4 Skin Conditions That You Might Mistake for Acne & How to Get Rid of Them

4 Skin Conditions That You Might Mistake for Acne & How to Get Rid of Them

Having acnes or rash-like breakouts on your face can be really worrying. Due to their similar appearances, it is understandable that you might mistake some of these skin conditions for acne. At times, the conditions are at higher risks of spreading or worsening if you try to pop them like how you would with an acne breakout. Below, we review some of the most common skin conditions that are mistaken as acne and some of their common treatment options that you can consider.

Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral DermatitisAlso known as steroid rosacea, this condition is usually seen as a concentrated ring shape around your mouth. These rashes can also spread around your eyes or nose at times, and might appear scaly to some degree. You might feel that these rashes are quite itchy, and they can develop very quickly – almost overnight. If you do not resort to a proper treatment, the rashes may go away for a short while before reappearing later on, with each episode lasting for weeks or months. This breakout is usually caused by usage of topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone which contains hormones. Wherever it is that you are applying this cream on, it is easy for the cream to seep into the hormone-sensitive oil glands on your face to cause these red bumps & rashes.

The first step to treat steroid rosacea/ perioral dermatitis  is to stop the usage of the topical steroid creams, which may worsen your symptoms. You will most likely be advised to use milder soaps and to stop using fluorinated toothpaste as well as heavy skin creams along the way. To treat the symptoms, your doctors could prescribe you with topical antibiotic creams and medications such as metronidazole, or immunosuppressive creams like tacrolimus cream. If you are experiencing severe breakouts, you can also expect to be given oral antibiotics such as minocycline or tetracyclines.


RosaceaIf you have bright red breakouts that looks like your average acne breakouts on your cheeks and around the center of your face, you might have rosacea. Rosacea does not form blackheads or whiteheads like acne, but it causes red bumps to appear under your skin due to having stretched your blood vessels. At first, this condition might manifest itself as an easy tendency to blush, before this condition spreads to your ears, chest, chinand other body areas. The resulting stretched blood vessels would stay like a scar and does not respond to acne treatments. Rather than treating rosacea, the treatment for this condition is more focused on damage control and minimizing your symptoms.

You can expect the doctor to advise you to take a combination of some prescription medications along with skin care regimes to keep your rosacea conditions in check. Brimonidine could be prescribed to reduce the redness on your skin within 12 hours after applying it. Oral antibiotics inclusive of doxycycline and tetracyclines among others can also be prescribed to treat moderate or severe rosacea with pustules and bumps’ manifestation. If you are not pregnant, you can get isotretinoin to clear up rosacea’s lesions as well. Some health specialists also provide laser treatments or dermabrasion to treat the visible or enlarged blood vessels.


MiliaYou might see some small yellow-white bumps that can be easily mistaken as whiteheads around your eyes, your cheeks or on your forehead, but these are actually dead skin scars that could eventually go away on its own. Usually, milia forms over acne scars, and there are very few known ways to prevent them from forming if at all. Milia cysts are very common in newborns, for which they will naturally go away on their own. However, these cysts can also appear on various other body parts as a person ages. They are rarely harmful or cause any itches, but they might get irritated or inflamed if you wear rough clothing or brush against them often. If they do cause discomfort, there are several treatment methods that you can look for to get rid of these cysts.

Generally, exfoliating your skin and using cream containing retinoids or retinol could help to prevent miliaformation to some degree, since a milium cyst typically contains keratin trapped under your skin. For complete removal, you can resort to a medical procedure to extract the tiny sacs of dead skin clusters. Usually, doctors will freeze and destroy milia cysts. This method is called cryotherapy. Of course, there are other options available as well. A medical professional could pick at the cyst with a sterile needle to clear the contents, or use extreme heat to destroy a milium cyst in a procedure known as diathermy.


MalasseziaThis condition is also known as pityrosporum folliculitis, which is a fungal infection that affects your hair follicles. This infection will usually manifest itself as sore and itchy red pustules across your forehead, although malassezia is also known to grow on your chest, back and shoulders. This condition is different from acne since it is considered an infection unlike acne breakouts which are caused by sebum that is trapped within your pores. You might get malassezia if you remain unkempt in hot weather or when you are sweaty in general. This will lead to an overproduction of oil on your skin, which later on leads to high amount of yeasts growing in these areas, providing the perfect environment for a malassezia breakout.

While anti-dandruff shampoos have been known to help to treat malassezia, anti-fungal medications or sulfur-based washes is more advisable since yeast can spread rapidly. By taking anti-fungal medications or products, you are restricting the breakouts from spreading to other areas on your body.If the yeast infection has gone out of control, you might need to resort to pulse therapy which is performed on certain days. For this condition in particular, it is also crucial to keep the underlying causes in check, since hormonal issues or other diseases can lead to yeast breakouts as well.

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