Cant believe its not………..acne!

Hey guys,

I have been searching the net for info like most of us do in our free time. When i came across a couple of sites of different skin problems and how some people can actually confuse acne with some of these skin problems, even derms do it! I will be posting these sites for you guys to read. Some great info and things i didnt even know!

First one:

Types of Skin Conditions: Rashes, Lesions, and Cancer

The different skin conditions are far too numerous to list: entire medical texts have been written on the subject. However, skin conditions tend to fall into six broad categories. Understanding the nature of these categories helps us understand the general nature of specific conditions.

Inflammatory Skin Disorders

Inflammatory skin disorders include a range of rashes and lesions that cause irritation and inflame the skin. Many of the more well-known skin conditions, including acne, fall into this category. Acne is characterized by clogged hair follicles that, when infected by bacteria, become pus-filled lesions. Other types of inflammatory skin conditions include:

Characterized by red skin rashes, swelling, itching, and blisters
Diaper rash
Starts as a redness on the baby’s bottom. Most cases are mild, but in severe cases painful blisters can form.
The inflammation looks like raised red plaques on the skin, covered with thick white scales. Psoriasis that develops after a strep infection looks like small pinkish skin lesions.
Sebaceous cysts
A sebaceous cyst is a blocked gland or duct. While usually not painful, a sebaceous cyst can become tender if infected. A grayish, odorous material can be drained from the cyst.

Viral Skin Problems

Most viral skin infections are temporary, although some can lead to scarring if left untreated. Many of the skin rashes caused by childhood diseases are viral in nature.

Chicken pox
Symptoms include red blisters that cause itching. Chicken pox rarely causes lasting scars in spite of the urge to scratch the blisters. The virus can recur in later life, causing a painful condition called shingles: water blisters that become filled with pus, scab over, and then heal.
Herpes simplex virus (Type 1)
Spread by touching, kissing and sharing cups, Type 1 herpes usually leads to cold sores: small, clear, water-filled blisters, usually on the lips.
Herpes simplex virus (Type 2)
Usually spread by sexual contact, the disease is characterized by skin rashes, itching and sores around the genital area.
Symptoms include fever, coughing and a spreading skin rash.
Caused by low-level viral infections, warts are smooth skin lesions. They may be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.

Bacterial Skin Problems

Bacterial skin problems are easier to treat than viral infections, because antibiotics usually provide an effective treatment. Examples include:

Folliculitis (Barber’s Itch)
Damaged hair follicles become infected with bacteria, resulting in skin rashes and pimples around the infected follicles. The infection can
A bacterial infection common to children, it is highly contagious and spreads easily. It causes itchy red skin lesions that crust over.

Skin Cancer

Three separate forms of skin cancer are recognized:

Basal cell cancer
The vast majority (80%) of all skin cancers are basal cell cancers that affect the upper layer of skin. Symptoms include new skin growths that bleed or don’t heal well. The skin lesions vary in color from white to brown, and may be flat or raised.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Comprises 16% of skin cancers, and attacks the mid-layers of the skin layer. Symptoms resemble those of basal cell cancer.
The rarest of the skin cancers (4-5% of all skin cancers), melanoma is also the most dangerous. It spreads rapidly, attacking the cells that produce pigment, or skin coloring. The color of melanoma skin lesions varies: they often have irregular borders, change shape and size, and sometimes bleed. Watch for changes to existing moles.

Fungal Infections

Microorganisms that live on the skin cause fungal infections. These microorganisms live off dead skin cells, and are usually not a problem, but under the right conditions they can reproduce rapidly, leading to fungal infection.

Athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot appears as an itching, burning skin rash on the feet or hands. Blisters often form, and the skin is red and inflamed.
Candida favors warm, moist areas, so often occurs under the armpits and in the genital area. The skin becomes inflamed and itches, and may develop red lesions or rashes.
Ring-shaped lesions or rashes appear on the skin. The lesions are itchy, and usually occur on exposed areas of the body, such as the inner arm.

Other Skin Disorders

Other skin problems include moles and birthmarks. Neither are health problems in and of themselves (although moles should be watched for changes that may indicate skin cancer). Birthmarks vary in size, color and location. Prominent birthmarks, particularly on the face, can cause people psychological distress.

Related Acne Archive Posts & Questions

2 thoughts on “Cant believe its not………..acne!

  1. Causes of Skin Disorders

    Causes of skin disorders range from sunburn and drug reactions to genetics and pregnancy. Many of the causes can be avoided with a little prevention, while others are more random in occurrence. Below are the most common causes of skin disorders.

    Skin Infections

    Skin infections have a viral, bacterial or fungal basis. Rashes caused by athlete’s foot, impetigo, and chicken pox all fall into this category. Bacterial and fungal skin infections are usually successfully treated with antibiotics and other medications. Viral skin infections must be combated by the body’s own immune system, although the symptoms associated with the infection can be treated. Skin disorders caused by infections may appear as rashes or other types of lesions such as pustules.

    Sun Exposure, Sunburn and Heat Rash

    Sunlight contains harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage the skin. Sunburn increases your chance of developing a skin condition, as does tanning and lengthy unprotected exposure to the sun. Skin cancer is the best known condition caused by sunburn and tanning. Premature aging of the skin also occurs with prolonged exposure to the sun.

    Certain drug reactions increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, thereby increasing the chance of sunburn or heat rash. A skin disorder called hyperpigmentation, where areas of skin become darker than the surrounding area, can be caused by unprotected exposure to sunlight. As hyperpigmentation may also be caused by drug reactions, excessive sun exposure while taking certain medications is ill advised.

    In hot, humid weather, prickly heat rash can develop. Staying cool and dry, wearing light, cool clothing and drying thoroughly after bathing are the best defenses against the irritating prickly heat of the heat rash pustules.


    Certain skin conditions occur more often during pregnancy. Almost 90% of pregnant women have temporary hyperpigmentation where naturally darker areas of pigmentation (such as freckles, scars, moles, and nipples) appear darker than usual. The condition slowly disappears after childbirth.

    Melasma, or the “mask of pregnancy” affects approximately 70% of all pregnant women. Skin pigmentation darkens in sun-exposed areas such as the face. The condition usually resolves itself after childbirth, but skin specialists recommend that pregnant women avoid excessive sun exposure to prevent the problem from worsening.

    Natural Irritants and Allergies

    Many temporary skin problems are caused by natural sources. Insect bites inflame and irritate the skin. Poison ivy and other irritating plants cause skin rashes, pustules and itching. Parasites such as lice and mites can cause extreme itching and discomfort.

    A food allergy can cause skin rashes, hives and even facial swelling. While the symptoms of a food allergy are often dramatic, tracking down the food that causes the allergic reaction can sometimes take time. If you suspect you have a food allergy, consult your doctor: allergy testing may be in order.

    Diaper rash is caused by exposure to urine and feces, allergies to disposable diapers, soaps and detergents, or by diapers that are worn too tightly or do not breathe. While most cases of diaper rash are mild and resolve in a day or two, more severe cases form painful pustules that cover the baby’s bottom, and may even result in a yeast infection. All cases of diaper rash should be monitored for potential secondary infection by bacteria or yeast.

    Drug Reactions

    Adverse drug reactions can cause rashes, hives, and swelling. As mentioned above, some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Notify your doctor of any skin problem that develops after you start a new medication.


    Finally, there are genetic propensities for skin conditions. People whose parents suffer from skin-affecting allergies may themselves be at increased risk of developing allergies. Acne has a hereditary pattern, as do some other common skin conditions.

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