealing with very visible breakouts.

With early diagnoses, your dermatologist can control rosacea with gentle medications, and advise you on how to avoid certain triggers which can cause breakouts in the future. Rosacea is a chronic condition which will require repeat treatment sessions and proper skin care management.

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