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Stubborn Skin Disorders That Look a Lot Like Acne

Unmasking hidden culprits is crucial to getting the right treatment when your skin goes awry. Discover the stubborn skin diso

Unmasking hidden culprits is crucial to getting the right treatment when your skin goes awry. 

Our skin experts at Hines Dermatology Associates in Attleboro, Massachusetts, can accurately diagnose skin problems and get you on the path to improved skin. 

Take a moment as we explore skin conditions that mimic acne and discuss the importance of seeking professional care.

What is acne anyway?

Acne develops when skin follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, resulting in the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. This condition typically appears on the face, chest, back, and shoulders, areas that have a higher concentration of oil glands.

Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty or pregnancy, can contribute to the development of acne. 

While it is often associated with adolescence, acne can persist into adulthood or even emerge later in life. The physical effects of acne, including redness, inflammation, and scarring, can have a significant impact on an individual's self-esteem and overall well-being. 

Thankfully, various treatment options, including topical and oral medications and skin care routines, can help manage and reduce acne breakouts, allowing individuals to regain their confidence and achieve clearer, healthier skin. 

Learn more about conditions that can look like acne to the untrained eye.


Have you ever wondered if that persistent redness on your cheeks and those small bumps are just acne? It might actually be rosacea — a skin disorder often mistaken for acne due to its similar symptoms. Rosacea causes redness, visible blood vessels, and small bumps on the face. 

More specifically, rosacea primarily affects the central part of the face, including the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Among various possible triggers of the disorder are sun exposure, spicy foods, alcohol, and stress.

Although rosacea may resemble acne, it requires a different approach to treatment. The Hines Dermatology Associates team specializes in diagnosing and managing rosacea effectively. We provide targeted treatments, such as prescription medications and laser therapy, to control the symptoms and minimize flare-ups.

Perioral dermatitis: The acne imposter

Perioral dermatitis may look like acne, but certain clues can differentiate it. This condition is characterized by small, red bumps and pustules, which can be itchy or painful. It’s often triggered by topical steroids, cosmetics, or dental products. It can also occur due to excessive moisture and humidity.

If you’re struggling with perioral dermatitis, it’s crucial to avoid self-diagnosis and seek professional advice. Our team can differentiate perioral dermatitis from acne and prescribe appropriate treatments, such as topical antibiotics or non-steroidal creams, to alleviate the symptoms and promote healing.

Folliculitis: Acne's cousin

Yet another culprit could be behind those annoying red bumps and skin pustules. When hair follicles are inflamed or infected, a troublesome skin condition known as folliculitis can arise. 

This condition disrupts the natural balance of the skin, causing discomfort and unsightly symptoms that can include redness, swelling, and the formation of small, often pus-filled bumps. It can closely resemble acne, with small, red bumps and pustules appearing on the skin. 

Folliculitis often comes from bacteria, yeast, or fungal infections, and it can be exacerbated by factors like shaving, excessive sweating, or wearing tight clothing. 

If you have folliculitis, our team may prescribe topical medication, oral antibiotics, or antifungal medications, or provide other interventions to address the underlying infection and prevent recurrences.

When you’re confronted with stubborn skin disorders that resemble acne, it’s essential to seek professional care from a trusted dermatology practice. Call us at Hines Dermatology Associates at 508-222-1976 so we can evaluate your skin. Improved skin is on the horizon!

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