Is it Acne or Rosacea?

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Note: This is a sponsored post. I’m participating in the Break Up with Your Makeup contest sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P. You should discuss any medications with your doctor.

Is it Acne or Rosacea?

I’m a typical rosacea sufferer. I had acne as a teenager, which finally cleared up in my early 20s, to my great joy! I was very happy to have (mostly) clear skin with only occasional blemishes. But in my mid-30s, the frequency of my blemishes changed. Instead of flares of blemishes, I was getting blemishes all month long. Using my normal acne treatments didn’t seem to be helping, and instead of a pimple on my chin, I had a big bump on my cheek.

I had a few other skin issues that I didn’t think were related to my increase in acne. Using a new skin care product could leave my skin tingling and red for hours afterwards. I also noticed that my face had a red flush to it, which hadn’t been present previously. I wasn’t dealing with acne any longer, instead I had separately developed rosacea and my approach to my skin needed to change completely.

It is very common for rosacea sufferers to think that they are dealing with acne, only to become frustrated when their treatments don’t work. “Acne and rosacea are often confused because they share common features such as bumps and pimples on the face,” shares Dr. Doris Day, a board certified dermatologist and Galderma consultant in New York City.

There are a few key features that can help you decide if your skin care troubles are due to rosacea or acne.

1. When Did It Start?
Acne typically starts in your teenage years and may persist with fluctuations in your symptoms for years. A big change or increase in your blemishes in your thirties is more typical of rosacea. “Rosacea is typically seen after the age of 30,” says Dr. Day.

2. Where is it?
Acne primarily affects the face, you might have a blemish on your chin and another near your hairline for example, and it can also affect the back, chest and shoulders. Rosacea typically “is concentrated in the central region of the face, usually the cheeks and the nose,” explains Dr. Day.

3. Your Face Is Sensitive
If you notice that your face is stinging or burning at times, you likely do not have regular acne. The increased sensitivity seen with rosacea can be in response to a particular skin care product, or simply a change in the weather.

4. You Know What Triggers It
While you may have some known triggers for blemishes, in particular fluctuations in hormones during your monthly cycle, the triggers are more varied and predictable when you have rosacea. Dr. Day says that rosacea “has known triggers like stress, alcohol, spicy foods and extremes in temperature.”

5. Your Face is Red All Over
A few blemishes on my face can make me feel like my face is red and irritated, but there is a difference between redness only at the site of a blemish and redness all over the face as seen with rosacea. Rosacea can result in flushing, persistent facial redness, and even visible blood vessels. None of these are seen in acne.

“If you are unsure whether you have acne or rosacea, you should visit a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment regimen,” says Dr. Day. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe medications to help treat your skin as well as advise you on any skin care routine and lifestyle changes you should make to optimize your skin’s health.

There are many effective prescription treatments available for rosacea, including Mirvaso® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%* for the persistent facial redness associated with rosacea and topical Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1% or oral Oracea® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg** Capsules for the treatment of papulopustular rosacea (bumps and pimples).

You can learn more about rosacea and rosacea treatments on the Break Up with Your Makeup page. While you’re there, you can enter for a chance to win an all-expenses paid spa getaway for two in sunny Los Angeles.

Important Safety Information – Mirvaso® Topical Gel
Indication: MIRVASO® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%* is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older. Adverse Events: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (>1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis.

Warnings/Precautions: MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha-2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of MIRVASO Gel by children have been reported. Keep MIRVASO Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use.

*Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base
Full prescribing information.

Important Safety Information – Soolantra® Cream
Indication: SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1% is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence < 1 %) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation. Full prescribing information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit
WWW.FDA.GOV/MEDWATCH or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important Safety Information – Oracea® Capsules
Indication: ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg** Capsules are indicated for the treatment of only inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) of rosacea in adult patients. ORACEA Capsules do not lessen the facial redness caused by rosacea. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (>2%) in patients treated with ORACEA Capsules were nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, diarrhea, hypertension and aspartate aminotransferase increase.

Warnings/Precautions: ORACEA Capsules should not be used to treat or prevent infections. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken by patients who have a known hypersensitivity to doxycycline or other tetracyclines. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, or during tooth development (up to the age of 8 years). Although photosensitivity was not observed in clinical trials, ORACEA Capsules patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. The efficacy of ORACEA Capsules treatment beyond 16 weeks and safety beyond 9 months have not been established.

**30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads
Full prescribing information.

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