Acne! Camouflaged?

Johnny Yu

Wow, you think every bump or breakout on your chin (or anywhere else) is a typical pimple. Well, you couldn’t be far from the truth.  In fact, there’s a whole host of skin conditions that get misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated. More often than not, at home when you self-diagnose. So before you start hunting those “Acne”, make sure you know what you are really treating so you can properly get rid of it.

Milia, these small white bumps frequently mistaken as whiteheads, are in reality something else entirely and let me tell you why. A true whitehead sits above the skin while milia are confined just underneath the surface. Whiteheads can appear anywhere on the skin while milia are usually found under and around the eyes and on the cheeks. A true whitehead contains bacteria, pus, oil, and dead skin cells but milia contains keratin and tends to be non-inflammatory. Still they are deeper in the skin than acne.

It’s not giving you trouble but you still want it gone, then no amount of anti-acne products will come close to zapping it away. The best way to get rid of milia is to have them professionally extracted because these stubborn little buggers can linger for months if not. A needle or lancet needs to be used by your dermatologist to open the milia before the keratin is gently pushed out. It’s professionally acclaimed that “Because milia don’t usually go away without extraction, don’t try to remove them yourself,”

One reason why Rosacea is often thought to be acne (although there is more redness) is due to the small bumps, papules and pustules that resemble pimples. Seeing as how bumps a pimples are the most common symptoms of rosacea, so it’s not surprising that nearly half the sufferers think they have acne until properly diagnosed by the doctor. Rosacea unlike acne come with a different set of symptoms like flushed skin redness on nose and cheeks and broken capillaries. How would you go about treating it, over-the-counter and prescription-strength anti-inflammatory creams and lotions tend to work best. Other modes of treatment includes oral medication or even pulsed-dye laser or IPL treatment.

If your body, other than your face, are prone to developing itchy red bumps chances are its Keratosis Pilarais (KP), rather than a breakout. While it’s not impossible to breakout on places other than our face, lesions on these parts of the body usually aren’t acne because there aren’t many sweat glands to produce enough oil. KP is a condition that many people have, resulting from abnormal keratinization of the lining of the hair follicle.

Getting rid of it is a pain (metaphorically speaking), Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! KP requires diligent and regular use of a good exfoliator because the root of the problem is in essence a clogged pore. Body washes and lotions with lactic acid are key because they unplug the follicle, as are laser treatments to reduce any redness, too. KP is seriously hard to treat due to the inflammation around the follicles.

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