Skin Conditions That Look Like Acne.

Date: Nov 2017

Spots and acne are very common, but there are some other conditions that can cause very similar symptoms. Sometimes a red spot or bump is caused by something completely different. If you aren’t sure what is wrong, you should seek advice from a skin specialist at the London clinic. Your dermatologist will be able to provide a diagnosis and advise on treatment for acne or other skin conditions.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

One of the most serious conditions that can be confused with acne is basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that typically appears as a small pink bump on the skin. It can be easy to mistake this for a spot at first, but a BCC won‘t just go away by itself. If the bump lasts more than a few weeks, keeps getting bigger or starts to bleed, it could be a BCC rather than a spot. It is important to get any unusual lumps and bumps checked by a skin specialist at the London clinic, just in case it is a BCC or another type of skin cancer that needs to be removed before it can spread.


Rosacea is often confused with acne because it causes patches of redness on the face that are often associated with small, pus-filled red bumps. However, rosacea can also cause dryness and itchiness. Keeping the skin moisturised and avoiding triggers such as hot baths can help relieve the symptoms.

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections in the skin or hair follicles can also cause spot-like symptoms that are easy to confuse with acne. They come in different forms, but are usually easy to treat with anti-fungal medication.
  • Tinea versicolour can cause patches of lighter or darker skin, which can appear to be a breakout of spots
  • Pityrosporum folliculitis appears as small, spot-like bumps on the chest and back

Perioral Dermatitis

If your skin specialist at the London dermatology clinic has prescribed a steroid cream, one of the potential side effects is perioral dermatitis. This causes small acne-like bumps around the eyes, nose and mouth. The bumps can last for a long time, but changing your medication can help prevent more from appearing.

Did you know?

Most moles are not a cause for concern and present a purely cosmetic problem. However, moles can occasionally undergo changes that lead to them becoming cancerous.

Acne is a common condition characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. It affects the greasy and hair-bearing areas such as the face, chest and back.

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