What can Mimic Acne?

It is important to know if your skin condition is acne or not. There are other skin conditions that mimic acne and you want to make sure that you know which you have so you can employ the right treatment.

The skin conditions that mimic acne are:

This skin condition is very similar to acne as depicted by pimples in the middle of the face with redness, flushing and even superficial blood vessels. This condition mainly affects those in their 30’s to 40’s, even older in some cases. In some instances, telling Rosacea from acne is almost impossible. However, there are no whiteheads or blackheads in Rosacea.

This condition is caused by shaving as it is also called “razor bumps or razor rash” As the razor blade slides across the skin cutting the hair close to the skin, curly hairs bend under the skin and cause pimples. Since this condition is not cause by bacteria thus making it a mechanical problem this calls for shaving less and looking for alternative ways to trimming facial and neck hair. People with acne can also have Pseudofolliculitis.

Pimples occur not only on the face but on your chest, back, legs, even the buttocks. Theses are not signs of acne however they are inflamed follicles. To solve this skin condition “if the inflamed follicles do not go away on their own“ see a dermatologist where antibiotics can be prescribed, usually different antibiotics than prescribed for acne.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis
This condition is found within those patients who have been on antibiotics for long periods of time. What happens is pustules filled with bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics previously used. A dermatologist can run a culture test and figure out which antibiotics will kill these resistant germs.

Pyoderma Faciale
This skin disorder is also called rosacea fulmimians. This is acute with onset and usually affects younger to middle aged women with or without prior skin disorders. The depiction for this condition is large erythemayous papules and pustules with nodules. Comedones (blackheads) are absent. The tranquil skin is uninvolved and there are no systemic symptoms.

Condition Treatment:
A dermatologist will start you on a systemic corticosteroid regimen for a month before taking the next step which is using Isotretinoin. The average dose is between 120-150mg/kg. When beginning the use of Isotretinoin, the continuous use of corticosteroids should be slowly tapered as you continue through the course of treatment.

Pityrosporum Folliculitis (Malassezia Folliculitis)
Traditionally found upon the chest and back also mimics truncal vulgaris. Inflamed pustules are present as there are no comedones or nodules present, however the lesions may give a sensation to itch. Through KOH examinations; the presences of yeast and hyphal structures of Malassezzia furfur are found. Scientific studies must be conducted to determine the contents of yeast in the follicle.

A dermatologist would suggest a topical treatment with the use of selenium sulfide and or azole agents could be affective as well. In such a case whereas the topical regiment fails, a systemic itraconazole or ketoconazole could be used.

Demodex Folliculitis
With this skin condition, mites are present in an average skin biopsy and could cause an inflammatory reaction with folliculitis in some cases. This skin condition affects mainly the elderly population unlike acne vulgaris. You will find follicular papules and pustules around the face close to the hair line as they may be itchy. Comedones (blackheads) will not be present.

As you see it is important to validate a skin condition as acne so the proper treatment is followed.

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Comments on What can Mimic Acne? Leave a Comment

October 21, 2010

Carrie @ 5:37 am #

This really surprised me, I mean I have never seen all the other conditions that can mimic acne.

Great information.


November 1, 2010

Bethany @ 3:06 pm #

Thank you for sharing this information about acne.

November 8, 2010

Shoogs @ 9:21 pm #

I wish I had known these things some time ago. I could not afford to go to a dermatologist so I treated my ‘acne’ with a self diagnosis method. I ended up treating the acne that I did not have. I had Rosacea and when I finally got the right treatment it really improved. The Internet makes it too easy for people to self diagnose and treat.

Thanks again

November 9, 2010
November 8, 2010

Sheila @ 11:00 pm #

This was really surprising. I had no idea there were so many things that can mimic acne. Thanks for the enlightenment.

November 9, 2010

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