Rosacea and Acne are 2 different skin conditions although it is difficult to differentiate between the two. The causes and trigger factors for each of these conditions differ. Therefore home remedies and treatments are also different.
Rosacea and Acne can sometimes co-exist. In this instance treatment should aim at focusing both skin conditions separately as well as together as it is the same person who suffers from both these conditions. Sometimes medications used to treat acne can worsen Rosacea. However it is best to use products which treat both skin conditions as well as medications to treat individual skin conditions.
There is a subtype of Rosacea (papulo-pustular type) which resembles Acne like breakouts and often it may be confused with coexistence of Rosacea and Acne. However, your dermatologist should be able to correctly identify and treat the condition as Rosacea.
Rosacea is a common skin condition. It usually begins with a tendency to flush or blush more easily than others. Redness commonly starts in the center part of the face involving the nose and cheeks. This can spread towards chin and forehead. Sometimes ears, chest and back can also get involved and become red.
This redness will become permanent with time. Rosacea is not only redness, but it may also give rise to red, small pus filled bumps (lesions like pimples). Although Rosacea can arise in anyone, it is commonly seen in middle aged women with fair skin.
According to American academy of Dermatology (AAD), Rosacea can be categorized in to four sub types according to the signs and symptoms. They are:
If you suffer from Rosacea, do not get distressed because you are not alone. Even famous personalities like princess Diana had and Bill Clinton still suffer from Rosacea.
Rosacea can be misdiagnosed for Acne or allergic reactions causing redness.
Following signs and symptoms can help you to identify Rosacea.
The exact cause of Rosacea is unknown. It is thought to be a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors. Rosacea is not a result of poor hygiene, which is a common myth.
If you are a woman, you are more likely to develop Rosacea than a man. If you are above 30 years of age, you are more prone to develop Rosacea than a younger person.
If you have fair skin, it can get easily damaged by sun exposure. Thus people with fairer skin are more prone to develop Rosacea than dark individuals. The pigment Melanin in dark skin protects the skin from sun damage.
Smoking is a risk factor for so many diseases and Rosacea is one of the many skin conditions which is triggered by smoking. Therefore smokers suffer more than non- smokers with regards to Rosacea.
If you have a close relative or a family member who suffers from it, your risk is higher to develop it than those who do not have a family history.
Following factors are known to aggravate Rosacea and are identified as trigger factors. They are known to increase the blood flow to the surface of your skin by dilating the blood vessels.
Ex: Spicy foods, alcohol, hot drinks
Exercise will also dilate the surface blood vessel and cause increase blood flow to your skin.
Certain weather conditions can act as triggers for Rosacea. Heat is well known to dilate blood vessels. Ex: Extremes of temperature, too much sun exposure and strong winds.
When you are emotionally upset, anxious, embarrassed or scared the blood flow to your face can increase, which in turn can aggravate Rosacea. Anxiety symptoms mentioned above will make your body release the hormone Adrenaline. As a result, blood vessels on your face dilate and allow more blood flow than usual, thus making the face, especially cheeks turning red.
There are certain cosmetics and make up products which have various chemicals, can give rise to flare ups to Rosacea prone skin because their skin is more sensitive. There are drugs which are known to dilate blood vessels (vasodilators). Some of these are used to treat patients with high blood pressure. Ex: Captopril, Losartan, Amlodipine etc. If your skin is prone to develop Rosacea, using these medications can give rise to flares.
There is no cure for Rosacea, however; with proper treatment and home remedies it can be controlled.
Acne is a skin condition where the hair follicles of your skin become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It can have black heads (open comedones), white heads (closed comedones) and pimples.
Acne is commonly seen on face, fore head, chest, shoulders and upper back. Acne can develop scarring especially when you squeeze them out. When Acne is severe, large nodules and pus filled cysts can appear. This can be very distressing to the sufferer.
Although Rosacea is more common in middle aged people especially women, acne is more common in teenagers. Acne is commonly seen in 15 to 25 year age group.
Rosacea and Acne (commonly known as acne vulgaris) are 2 different skin conditions and as you can see, the causes for both are entirely different, although they look alike and can be misdiagnosed.
Many people who suffer from Rosacea develop pimples on their faces which resemble Acne. Those days Rosacea was also known as Rosacea acne which is now considered a misnomer. However Rosacea and Acne can co –exist in the same individual. This condition is called Rosacea with Acne.
Although Rosacea and Acne look so much alike, when you look closely you may notice that black heads and white heads are only found in acne. Persistent redness and flushing is a hall mark of Rosacea. But inflammation can give rise to temporary areas of redness in acne.
