Acne, Skin care

Questions about Acne Vulgaris Answered

Sandra asks…What’s the difference between Acne and Rosacea?

Admin answers:  This question is not an easy one to answer since acne looks so much like rosacea. However, there are factors to consider when a physician diagnoses rosacea. You should know about these factors:

(1) Rosacea does not usually present itself with blackheads (comedo formations) that are seen with acne vulgaris.

(2) Acne usually presents itself with plugging of the ducts of the oil glands, resulting in blackheads and pimples on the face and sometimes also the back, shoulders or chest. Rosacea seems to be linked to the vascular network of the central facial skin and causes redness, bumps, pimples and other symptoms that rarely go beyond the face.

(3) The age of onset, and the location of redness is a clue. Rosacea is commonly an adult disease, and is generally restricted to the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. However, young ones have been diagnosed with rosacea. Also, one report “indicated that some people who have rosacea do not have it on their face at all, but rather on their back or elsewhere” which adds to the confusion.

(4) Rosacea is usually accompanied with frequent flushing and a persistent redness while acne vulgaris usually doesn’t present itself with flushing. However not all report frequent flushing and flush no more than the general population.

(5) Acne treatments tend to aggravate rosacea leading to a diagnosis of rosacea. Common treatments for acne such as Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Tretinoin, Retin-A Micro, Avita, Differin, Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelaic Acid, Triclosan, Acne peels, Chemical peels, Topical exfoliants, Toners, Astringents, Witch Hazel and Alcohol tend to aggravate rosacea (but not always). Rosacea sufferers have extremely sensitive skin. Therefore, when a patient doesn’t respond to acne treatment and the acne treatment aggravates the condition it may be diagnosed as rosacea.

(6) Eye symptoms are not associated with acne, so a careful examination for eye symptoms or a finding of ocular pathology will help confirm the diagnosis of rosacea. 50% of rosaceans have ocular rosacea.

(7) Unlike acne, rosacea is not driven forward by propionibacterium, and subsequently should not be treated using acne medications. However, to add more confusion there is a theory that P. Acnes may be a potential aggravating factor in rosacea.

John asks…Is distilled white vinegar good for acne?  I heard it was, so I just wanted to make sure.

Admin answers:  White (and other) vinegar are 5% acetic acid in a smelly base.

The answer is that 5% acetic acid is good for skin conditions which have scales or dandruff, because the acid dissolves the scales.  Acne (vulgaris, there are 2 types), is not usually scaly, it tends to be red and oily and crusty. The crusts are caused by local infection getting in.  Crust is not the same thing as scale. Vinegar is used for scaly rashes like scalp dandruff and “seborrhoeic dermatitis.”  It is often mixed with alcohol for this, – I use it for my scalp as the following mixture, – two-thirds white vinegar, one-third neat vodka, (neat vodka is 40% ethyl alcohol).   This is a cheaper, equivalent form of the “medical” prescription called “2% salicylic acid in alcoholic spirit,” which doctors prescribe for the same thing, dandruff.

When mixed with alcohol, the alcohol component helps by killing germs (infection) on the skin.  If you have read the Bible about the “Good Samaritan” story, you will recall that “wine and vinegar” was a popular and successful application to wounds, in biblical times; the essential ingredients were alcohol plus a mild acid.

There’s no reason you can’t try white vinegar for your acne, but I would recommend diluting it with an equal volume of water first, –  because 5% acetic acid is a bit strong for direct application to the skin, – if you dilute it one-to-one, that will make it  only 2.5% acetic acid.

I hope this is of some help.

Laura asks…Is Isotretinoin responsible for redness of face?

I have severe acne (acne vulgaris). Right now in third month of isotretinoin therapy. My face always remains red and has lot of red marks on my face. Is isotretinoin responsible for redness? I had popped my few pimples. So how long will it take those marks to go?

Admin answers:  Isotretinoin is known to cause redness of the face. When I was on it, my face was always red as well. Until I discovered that you do not need to wash your face while on isotretinoin. I even consulted my dermatologist about this and she said that not washing your face will in no way hamper the effects of the medication. All you really need to do is splash your face with water now and then and use moisturizer. Also, you should NEVER under any circumstances pop your pimples… That is one of the worst things you could possibly do! Just let them heal on their own time unless you like increasing your chances of hyper-pigmentation that could take months to fade. So yes, to restate myself, I would recommend not washing your face (or at least not washing it more than once a day) considering how prone to irritation your face is while on this treatment.

Chris asks…Different acne remedies to try before prom?

Prom is in 5 days, and my face is the same as usual. My acne is not severe. I get the random pimple here and there. My main issue like most people is black heads on the nose, and under the skin white heads. I regularly use Neutrogena face wash, and I’m going to try the egg white mask this afternoon. Any other suggestions of homemade remedies that will help keep my face clear for prom?

Admin answers:  Acne vulgaris is one of the most common types of acne, affecting teenagers and adults. The term acne vulgaris is one used to describe an inflammatory skin disease which is fairly commonplace and tends to affect the majority of the population – at several point in their lives. Acne vulgaris can affect anyone, and almost 100% of the population has had acne vulgaris at one time. Acne vulgaris is ordinarily found on the face and appear body area including the back, chest, neck and arms.

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