How is Rosacea Different From Acne?

How is Rosacea Different From Acne?

Acne is a very difficult condition for anyone, young or old.  But of course acne is not the only problem that one can have with their skin, whether it’s the skin on their face or anywhere else.  Cysts, moles, and rosacea are also very common problem that many people have, and what is unfortunate is that most people just don’t know the difference between these things. 

They put acne medication on their cysts or think that moles are blackheads, and so on.  One of the most common mistakes they make in this area is confusing rosacea for acne itself.  If people don’t get a proper understanding of what the difference is between these conditions it’s very possible to not only ignore acne at the source but to actually make the condition even worse; especially with rosacea can the skin become inflamed and irritated if it’s not treated properly.  But how is this condition different from acne and what can you do to address it?

Acne is a very unique condition of the skin wherein dirt, oil and bacteria get trapped in hair follicles or pores and a thin layer of skin or a skin cell forms over it so that it can’t get washed away.  This then grows into what we call a pimple.  Because pimples are usually red and the area around these breakouts is typically also red, itchy, and inflamed, it’s easy to see how it can be confused with rosacea and vice versa.  But it’s important to understand that rosacea is not acne because it is not a collection of dirt, oil, and bacteria.  Instead, rosacea is a condition wherein the skin becomes red, irritated and inflamed.  It can also be somewhat dry and scaly.  A person can have small bumps with this condition, but these pustules are not the same as acne.  As a matter of fact, using acne medication on rosacea can actually make the condition worse, since most topical treatment options for acne are very drying and contain harsh ingredients such as peroxide and alcohol.  Imagine adding any of these to an open wound or scrape you have on your skin – obviously, this would just make it feel much worse!

The best way to understand rosacea is to compare it to a skin rash.  There are many reasons for rashes, and those with this condition can inherit it from their parents or just have it develop over time.  While there is no overnight or quick cure for rosacea, most that have this condition are encouraged to have it treated as it does seem to get worse if ignored.  Many also understand that it’s difficult to cover or hide rosacea, but with the right treatment options, it can be lessened.  It’s also important to be sure that you really do have rosacea and not eczema or allergies; these too can also be treated with the right course from a dermatologist.  It’s also important to be sure that these conditions don’t spread and become worse as well.


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