Acne and Rosacea are 2 different skin conditions although they co- exist, they require different treatments. Sometimes medications used to treat acne can worsen Rosacea.
However it is best to use products which treat both skin conditions as well as medications to treat individual skin conditions.
Inflamed acne needs to be treated early to prevent scarring. With time Acne settles and total control can be achieved.
However if your skin is prone to Acne, having risk factors cam give rise to occasional break outs.
Wash your face and other areas with affected with acne twice daily with luke warm water. You can use a suitable face wash or a mild soap. Very hot or cold water can worsen acne.
Do not scrub when washing acne affected skin because excessive washing and scrubbing can increase inflammation and can worsen acne. Do not use greasy creams or poor quality make up as it may clog pores.
If home remedies do not work, always seek treatment from a qualified medical practitioner or a dermatologist. The treatment will depend on the type and severity of acne that you have.
There are various gels and creams which are used to treat Acne.
Ex. Retinoid gels, Benzoyl peroxide (which comes in 2.5%, 5% and 10%) and topical antibiotic gels. There are also combinations which are proven to be effective against acne.
Sometimes you will be prescribed with a course of oral antibiotics like doxycycline if acne is severe. This course may need to be continued for about 3 to 6 months depending on the response. Usually it takes time for acne to clear with any form of treatment (usually 4-6 weeks). Therefore it is very important to be patient and follow medications as instructed.
There are newer methods like LASER treatment, subcision and chemical peeling for scarred skin due to acne. These specialized treatments should be done by a qualified practitioner.
Even after successful treatment acne can flare up again in some due to various conditions.
Treatment of Rosacea is focused on preventing blood vessel dilatation on skin. There is no cure for Rosacea. However, with proper treatment and home remedies it can be controlled.
Rosacea is a common skin condition and because of persistent redness, blemishing and swelling around your cheeks and nose, it may become a cosmetic concern to you which can lead to emotional distress.
It is good to identify what triggers Rosacea in you. Many people will have different triggering factors. Learning what your particular triggers are will help treating Rosacea easily.
Eliminating those which aggravate your skin condition will help immensely. They may be your cosmetics, make up, lotions, skin exfolients which may be too harsh for your sensitive skin. The reason may be certain foods which contribute to digestive issues or may even cause allergies.
Include plenty of vegetables, fruits and green leaves into your diet. Greens and yellow / orange fruits contain carotenoid phytonutrients. Ex: carrots, papaya, pumpkin
Carotenoid is a plant chemical (phytonutrient) which acts as an antioxidant that deactivates free radicals damaging skin. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which fight against Acne and Rosacea.
Include healthy fats – Olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, fruits like Avocado and nuts will help with natural stress management, digestion and regulation of your hormones.
Include lean proteins – eggs and fish are known to improve your immune system and fight against inflammation.
There are certain foods which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties such as ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric, broccoli and collard greens. Include them in your daily meals while cooking. Drinking green tea is also known to reduce skin inflammation.
Try to avoid allergens like dairy, gluten, sugar and fried foods as they are known to increase inflammation and irritation of your skin.
Ex: Tea tree, chamomile, lavender and Eucalyptus
You can put a dab of your favorite essential oil on the inside of your wrists before you sleep, lets you breathe in the freshness. This will reduce your stress as well as fight against inflammation.
Your doctor will assess your skin condition and severity before starting treatment. If your eyes are affected you will be referred to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
As Rosacea cannot be cured, treatment will focus on controlling your signs and symptoms. It includes a good skin care routine and prescription treatment. The duration of treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. However well your symptoms are controlled, recurrence is common.
Treatment options for Rosacea include:
These treatments to cause action take time. You have to be patient and follow up with your doctor regularly to maintain control of your skin condition.
Newer therapies to reduce redness due to enlarged blood vessels are LASER therapy, Dermabrasion, Intense pulsed Light therapy and Electro-surgery. These should be done in specialized centers by qualified personnel.
Rosacea with Acne can be really distressing especially if you are worried about your appearance. Do not be frustrated or self- conscious, especially when reactions of other people affect you.
Accept the condition and positively work towards achieving control. Talking to a counselor about your feelings will be helpful.
Both Acne and Rosacea are skin conditions which are chronic and cannot be cured completely. They can be successfully controlled with proper medication, self – care and home remedies. However in the presence of various trigger factors, both Acne and Rosacea can flare up which can cause a fair amount of distress to you.
Therefore it is important to be followed up with your doctor and follow instructions accordingly. Acne and Rosacea although look similar in signs and symptoms, they are 2 different skin conditions. The causes are different as well as the treatments.
When Rosacea and Acne co-exist, the treatment should be done in such a way that both conditions are treated and treatment of one condition may not aggravate the other.