Itchy Red Skin! Is It Rosacea, Acne, or Something Else?

Pruritus, or itchy skin, can be caused by a variety of reasons – and it can oftentimes be frustrating to figure out what causes it and how best to treat it.

Most cases of itchy skin are caused simply by dry skin, which is easily resolved by using a good moisturizer or lotion. If your skin appears flaky or super dry, try using a lotion to see if that cures your itchiness.

Another culprit of red skin is acne. While acne doesn’t usually itch, it may itch when the blemish is healing, and the skin around the blemish is drying out, depending on what spot treatment you are using. Avoid picking at the skin/area while it is healing as this can cause scarring.

Rosacea is a common condition that causes redness and itching of the face. Sometimes mistaken for acne, rosacea can include the presence of pustules and pimples. One key difference is that no blackheads or whiteheads will form with rosacea. It is believed by experts that abnormalities in the blood vessels of the facial skin cause the flushing – or redness – that appears with this condition.  Exposure to sunlight can cause rosacea to flare up even more.    Blood vessels, as the condition progresses, can cause blotchiness as well as the presence of “spider veins” on the face where the blood vessels are visible and swollen. Moisturizers can help the itchiness and there are prescription creams and treatments that can help reduce the redness.

Eczema is another cause of itchy red skin on your face, or anywhere on your body. It will often appear as a patch of irritated, itchy skin – and you may assume it is just dry skin. If lotion or moisturizers do not help with the itchiness, it is time to seek alternate treatments as you may be suffering from eczema. Eczema is triggered by an irritation to something in your environment or something your skin came in contact with. Over-the-counter anti-itch creams can help reduce the amount of itchiness you are experiencing, but they do not usually cure the problem.

If you have itchy skin that last for more than two weeks without relief, it is time to seek medical help.  Our dermatologists will properly identify your skin condition, help you navigate the course of treatment, and provide support to you as needed whether it be as simple as dry skin or as complex as rosacea.  If you are suffering from red, itchy skin, call an office near you to schedule an appointment today!

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.