Acne Vulgaris vs Acne Rosacea: Know the Differences

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Acne Vulgaris vs Acne Rosacea: Acne Vulgaris is a prevalent skin disorder that mostly affects teens and young adults, resulting in pimples owing to blocked pores. It usually develops on the face, chest, back, and shoulders, and while the specific reason is unknown, it is suspected to be impacted by hormones, heredity, and some drugs. Acne Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin illness that predominantly affects middle-aged individuals, resulting in redness, pimples, and visible blood vessels on the face. Acne, unlike fever (which can be caused by viruses such as HIV [HIV fever versus normal fever]), is not communicable and poses no substantial health risk; yet, it can cause significant mental discomfort.

Difference Between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea

Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea are both common skin conditions that can cause redness, inflammation, and eruptions on the skin, particularly on the face. However, they have distinct characteristics and underlying causes. Here are the key differences between the two:


Acne Vulgaris

Acne Rosacea


Excess oil production, clogged pores, bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes), inflammation

Combination of genetic factors, abnormal blood vessels, inflammation, exact cause unclear

Age of Onset

Typically starts during puberty, can persist into adulthood

Usually develops in adults over 30 years old

Affected Areas

Face, neck, chest, back

Central part of the face: cheeks, nose, chin, forehead


Comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts

Persistent redness, flushing, visible blood vessels (telangiectasia), papules (sometimes)


Hormonal changes, certain medications, dietary factors, stress

Sun exposure, spicy foods, alcohol, hot beverages, extreme temperatures


Due to bacterial infection within hair follicles

Abnormalities in the immune system and blood vessels


Can lead to scarring, especially with severe forms

Typically does not cause scarring, but may lead to thickening of the skin (rhinophyma)

Eye Involvement

Does not typically affect the eyes

May involve ocular symptoms (ocular rosacea)

Gender Predominance

Affects both genders equally, may be more severe in males

Affects women more frequently than men, may be more severe in men

Response to Treatment

Responds well to topical treatments (e.g., benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, antibiotics), oral medications (e.g., isotretinoin)

May require topical or oral medications (e.g., antibiotics, anti-inflammatories), laser therapy

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What is Acne Vulgaris?

Acne vulgaris, generally known as acne, is a common skin disorder that causes pimples to appear on your face, back, chest, and shoulders. Clogged pores, increased oil production, and bacteria are the causes, and it is most frequent in teens, but it can affect people of all ages.

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Key Features of Acne Vulgaris:

  • The hallmark of acne vulgaris is clogged pores. Excess dead skin cells and oil (sebum) from sebaceous glands get trapped, forming whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Beyond clogged pores, acne vulgaris often involves inflammation. This leads to the development of red, painful papules and pustules (pimples with pus). In severe cases, deeper, nodular lesions can occur.
  • Acne vulgaris typically appears on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. It's most common in teenagers and young adults due to hormonal changes, but can affect people of all ages.
  • Acne vulgaris can range from mild, with a few occasional pimples, to severe cystic acne with deep, painful lesions that scar. Treatment options depend on the severity.

What is Acne Rosacea?

Rosacea, sometimes known as "acne rosacea," is a distinct disorder characterised by face redness, flushing, and acne-like lumps and pimples. Unlike acne, rosacea does not include closed pores and often affects adults aged 30 to 60.

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Key Features of Acne Rosacea:

  • A flushed look, particularly on the cheeks and centre face, is a hallmark of rosacea. It can be chronic or come and go in flare-ups caused by variables such as sun exposure or spicy meals.
  • Tiny red blood vessels (telangiectasia) can appear on the nose and cheeks, adding to the redness caused by rosacea.
  • While rosacea is not considered classic acne, some rosacea subtypes can include papules and pustules comparable to acne vulgaris, however they are usually smaller and without blackheads.
  • Rosacea can occasionally affect the eyes, causing redness, dryness, irritation, and even styes. This is referred to as ocular rosacea.

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Similarities Between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea

  • Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea are chronic illnesses, which means they can last for years and may require long-term treatment.
  • Both illnesses cause skin inflammation, although the mechanisms and severity vary.
  • Because of their public character, these diseases may have a substantial influence on a person's self-esteem and quality of life.
  • Dermatologists routinely treat both disorders, using topical or oral drugs and offering skincare advice.
  • Both Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea can have flare-ups caused by a variety of circumstances, including hormone fluctuations, stress, and particular foods or environmental variables.

Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea are separate disorders, despite their comparable look of pimples and redness. Acne Vulgaris clogs pores with excess oil and dead skin cells, causing blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammatory pimples. It primarily affects teens and young adults and can manifest on the face, back, chest, and shoulders. Rosacea is an inflammatory illness that produces face flushing, redness, and visible blood vessels. While it can have pustules like acne, it lacks comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Rosacea generally affects individuals aged 30 to 60, and it is typically localised to the core parts of the face. Understanding the fundamental distinctions between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea is critical for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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What is Acne Vulgaris?

Acne Vulgaris, commonly known as acne, is a skin condition characterized by the formation of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts due to clogged pores and excess oil production. It typically occurs during puberty but can persist into adulthood.

What is Acne Rosacea?

Acne Rosacea, often referred to as rosacea, is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects the face, causing redness, visible blood vessels, and acne-like bumps. Unlike acne vulgaris, it tends to appear in adults over 30 and is often accompanied by flushing and thickening of the skin.

What is the difference Between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea?

Acne Vulgaris primarily affects adolescents and is characterized by the presence of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory lesions such as papules and pustules. On the other hand, Acne Rosacea typically affects adults and manifests as persistent redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels, with fewer comedones but more prominent red papules and pustules.

What are the similarities between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea?

Both conditions can cause emotional distress and affect self-esteem due to their impact on facial appearance. Additionally, both may worsen with certain triggers such as stress, certain foods, and environmental factors. While their presentations differ, they both involve inflammation of the skin.

Are there any shared features between Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea?

Both Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea involve inflammation of the skin, albeit through different mechanisms. They may both be exacerbated by factors such as hormonal changes, genetics, and environmental triggers. Furthermore, they both require tailored treatment approaches for effective management.