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Unmasking Chronic Skin Conditions: A Guide to Accurate Diagnosis and Expert Care

Understanding the Differences Between Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis and Rosacea

As clinicians it is common for us to see patients who self-diagnose and try to self-treat their skin flare ups or irritations. However, according to our team of dermatology providers "Chronic skin conditions often require personalized care with both prescription and over-the-counter products. Working with a dermatology provider can help one gain control of their condition, feel confident in their skin, and reduce flare-ups."

For example, many patients think they have acne and look online for acne products, even high-potency acne products. But if your condition is actually rosacea, it is deeper than your skin and you will need the help of an expert. Similarly, treatment for deep acne breakouts, such as acne cysts, will require prescription medication.

Patients with chronic skin conditions may sometimes think that a change in their skin is just the manifestation of their condition when, in fact, it may be something new. To ensure that the patient is not developing skin cancer or another condition, getting a skin exam is recommended.

Chronic skin conditions often require personalized care with both prescription and over-the-counter products. - Megan Niemiec, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

What are common chronic skin conditions?

With any chronic skin condition, it can be hard to get the right diagnosis. Below are just a few examples of chronic conditions and their differences. However, your dermatologist or skincare clinician is specifically trained in making the right diagnosis.


Acne can appear at any time of life, but it is especially common in teens. Versus other conditions, oily skin, whiteheads and blackheads may be more present. Severity of acne can vary significantly from person to person.


Eczema often is the itchiest of chronic skin conditions.  Eczema skin is red and may be swollen. Eczema can often be triggered by allergies to household products, mold, pollen or foods.


Psoriasis can be itchy, but it may also cause stinging or burning sensations. Like eczema, psoriasis skin is red and swollen. But with psoriasis, the skin may also be more raised in appearance. Psoriasis is less likely to be triggered by an environmental allergy.


Generally, people with rosacea are over the age of 30. Also, unlike acne, people with rosacea can see symptoms on other parts of the body, such as the eyes or scalp. The skin may also show tiny blood vessels.

Do I have a chronic skin condition and what is it?

The differences between chronic skin conditions can be subtle to an untrained eye. Visiting a dermatology provider is crucial for accurately identifying and addressing chronic skin conditions. Skilled in the art of skin diagnostics, dermatology providers can discern subtle differences among conditions. Whether it's distinguishing between rosacea and acne, or pinpointing the underlying cause of persistent skin issues, a dermatology provider's expertise ensures tailored and effective treatment plans. Don't leave your skin health to chance; schedule a consultation with your dermatology provider today for personalized care, expert diagnosis, and a path to renewed skin confidence. Your journey to healthier skin begins with the guidance of a dermatology professional.

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