People are often confused between acne and rosacea. These are commonly mistaken for the other, which can make it difficult to obtain the appropriate treatment. It can be even more confusing because rosacea is often referred to as adult acne, even though it is not acne. Here are some things that you need to know about acne vs rosacea in order to provide the best treatment for your skin conditions.
Rosacea is a disorder of the pores, which is very similar to the formation of acne. However, it is not caused by the same factors that cause acne to develop. Rosacea tends to develop due to external factors, while acne is more commonly caused by internal factors. This skin disorder tends to be a lifelong condition. While it doesn’t necessarily have a cure, the symptoms of rosacea can be controlled.
Acne is an extremely common skin condition. Most people will develop acne at some point throughout their life. While rosacea tends to be more common with fair skin, acne occurs more often with excessively oily skin. There are many potential treatments with acne to help clear it up.
When Each Disorder Forms
The age at which each skin condition forms is different depending on the skin condition. Acne tends to be much more common in the teenage years. Rosacea, however, is most common when individuals reach the age of 30. Pay attention to when the skin condition forms to help differentiate between acne and rosacea.
The appearance of rosacea and acne are very similar. However, there are some differences that can help you to determine whether you have rosacea or acne. Rosacea often appears as redness or flushing of the face, very similar to blushing. Unlike acne, it does not feature blackheads or comedones. These comedones are one of the best ways to determine the presence of acne as compared to rosacea. Rosacea is often confused with the presence of a sunburn, though it also results in inflamed bumps on the skin. This is compounded by the fact that heat and sunlight are common triggers of rosacea.
Acne maintains a somewhat different appearance than rosacea. Both rosacea and acne have red bumps. However, comedones are specific to acne. Comedones are classified as pores that are visibly clogged but aren’t inflamed. An open comedone is essentially a blackhead. It manifests as a circle of black in the pore. Alternatively, a closed comedone is white in the very center and has a thin layer of skin over the top. The presence of comedones will help you to identify the difference between acne and rosacea.
Experts have not determined a specific cause of rosacea. However, the prevalent theory is that rosacea occurs due to particularly sensitive blood vessels. These blood vessels dilate too easily, which results in the appearance of rosacea. It seems to be a genetic trait that can be passed on to others in the family through genetics. Rosacea outbreaks tend to occur as a response to external influences, so avoiding triggers often prevents these outbreaks. It is more common in women than men, though men tend to have more severe cases of rosacea.
Acne is caused by more internal influences than rosacea. This is most commonly due to hormone fluctuations in various situations. Due to these hormone fluctuations, it is most common in teenagers. Skin that produces excessive amounts of oil is more likely to clog pores and result in the formation of acne.
There is no specific cure for rosacea, so avoiding the triggers tends to be the most beneficial approach. Outbreaks tend to occur due to exposure to external triggers. Common triggers include sunlight and excessive amounts of heat. Spicy foods and hot beverages are additional triggers. These triggers are common, because excessive heat tends to cause the blood vessels to expand to release heat. Other triggers or rosacea include alcohol, strong emotions, stress, and the use of particularly harsh skin-care products.
Acne is triggered by oily skin or other pollutants that clog the pores. It also results due to hormonal fluctuations. An awareness of common time periods with hormonal fluctuations can help you to provide appropriate care for your skin. Acne is extremely common during menstruation, pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
Signs of Rosacea
Understanding the signs of rosacea will help you to differentiate it from acne. Bumps and pimples are common signs for each skin condition. However, the rosacea bumps tend to be particularly small. Skin warmness and thickening are additional signs of rosacea. Rosacea can also cause itchiness, eye irritation, or facial redness.
Signs of Acne
As previously stated, bumps and pimples are a sign of acne. However, unlike rosacea, acne often results in whiteheads and blackheads. It can form hard lumps. Redness and pain around the acne is an indication that you have acne, not rosacea. Swelling is another common sign of acne.
Acne vs Rosacea Location
One of the major differences with acne vs rosacea is the location in which the skin disorder occurs. Acne can occur in many more locations than rosacea. It can be present anywhere on the chest, face, shoulders, back, or buttocks. Rosacea, however, is generally confined to the center of the face. It occurs commonly on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and even eyelids.
The common treatments are similar for both acne and rosacea. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat rosacea and acne. It is often extremely beneficial to visit a dermatologist when you are having an issue with either of these skin disorders. They will be able to help you identify the best treatment for your situation. Keep in mind that the use of harsh acne products can exacerbate rosacea symptoms.
It is important to understand the difference between rosacea and acne in order to help you determine the best treatment for your skin. At Allen-Taintor Dermatology, we offer many services to help you, whether you have rosacea or acne. To learn more about how to differentiate between rosacea and acne, contact our expert team at Allen-Taintor Dermatology today!