Acne and epidermoid cysts are two common skin conditions that can be easily confused. While they may share some similarities, they’re distinct from one another. It’s best to visit a skin expert if you notice lumps or bumps on your skin.
At Hines Dermatology Associates, Dr. Yvonne Hines has extensive experience identifying and treating even the toughest, most stubborn skin issues that may arise.
Understanding the differences between acne and epidermoid cysts is important for proper treatment and prevention. Take a moment as we explore the key differences between these two conditions and why it's important to make the distinction.
The culprit behind pimples and blackheads
Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. While it’s most common in teenagers, acne affects adults as well. It can appear on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
The causes of acne can vary, but common factors include hormonal changes, such as fluctuations during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Genetics play a role in certain circumstances.
Stress may trigger the release of hormones that can lead to acne. Also, certain foods, like dairy and high-glycemic-index foods, have been linked to acne.
Small bumps beneath the surface
Epidermoid cysts are noncancerous, small bumps that develop beneath the skin. They’re usually harmless, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. These cysts are often found on the face, neck, and trunk, but they can appear anywhere on the body.
Epidermoid cysts are often filled with a thick, yellowish fluid and are caused by the accumulation of dead skin cells and oil within a hair follicle.
The causes of epidermoid cysts can vary, but some common factors include trauma to the skin, blocked glands, and genetics.
Differences between acne and epidermoid cysts
Acne can be mild, moderate, or severe, and can be characterized by the presence of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Epidermoid cysts, on the other hand, are usually small, round, and firm, and are filled with a thick, yellowish fluid.
Additionally, acne can also be painful and inflamed, while epidermoid cysts are typically painless.
Treatment options for acne and epidermoid cysts
Treatment options for acne and epidermoid cysts can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some common treatment options:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Topical or oral medications (retinoids, antibiotics, and hormone therapy)
- In-office procedures (chemical peels and microdermabrasion)
For epidermoid cysts:
- Surgical removal
Dr. Hines provides recommendations on the best approach to improving your skin.
Prevention and maintenance tips for healthy skin
While treatment is important, prevention and maintenance are key to keeping your skin healthy and radiant. Here are some tips for preventing acne and epidermoid cysts, as well as maintaining healthy skin in the long term:
- Keep skin clean (use a gentle cleanser)
- Wear sunscreen
- Manage stress
When you have stubborn skin issues, regular visits with your dermatologist play an important role in managing your skin and keeping it healthy and bright.
Understanding the difference between acne and epidermoid cysts can help you to avoid unnecessary treatments and take better care of your skin. Trust a skin expert to identify the underlying causes of your skin condition so you can take steps to prevent future breakouts and improve your skin.
To get started, call our office or send the team a message here on our website to schedule a visit with Dr. Hines.