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Skin Conditions That Looks Like Acne

Skin-conditions-acne-folliculitisIn order to correct an aggravating skin condition, you first have to know exactly the problem you are addressing. Many skin problems can be falsely identified as acne, making it difficult, if not impossible to treat. Here are a few common wrongly identified skin conditions.





This skin condition called Malassezia folliculitis, formerly known as Pityrosporum folliculitis. It is caused by yeasts (fungi) of the genus Malasseziathat which can look just like acne. It looks like small, non-inflamed bumps that frequently shows up on the forehead, but can be anywhere on the face or body.

Folliculitis occurs when bacteria or fungi enters and infect a hair follicle, resulting in inflammation. The inflammation shows up on the skin as a red, sometimes itchy rash of raised bumps. Some people think these bumps are acne, but it’s not the same thing. It extract different then acne. Most times the pores are only filled with a clear liquid instead of pus. It can remain dormant for long periods of time and then flare up with humid weather. This is a good indication that is folliculitis and not acne.

How to treat folliculitis:

  • Cleansers and serums containing Mandelic acid are great anti-fungal remedies.
  • Keep the affected areas dry. If it happens on the body use Gold Bond Powder to absorb extra moisture.
  • Avoid sugar and yeast containing foods such as bread, alcohol, processed/frozen foods, sandwich meat and dairy.
  • Cotton clothing and cotton sheets are recommended. Avoid using fabric softener and dryer sheets.
  • Antifungal and probiotic supplements can help heal your digestive system.


Perioral DermatitisPerioraldermatitis

This skin problem is concentrated around the nose, mouth and chin area, where very small papules and pustules are found. Good indicators that what you have is not acne are that it will become more aggravated with typical acne treatments like exfoliators and benzoyl peroxide. The affected area tends to be itchy and more closely resembles a rash.

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis are very uncertain, however the theories out there are that it is caused by:

  • chloride and fluoride found in dental products
  • steroid facial creams
  • hormones
  • sun exposure
  • heavy creams and oils
  • cold and sun exposure

Oral antibiotics can be an option in severe cases but even then it can reoccur.  Some other treatment options include topical antibacterial prescriptions, anti-fungal creams, mild cortisone creams for short-term use.

If you have an outbreak try to avoid the following:

  • acne treatment products
  • harsh exfoliating products
  • cleansers with sulfates and foaming agents
  • products with sodium lauryl sulfate
  • strawberries, tomatoes, oranges
  • chemical sunscreens

Using a water based hydrating gel and taking Evening Primrose Oil as a natural supplement can help heal the skin and reduce the dermatitis.


Staph InfectionsStaph-Infection2

Staph infections do look much like acne. They are, however, very different, and need proper treatment quickly. The appearance will differ from acne because they will not have symmetrical edges the way acne does. It could show up as pimples, boils, pus filled lesions, swelling, redness and the skin can feel hot to the touch. This is a serious skin condition and requiring antibiotics to clear.

Staph infections will not improve with acne products and needs to be treated by a physician immediately!


Sebaceous Hyperplasiasebaceous_hyperplasia_2_high

This common condition is caused, essentially, by aging skin. Around age 30 androgen levels drop and the skin’s cell turnover rate slows down. This can cause a buildup of sebocytes (the cells that make up the oil glands, and secrete sebum ) in the sebaceous gland. This decrease in cellular turnover results in a benign enlargement of the sebaceous gland, or sebaceous hyperplasia.

They appear as small donut shaped, skin colored or whitish-yellow small bumps. They can be big or small, and are often found on the face. When you try to extract them there is no oil coming out because there is no pore opening. They can be removed with electrolysis but the results are not always permanent. Other treatment such as photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), cau electrodesiccation,topical chemical treatments, laser treatment can help reduce these oil filled bumps.


Pyoderma FacialePyoderma Faciale

Pyoderma Faciale is much less common, as it can only appear in people who have a particular enzyme deficiency. It does still look much like acne, but it will only be found in the center of the face, while the rest will remain clear. It also generally occurs in women in their 20’s and 30’s and will be larger and more painful lesions than acne tends to produce.

Brought on by extreme stress or trauma, this will also be accompanied by a severe increase in oil production on the face and in the hair. The condition can be detected from blood samples, and a drug called dexamethasone can slow down testosterone production and reverse the condition.


Steatocystoma MultipexSteatocystoma

A rare skin condition, Steatocystoma Multiplex is the presence of many sebum-filled dermal cysts. They will release a gelatinous liquid when you try to extract them, and will fill back up again.

Steatocystoma multiplex is an uncommon disorder of the pilosebaceous unit characterized by the development of numerous sebum-containing dermal cysts.  The relationship of steatocystoma multiplex to the development of sebaceous glands and common presentation at puberty suggest a hormonal trigger for lesion growth.This is a very difficult condition to treat, and most of the time it caused by hormonal imbalance.

Related article: Acne Scars and Possible Treatments


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If you are suffering form acne and still could not find a solution to clear up your skin, Envision Acne and Skin Care Center has a proven Acne Free Skin Program ™ that will clear up your skin in 90 days.

Do you need expert skin care advice from a licensed esthetician/acne specialist? Schedule your appointment for a consultation to get the personalized advice on products and treatments that are right for you.

© 2015 Nikolett Ivanyi, Envision Acne Center; For more information go to

Please note that all blog posts and content created by Envision Acne and Skincare Center are not intended to be used as medical advice or as a substitute for it and are designed for your information and educational awareness only. We always recommend that you consult with a medical practitioner regarding any health or skincare issues you have, as they may wish to carry out a full health assessment before recommending you to a licensed aesthetician and acne professional.


I help women clear up their acne without medications and change their life by transforming their skin.

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All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. While we are licensed estheticians we are not physicians, nutritionists or registered dietitians. This is not a substitute for any professional advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

Results given in testimonials are from real customers who have used PoreInfusion products, however similar results are not guaranteed. Individual results may vary depending on skin type, sensitivity, age, and skincare history, as well as how the product is applied.

Envision Acne and Skin Care Center is not held liable or accepts any responsibility for any adverse reactions resulting directly or indirectly from the use of our products. 

Contact your medical professional immediately if you suspect you have a medical emergency.

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