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Acne vs. Rosacea. How to Combat Both

There are a few common skin conditions that dermatologists tend to see across all age groups and at all times of the year. Acne and rosacea are two that top the list. But what are they, what causes them, and how can they be treated? Here’s the scoop.

What to Know About Acne vs Rosacea

What Causes Acne?

Unfortunately, there’s no one single answer to this question. Acne can be triggered by a host of internal and external stimuli. Mental, emotional, and physiological stress often causes breakouts. Certain dietary choices, especially greasy finger foods, can cause excess oil that leads to acne. Prescription and OTC medications, allergies and sensitivities, hormonal fluctuations during adolescence, pregnancy, or menopause, you name it – acne is widespread and not always easily identified.

Acne can manifest in a variety of ways, including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules, and cysts. Breakouts happen when there’s an excess buildup of sebum, or the oil that lubricates the skin. When this sebum mixes with dirt, bacteria, and sweat, it can cause clogged pores that lead to any of these variations of acne.

Acne Treatment

A solid, high-quality skin care routine specially formulated for acne-prone skin is the first step to managing acne. Washing your face with this regimen twice a day can help keep your skin clean and clear up existing breakouts. Certain lifestyle changes, like avoiding greasy foods, regularly washing hair and pillowcases, and managing stress levels can also help. Dermatologists often recommend regular chemical peel treatments for acne sufferers.

These peels contain ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol, which effectively remove the top layer of dead skin cells through chemical exfoliation. Getting a chemical peel every few weeks can help keep pores clear and free of excess sebum and debris that lead to breakouts.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is another common condition, but it is very different from acne. Rosacea symptoms include facial redness, pimples and cysts, skin thickening, and eye irritation. There’s no known cause for the condition, but it seems to be hereditary and tends to occur more often in individuals with fair skin or who blush easily.

Rosacea Treatment

While a chemical peel will work for those with acne, it’s usually not an ideal treatment for rosacea sufferers, as it can further irritate the sensitive, flushed skin. Instead, there are specialized laser treatment therapies specifically for rosacea. These innovative laser therapies can resurface soft tissues, improve pigmentation, and eliminate redness and broken blood vessels – all outcomes that can contribute to reducing the effects of rosacea flare-ups.

In some cases, medical therapies such as topical medications or oral antibiotics might be necessary for the treatment of rosacea. The first step to ensuring that you’re taking proper care of your rosacea is to see a dermatologist.

Contact Vanguard Dermatology

If you need help managing your acne or rosacea and you’re located in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists. We can assess your condition, make the appropriate treatment recommendations, and perform any therapies in our office.

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