Skip to main content

Acne vs. Rosacea

Acne and rosacea are two of the most common skin conditions out there. And because the painful, red bumps that characterize rosacea look a lot like acne, they’re often mistaken for each other. But, acne and rosacea — and the treatments for each — are very different.

Most Common Symptoms of Rosacea

  • Pimple-like breakouts
    But no blackheads.

  • Eye problems
    Including bloodshot eyes, red and swollen eyelids, problems seeing and discomfort.

  • Facial redness
    Near the central part of your face—cheeks, forehead, nose or chin. Redness may come and go or be permanent.

  • Visible blood vessels
    Caused by broken capillaries in the cheeks.

Most Common Symptoms of Acne

  • Presents as pimples
    Including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or deep, painful cysts.

  • Redness
    Occurs around breakouts only.

  • Oily T-zone
    Affecting the nose, chin and forehead.

  • Uneven skin texture
    Bumpy skin texture, due to blemishes and scars.

Woman with Rosacea
Not an actual patient. Individual results may vary.

The Signs of Rosacea

  • Rosacea typically occurs in the central region of the face, cheeks and nose, and sometimes occurs on the chin or forehead.
  • Rosacea typically begins as redness of the skin, and sometimes manifests with small, but visible, dilated blood vessels. Rosacea redness can also extend to the scalp, neck, chest and upper back.
  • Bumps and pimples may occur as inflammation increases, and the eyes may appear red or bloodshot. In more advanced cases of rosacea, the nose may become swollen from excess tissue. It’s important to note that rosacea may cause pimple-like breakouts without blackheads (pimples with blackheads are more likely acne).
  • People suffering from rosacea often report that their skin is extra sensitive, particularly in areas of redness.
  • Rosacea mostly affects adults in their 30’s. Although it affects people of all races and ethnicities, those with fairer skin are more likely to develop rosacea.
  • It is important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor or dermatologist.
Teen with acne
Not an actual patient. Individual results may vary.

The Signs of Acne

  • Acne is a common, chronic inflammatory disease, and more than 90% of the world’s population suffers from acne at some point in their lives.
  • Acne is characterized by a variety of skin lesions (whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules), but blackheads are typically the predominant form of skin lesions associated with acne.
  • Usually, acne causes the skin to become oily, especially on the forehead, nose and chin.
  • Acne can also cause skin redness that is localized around the major areas of skin breakouts. Bumpy skin texture due to blemishes or scars can also appear once acne clears. Acne typically affects the face, jawline, neck, upper back, chest and shoulders.
  • Cutibacterium acnes is the name of the bacteria that live on the skin and contributes to pimples and the production of acne. But, not all acne bacteria triggers pimples.
  • Acne affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities, but it mostly affects adolescents, teenagers and young adults.

Caring for Skin with Rosacea

People that suffer from rosacea are more likely to have dry, sensitive skin.  There are several ways to care for your skin throughout the day:

African American woman with Rosacea
Not an actual patient. Individual results may vary.
  • It is important to select a gentle facial cleanser that won’t remove all the moisture from their skin.
  • After cleaning and treating your face, it’s important to moisturize and protect it from the elements. Ask your dermatologist about the best lotions to soothe dry skin.
  • You can also nourish your skin at night while sleeping. Night creams helps retain natural moisture in your skin and protects it through the night. It will help strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier and won’t clog pores.
  • There are daily facial moisturizers that can also protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Find a Dermatologist

Rosacea Treatments

Rosacea symptoms can vary substantially from person to person, so treatment must be tailored by a dermatologist for each individual. Luckily, Galderma is a leader in skin health and proudly offers a range of treatments that alleviate the many symptoms of rosacea. For more information about Galderma’s rosacea treatment products, see below.

Bottle of Oracea (doxycycline, USP) Once-daily 40 mg Capsules

ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40mg* Capsules
Indicated for the treatment of only inflammatory lesions of rosacea.

Learn More

Soolantra (Ivermectin) Once-daily Cream, 1% tube and packaging

SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%
Indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea.

Learn More

Mirvaso (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33% bottle

MIRVASO® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%
Indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema.

Learn More

Galderma CareConnect Patient Savings Card

Instant Savings on Galderma Prescriptions

You may save on your prescription with the Galderma CareConnect Patient Savings Card.**

Learn More

Important Safety Information for ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg* Capsules

Indication: ORACEA Capsules are indicated for the treatment of only inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) of rosacea in adult patients. ORACEA Capsules do not lessen the facial redness caused by rosacea. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (>2%) in patients treated with ORACEA Capsules were nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, diarrhea, hypertension and aspartate aminotransferase increase. Warnings/Precautions: ORACEA Capsules should not be used to treat or prevent infections. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken by patients who have a known hypersensitivity to doxycycline or other tetracyclines. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, or during tooth development (up to the age of 8 years). Although photosensitivity was not observed in clinical trials, ORACEA Capsules patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. The efficacy of ORACEA Capsules treatment beyond 16 weeks and safety beyond 9 months have not been established. Click here to view the full prescribing information for ORACEA Capsules.

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads

Important Safety Information for SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%

Indication: SOOLANTRA Cream is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤ 1 %) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation. Click here to view the full prescribing information for SOOLANTRA Cream.

Important Safety Information for MIRVASO® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%†

Indication: MIRVASO Gel is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older. Adverse Events: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis. Warnings/Precautions: MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha‐2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. MIRVASO Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of MIRVASO Gel by children have been reported. Keep MIRVASO Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use. Click here to view full prescribing information for MIRVASO Gel.

†Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Select a Brand for Prescribing Information:

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads
†Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

**Galderma CareConnect is only available for commercially insured or uninsured patients. Patients who are enrolled in a government-run or government-sponsored healthcare plan with a pharmacy benefit are not eligible to use the Galderma CareConnect Patient Savings Card.