4 Tips To Tell If Those Bumps Are Rosacea Or Acne (+ a Fun New Selfie Contest!)
In-between weather tends to create in-between skin – not entirely dry, but not overly hydrated, either. Spring is definitely the time when our skin starts acting up… and when we sit glued to our magnifying mirror (throw that thing away already!) truly stumped over the red, blotchy bumps popping up seemingly out of nowhere. So, the question remains: Are we going through a breakout or is this actually rosacea, a skin disorder that affects about 16 million Americans?
We turned to Mary Erhard, Director of Medical Communications at the National Rosacea Society, and asked her to break down the breakout process — on both acne and rosacea!
1. Location, Location, Location. While both rosacea and acne appear on the face, rosacea is almost always exclusively seen on the face, appearing on the cheeks and nose or sometimes the chin or forehead. Acne, on the other hand, may also appear on the back, chest and shoulders. While none of these locations are ideal, they can give you an idea of which condition you may actually have.
2. Consider the Signs. While both conditions may involve bumps and pimples, rosacea patients also typically experience redness, flushing and blushing. Unlike with rosacea, acne generally comes with blackheads as well.
3. Let’s Get To the Cause. Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, research suggests that there are multiple triggers for the inflammation associated with the condition, such as (but not limited to) sun, alcohol, spicy food, exercise and generally harmless, microscopic Demodex mites that naturally appear on everyone’s face. On the other hand, acne is usually the result of hormonal changes and pores getting clogged and is NOT, as is often mistakenly believed, influenced by diet or not washing one’s face enough. (In fact, over scrubbing can actually make the acne worse.)
4. The Good News? Both Can Be Treated. In very mild cases, it’s possible to manage acne with drugstore remedies, but a good rule of thumb is to go to see a dermatologist if this regimen hasn’t improved skin after two weeks, because it is likely that a prescription treatment will be needed. If you suspect you may have rosacea, it is essential to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate care, as the disorder requires prescription medical therapy — and acne treatments can make rosacea worse.
If it’s the bumps and pimples of rosacea that have been giving you grief, your doctor may prescribe the newly FDA-approved Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, which is specifically designed to address the inflammatory lesions of rosacea, or Oracea® (doxycycline) Capsules, the only oral papulopustular rosacea treatment approved by the FDA.
And now for the fun part! If you have rosacea, or think you might, share your (brave!) no makeup selfie and a short message on how you stay confident even on your toughest skin days, for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to NYC for the NY Film Festival this fall.