There’s nothing more disheartening than waking up to yet another breakout on your face. If this isn’t the first time you’re experiencing it and find yourself reaching for an over the counter pimple treatment that doesn’t work, you might not be experiencing a run of the mill breakout but rather a skin allergy or newly developed skin condition. Here’s how you can tell the difference between them all so you can be better prepared the next time it happens – just look out for these physical symptoms, all of which can indicate your ‘acne’ is being caused by something else:

  • The symptoms have spread beyond your face
  • You’ve recently started using a new skincare product
  • You’ve recently made a dramatic change in your diet through food or supplements
  • You have hives (itchy flat bumps) instead of pimples (often painful, raised and with a whitehead or blackhead)
  • The symptoms aren’t responding to your usually effective acne treatment
  • You’re also experiencing a blocked nose, watery and itchy eyes, throat irritation and coughing and other symptoms usually associated with an allergy.

If you suspect your acne is something else, your best bet it to cut out all recently introduced supplements and beauty products and use a mild soap and moisturiser. Your skin should start calming down in a day or two. If the bumps persist, it mightbe caused by prescription medication, environmental irritant or something more serious. There are also many distinctive skin conditions that mimic the appearance of acne but aren’t. This includesRosacea and in very rare cases Basal Cell Carcinoma.

In all these cases, we recommend seeking assistance from your local dermatologist. It’s better to be sure of what you’re dealing with, and they’ll help you pinpoint the exact cause of your skin troubles so that you can treat them. It’s always better to seek out professional advice. After all, you don’t want to risk permanently damaging your skin when the underlying cause could be easilyand simply treated.