It is really an intriguing and confusing task to distinguish between acne and rosacea at first glance. The symptoms of these two persistent skin disorders resemble so much that they leave almost no scope before the victim or anyone to identify them. This is why in many instances rosacea is mistaken as acne. However, an organized study on the categorization derived from the differences in terms of manifestation, etiology, epidemiology, prognosis, and remedial approaches of acne and rosacea would be quite helpful to differentiate one from the other.
After close observation it is found that the types of pimples, nodules, cysts, and pustules might look similar in Rosacea and acne, but they are uniquely marked by some distinctive characteristics. Pimples that are atypical to rosacea are often found to be trivial as compared with those in acne. Besides, rosacea pimples often tend to be red in color.
Rosacea is uniquely marked by redness and flushing or blushing of the entire facial region whereas this might not be a unique feature of acne. This redness becomes even more intense under the sun. Exposure to sun or heat does not create such aggravated skin sensitivity in acne patients.
One more significant differentiation of acne and rosacea could be drawn on the basis of the age group of the victims. The frequency of rosacea has been noticed to happen during middle age, whereas the age group of acne victims might be anything. It might happen to babies or adults. However, the tendency of acne outburst has been observed to be more concentrated among teenagers and young adults.
The overall impact of the nodules and cysts in rosacea are even more painful, disturbing and deleterious than acne. Even in their mild forms, rosacea nodules and pustules are usually more critical than mild acne pimples. The blood vessels are often dilated in case of rosacea. And in severe cases they might even be ruptured and damaged. The direct and adverse impact of sun damage is exerted upon these blood vessels making them more vulnerable.
Acne and rosacea could also be distinguished in terms of their attack regions. The prognosis of acne attack zones emphasizes on the higher concentration of oil glands on any particular part of the skin surface which might be anything including the chin, nose, forehead or cheeks. Nevertheless, rosacea tends to attack the central zone of the face including the nose. Unlike acne, the typical symptoms of rosacea are more intensely observed on this portion of the face.
A very unique feature of rosacea is that if untreated for a considerable time length, it affects the nose, inflicting a very awful impact on it. Due to the agglomeration of excess fluid in the tissues, the nose becomes large in size and often gets disfigured. This distortion of the nose is known as rhinophyma. Swelling of the entire face and disturbances in the eyelids are also not uncommon in rosacea. These are typically found in rosacea patients and not in acne victims.
Etiological Differentiation of Acne and Rosacea
Rosacea and acne also vary in terms of their origin or causal factors. Clogging of the skin pores by dead skin cells and the overactive oil glands is thought to be the key contributing factor working behind acne outbreak. It is also found that hormonal imbalance instigates this entire event in most of the instances, whereas rosacea has nothing to do with hormonal dysfunction.
Although any medically approved causal factor of neither of the diseases have yet been established, however it is often found that the frequency of rosacea is more common among people from Celtic origin or who are extremely alcoholic. This feature is absent in acne where caffeine or alcohol might sometimes play a role behind comedonal formation, however this is not something remarkable. Also according to some medical professionals foods and beverages have nothing to do with acne outbreak. Yet some are strictly against associating acne and rosacea with any kind of foods or drinks and racial origin.
Presence of a particular type of mite within the sebaceous glands is also found to contribute in initiating rosacea. These mites, however does not play any role in the formation of acne. Rather in case of acne the situation is aggravated due to the presence of a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes.
It is noteworthy to mention that apart from foodstuffs, mental stress might also be responsible for triggering up rosacea. Here it has some kind of resemblance with acne since some believe that under a few circumstances acne also might generate as an outcome of stress. Again there is controversy regarding this matter as well since there is no scientifically established evidence in support of this apparent factor.