Understanding what’s going on with your skin can be a real challenge. You may not know exactly what makes you break out or whether your rash might be explained away by an allergy or something more chronic. Making matters more complicated, your particular skin problems might not react well to the same treatments used on others. This can be frustrating and confusing for people who have struggled for years to get their issues under control.
But that’s not the end of it. There are also skin problems that present themselves in ways that can make them hard to diagnose. If you’ve been using formerly successful acne treatments for long periods with no improvement, it’s possible that your skin problems may not actually be related to acne at all. That’s why it’s essential to visit your skin doctor if you’re experiencing skin issues with no definitive diagnosis or treatment method. In today’s post, we’ll discuss three common skin problems that are often mistaken for acne — but actually aren’t.
Rosacea typically makes itself known with a red rash, but there are sometimes pus-filled bumps that pop up. This means it’s easy to confuse this condition for acne. But it’s actually a chronic inflammatory disorder that may also be associated with bloodshot eyes. And while acne sufferers may figure out what triggers their breakouts, rosacea patients often realize their episodes can be tied to the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods (as well as heat exposure, smoking, or stress). Acne and rosacea do both have a genetic component, but they are treated differently.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Otherwise known as skin cancer, this issue can begin looking like any other pimple. But while more than 40% of kids have acne scars that require treatment, someone with basal cell carcinoma will notice that the cyst will actually stick around for months. That’s not normal with a run-of-the-mill zit. If you have a large spot that scabs, bleeds, and won’t go away, it’s important you see your dermatologist to eliminate the possibility of skin cancer.
Another one of the skin issues commonly mistaken for acne is perioral dermatitis. This inflammatory rash gives the appearance of little acne bumps, particularly around the mouth, eyes, and nose. But while the bumps are noticeable, they don’t ever turn into blackheads or whiteheads. They’re usually linked to steroid use, which you may not realize could be an ingredient in a facial cream or toothpaste you use. Your skin doctor will likely recommend you discontinue the use of these products and swap them out for a non-comedogenic solution.
When it comes to the health of your skin, you shouldn’t rely on a TV commercial to diagnose the problems you have — or an over-the-counter solution to treat it. It may turn out you’re treating a completely unrelated condition (and you might make your skin worse as a result)! Always talk to your dermatologist if you’re experiencing skin issues so that you can get a definitive answer and an effective treatment plan developed just for you.