Home » Skin Blog » Skin Knowledge and Problems » Acne and Rosacea

Acne and Rosacea


Acne and rosacea sound similar in name, but do they have any connection?

Acne refers to blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, or deeper cysts and nodules. Rosacea is a chronic inflammation that causes facial redness, and can also produce papules and pustules similar to those of acne. For this reason, some people mistake the papules and pustules of rosacea for acne. However, they are completely different skin conditions: they have different causes, pathology, and treatment directions. If rosacea is treated with acne treatments, symptoms may become worse. Here are some differences in symptoms to help you identify which condition you may have.

First, rosacea generally occurs on the face, including the eyes, and symptoms can also spread to the scalp, neck, chest, or upper back. In contrast, acne is common on various parts of the body, including the jawline, neck, upper back, chest, and shoulders.

Second, a common symptom of rosacea is facial redness, which usually appears in the center of the face (including the cheeks, forehead, nose, or chin) and can be temporary or persistent. Some patients may also experience telangiectasia, which are visible small blood vessels. In contrast, the redness associated with acne occurs mainly around acne lesions and does not cause telangiectasia.

Third, the skin of patients with rosacea is abnormally sensitive, and products that come into direct contact with the affected area (such as skincare products, makeup, sunscreen, or perfume) can cause burning, stinging, or itching. However, applying these products directly to acne lesions does not usually cause adverse skin reactions.

Fourth, papules and pustules in rosacea generally occur in the superficial layer of the skin and are less likely to leave scars and pigmentation than acne, which can occur in the deeper layer of the skin and often results in blemishes or scars during the healing process. Therefore, acne patients generally have poorer skin quality, and their skin surface may be uneven.

However, understanding these differences does not mean that you can self-diagnose your condition. First, the comparison above only covers some of the symptoms of acne and rosacea. Second, patients rarely exhibit all of the symptoms of a given skin condition. Third, patients may have both acne and rosacea at the same time. Because these two conditions generally require different treatment methods, if you suspect that you have either acne or rosacea, please consult your doctor, who can provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.