The Difference Between Acne and Rosacea


rosacea skin conditionThe two conditions of acne and rosacea have some similarities, but there are worlds of differences between them.

For this reason an accurate diagnosis is necessary so that the proper treatment can be followed. There is special confusion when the term acne rosacea is used.

The proper distinction between the two conditions is an important one to make as the knowledge of treatment of these two similar, but very different diseases increases.

Acne occurs mainly from the plugging up of hair follicles, oil glands, hormonal stimulation, and a prevalence of bacteria that can be treated with antibiotics. In addition, acne can be helped by the stimulation of the patient’s immune system, which would suggest that treatment that combats inflammation would be successful.

acneCleansing of the surface skin, applying washes and astringents that pull matter out of plugged up pores, along with antibiotics and immune stimulation has been very effective with acne.

One caution, however, is the overuse of antibiotics that the medical community is seeing that is causing some resistance to the antibiotic treatment for acne.

Rosacea, on the other hand may have very little to do with pores clogging up with stopped up oil glands and infections. Rather, it seems to be a skin condition that is problematic with certain groups of lighter-skinned people, typically of a Nordic ancestry and can be triggered by external conditions.

Rosacea usually starts out with a noticeable reddening of the skin around the cheeks, forehead, nose, chin or neck areas. The skin can become irritable and itchy, and even take on a stinging sensation as the rosacea progresses.

rosaceaThere can be a noticeable appearance of capillaries that reach the surface of the skin in very prominent spider like-formations.

In severe situations, the nose can take on a very reddened, bulbous character. Pustules, or pimple-like lesions can break out on the surface of the skin, a condition which worsens the appearance of the individual and becomes problematic in caring for the area.

Dermatologists are experienced in the diagnosis of acne and rosacea, and will be able to tell the difference between the two situations. This is vital in that treatment is very different, for the most part, for each of the two different skin conditions.

Acne, for the most part involves keeping the skin clean and using astringents and medications to relax the skin, and pull out the blockages of oil and debris from the pores of the skin. When the pores become clogged with debris, infections can occur from all of the bacteria that is in place, and that is where the antibiotics have come into place in the past.

Less and less dependence is now being place on the antibiotics, and more emphasis is being directed towards the boosting of the individual’s immune system capabilities to fight any infection that might occur. Keeping the surface area clean and free of bacterial gives the pores a chance to heal and bring the skin back to normal.

rosaceaRosacea is treated in three different ways, topical application, internal prescription medication, and by laser treatment.

Another precaution, that is not really a treatment, is to control the various triggers that seem to cause flare-ups of the symptoms of rosacea.

Things such as staying out of the sun, or using sunscreen, avoiding caffeine and spicy foods, as well as avoiding anxiety and stress are several ways to avoid triggers.

There are topical medications that can be applied to the skin to help control the pimples and irritations that comes with the territory with this medical condition. The facial flushing, tiny red lines of the capillaries on the cheeks, and the pustules can be controlled with different facial medications that can be prescribed by your dermatologist.

If the symptoms are light or in the early stages, cosmetics may be all that is needed to cover up the symptoms, but as rosacea progresses there is usually more care that is needed.

metronidazoleAntibiotics can be used to help with the pimples that arise, as well as a topical metronidazole that is common for this situation. Azelaic acid may also be recommended.

Laser treatments have been successful in the removal of the small capillaries that come to the surface of the skin.

Basically, acne and rosacea are two separate conditions that have a similar appearance, especially with the pustules with the rosacea, but the treatments for the two different conditions are very different in the extent and duration of the procedures.


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