What is Rosacea and how it differs from acne: Dermatologist Guide

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 27/09/18

Rosacea is a common skin disease also called as sensitive skin. In this article, I have answered following questions:

  • What is rosacea?
  • What are different stages of rosacea?
  • How do you know that you have rosacea or acne?

 


Watch this video for answers to above questions:

 

What is rosacea? 

Rosacea is a common skin disorder characterised by sensitive skin that cannot tolerate most of the skin care products. It is vascular skin disorder that occurs because of microscopic damage to blood vessels in your skin on over exposure to the sun. Later stage of the disease, is characterised by inflammation as well.

 

What are different stages of Rosacea?

Rosacea is characterised by following stages:

  • Flushing: Redness of central face on exposure to the sun, hot and spicy food and emotions.
  • Erythematous: Constant redness that aggravates on exposure to above stimuli.
  • Papulopustular rosacea: Development of red spots, pus-filled spots and red patches. At this stage, we need to differentiate rosacea from acne. Most people use anti-acne medications and products to resolve rosacea, however, they can make their skin problem even worst. 
  • Rhinophyma: Thickness of skin of the nose.

 

How does rosacea differ from acne?

It is very important to differentiate rosacea in the papulopustular stage from acne because the anti-acne medication can aggravate rosacea. I see a lot of patients with Rosacea taking anti-acne products, remedies and even medications that can harm their skin. I have tabulated the differences between rosacea and acne below:

Rosacea Acne
No black/whiteheads

Black/whiteheads are common

Red or pus filled spots are not painful Red or pus filled pimples are usually painful.
Skin gets red, burn or irritate on exposure to the sun, hot tea or coffee, and harsh products like toners, bleach, sunscreen,  Skin does not get red on exposure to the sun, hot food or skin care products.
Anti-acne treatment, products and home remedies make rosacea even worst. Anti-acne treatment, products and home remedies are helpful.

Rarely, you might have both rosacea and acne, in this cases, you should consult your dermatologist to craft your skin care regime.


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