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Thread: Yet another question about Papulopustular Rosacea vs. Acne

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Country: Canada

    Default Yet another question about Papulopustular Rosacea vs. Acne


    I'm a 37 year old male and my GP diagnosed me with Rosacea about a year ago. I noticed bumps on my face and when I first saw my GP, he diagnosed me in literally 10 seconds...My face wasn't even bad at the time...just a few bumps. I have mild redness, I never flush when exercising or eating spicy food and no visible blood vessels.

    The pustules have worsened over the past year and it's now fairly relentless. Like many people here, I've spent countless hours researching online and trying everything under the sun. Nothing seems to work consistently.

    While I don't want to spend too much time second guessing a doctor's diagnosis, on my most recent visit when I asked him how one would differentiate P&P Rosacea vs. Acne, he just said 'oh it's obvious when you see it', and provided no other detail. I've read these forums with great interest on threads that have posed the same question, although I still don't seem to be clear about how to differentiate.

    What's unique (or maybe not so unique, but I haven't read it anywhere), is that my pustules or acne or whatever it is, generally seem to manifest in the exact same spots on my face. It's only these same spots where real trouble seems to occur. And I don't mean generally the same area, I mean precisely the same spots.

    The way my flare ups re-occur in these spots is leading me to think it might not be Rosacea but acne. Am I wrong in this way of thinking? If it was Rosacea, wouldn't there be more randomness to where flare ups occur? I'd love to hear about the communities thoughts and experience here. Deep down I think I know I have Rosacea but perhaps I'm 'hopeful' (strange choice of word) that it's 'just' acne as I feel the latter would be easier to treat over time.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012


    You can have both rosacea and acne. Here is the best way to figure out what you have:

    • Papules (non-poppable bumps)
    • Pustules (poppable bumps where only pus comes out, nothing else)

    Sebaceous hyperplasia
    • Non-poppable bumps with a specific look that is indented in the middle

    Sebaceous hyperplasia

    • Poppable bumps where pus comes out and often a small yellow seed. That yellow seed is hardened sebum.


    Keratosis Pilaris
    • Poppable bumps where stringy, cheese-like substance comes out. That is keratin.

    Hope that helps.

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