Can You Have Acne and Rosacea?

Have you been faithfully using natural blemish treatment and other acne remedies but aren’t seeing much improvement to your skin? Sometimes those red bumps are associated with so-called acne rosacea rather than acne. While acne and rosacea manifest with similar symptoms, these are actually two different conditions that develop separately! To further complicate the situation, some people have both rosacea and acne. Curious to figure out whether you have rosacea or acne and how to treat these skin issues? You’re at the right place! 

Types of Blemishes

When comparing rosacea vs acne, consider the type of blemishes that typically appear on your skin. Acne usually manifests with various types of pimples, including blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. With acne, you may also notice clogged pores. On the other hand, rosacea usually causes small red bumps without blackheads or whiteheads. For typical acne, redness is limited to the blemish area, but rosacea is associated with redness that spreads across the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

Associated Symptoms

Besides blemishes, the only other symptom associated with acne is oily skin. However, people who have acne rosacea can experience:

  • Eye problems like irritation, swelling and redness
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Enlarged pores
  • Thickening of the skin in the nasal area
  • Extremely sensitive skin that may react to perfume, creams, sunscreen and other skin care products

Rosacea symptoms tend to flare up and then resolve over weeks or months. Often, symptom exacerbation is caused by taking blood pressure medication, spending time in the sun, using certain skin care products, experiencing stress or other difficult emotions, exercising, extreme heat or cold and/or consuming alcohol or spicy foods! With acne, breakouts are often associated with the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause.

Risk Factors

Although anyone can develop rosacea and/or acne, each of these conditions are more common among specific populations. Acne is most prevalent among preteens and adolescents, while rosacea typically arises after age 30. Typically more women than men experience rosacea, and smokers and people whose family members have rosacea are more likely to develop this skin issue. People with fair skin are at higher risk for rosacea, although both conditions occur amongst all people no matter their age, gender, or colour.


Rosacea and acne are diagnosed by a dermatologist after review of your symptoms and medical history. But don’t worry, acne usually clears up with skin care products like vegan face wash and topical acne treatments! Your dermatologist may prescribe prescription medications or lotions depending on the type of acne. 

Rosacea treatment relies on a combination of topical medication to reduce redness, light therapy to reduce the appearance of enlarged blood vessels and oral acne medications and/or antibiotics. Learning about the triggers and avoiding them for your symptoms is a major part of managing rosacea bumps! Individuals with both conditions can keep the skin healthy by wearing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when spending time outdoors.

To learn more about what acne rosacea is, talk to your dermatologist! They can determine whether your skin issues are caused by rosacea, acne or a combination of both conditions. With the right treatment, you can begin to control symptoms of both acne and acne rosacea!