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11 pores and skin bumps that seem like pimples however aren’t


11 pores and skin bumps that seem like pimples however aren’t

man with acne

  • Not all purple pores and skin spots are brought on by pimples.
  • Many different pores and skin circumstances can lead to bumps that seem like regular blemishes.
  • Some extra critical circumstances like staph infections and pores and skin most cancers may also seem like pimples.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories. 




Spotting a brand new blemish can put a damper on anybody’s day, however not each pores and skin bump is a pimple.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), pimples is brought on by blocked pores that become infected by bacteria. There are loads of pores and skin circumstances that mimic the feel and appear of pimples.

INSIDER consulted with dermatologists and medical doctors to determine a couple of of the most-common pores and skin bumps which will masquerade as pimples, however are literally one thing completely totally different.

SEE ALSO: 15 everyday things you’re doing that can ruin your skin

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Milia can seem like whiteheads.

One kind of pores and skin lesion that may mimic a pimple is a milia. These pale, raised dots frequently appear around the eyes, however milia may also present up on different areas of the pores and skin.

“Milia can seem like whiteheads, however they’re truly tiny keratin cysts that type in a pore. Since milia are encased underneath pores and skin, they will sit there for months bothering you until they’re extracted,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Heather Downes informed INSIDER.

Milia are innocent, however many individuals need to be rid of them for beauty causes. Dermatologists usually puncture the pores and skin with a sterile instrument after which use a instrument known as a comedone extractor to squeeze them out of the pores and skin. According to Healthline, chemical peels and topical retinoids may also be helpful in clearing away milia.

Rosacea could cause purple patches and bumps on the pores and skin.

Another situation that’s incessantly confused with pimples is rosacea. This continual pores and skin situation usually results in facial redness, visible blood vessels, and bumps.  

“Patients with rosacea have very delicate pores and skin. Their pores and skin will get simply irritated by daylight, chilly wind, and worsening pores and skin merchandise. As a consequence, their pores and skin can flip purple and type small. momentary pink bumps and pustules that seem like pimples, however are literally bumps of irritation,” defined Dr. Downes.

These bumps normally happen on the brow, nostril, cheeks, or chin and might final days. Unfortunately, Dr. Downes suggested that scrubbing or using acne medications on rosacea can inflame the skin more. It’s greatest to see a dermatologist to deal with rosacea, as there are topical drugs that may hold it underneath management. People with rosacea must also watch out about protecting their skin from the sun.

Periorificial dermatitis could cause “breakouts” across the nostril and mouth.

Periorificial dermatitis is a pores and skin situation that causes clusters of small, itchy, and generally sore purple bumps on the face. When the situation impacts the decrease half of the face, it could be identified by the extra particular time period of perioral dermatitis.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Bard informed INSIDER that’s mostly presents across the nostril and mouth and is usually linked to overuse of topical steroids. It can be triggered by inhaled prescription steroid sprays used in the nose and the mouth, some toothpaste, and heavy face moisturizers.

Normally, periorificial dermatitis will go away when you cease utilizing topical steroids or the irritating product. Sometimes dermatologists will also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as tetracycline or a topical antibiotic like metronidazole.


It’s simple to mistake folliculitis for physique pimples.

If you assume you’ve gotten physique pimples, it’s possible you’ll need to be certain that it isn’t truly folliculitis. This is a situation wherein normal hair follicles become inflamed or infected, leading to small purple bumps. It mostly happens on the chest, again, arms, and legs.

“The bumps seem like pimples, however when you look carefully, you will notice the sample follows hair your follicles. This situation is normally brought on by micro organism however can generally be brought on by yeast within the pores and skin,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jerome Potozkin informed INSIDER.

Prevention consists of showering after exercise or hot tub use to remove sweat and bacteria, in addition to utilizing mild antibacterial cleaning soap on affected areas. Treatment choices vary from topical antibacterial brokers and anti-yeast medicines to oral drugs. The AAD suggested that when you hold your immune system wholesome and cease doing no matter is inflicting the folliculitis, it will usually go away.

Sebaceous hyperplasia can seem like giant pimples.

Sebaceous hyperplasia takes the type of small bumps that grow in hair follicles with enlarged sebaceous glands. Though it’s technically thought of a tumor, sebaceous hyperplasia is completely innocent and never cancerous.

These benign growths usually seem reddish with a touch of yellow or white, Dr. Potozkin defined. They are usually inherited and most commonly appear on the face of older adults, although they will happen at any age.

If you need sebaceous hyperplasia handled, your dermatologist will likely use light electrocautery or laser vaporization to take away particular person lumps.

Molluscum contagiosum could cause doughnut-shaped bumps on the pores and skin.

Though pimples pimples are brought on by micro organism on the pores and skin, similar-looking lesions can truly be brought on by a viral an infection.

“Molluscum contagiosum is a viral pores and skin situation that may trigger doughnut-shaped pink or skin-colored bumps on the pores and skin. When small, these could also be confused with pimples,” Dr. Bard informed INSIDER.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists, molluscum contagiousum is brought on by a pox virus and can be spread from person to person through direct contact or sharing personal items like towels or garments. The situation is innocent and normally clears by itself, although in some folks this may increasingly take between six and 18 months.

Keratosis pilaris could cause small bumps on the pores and skin.

Keratosis pilaris is quite common pores and skin situation that causes small, hard bumps to appear on your skin like a rash. These bumps could make your pores and skin really feel like sandpaper.

“Some may mistake keratosis pilaris for pimples, but it surely’s a genetic situation that happens when the pores and skin does not exfoliate usually and the keratin blocks the pores, inflicting these tiny bumps,” Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, informed INSIDER.

The bumps brought on by keratosis pilaris are sometimes light-colored and have a tendency to crop up on the arms. Dr. Jaliman suggested that the situation can be treated using lotions that contain keratolytic agents such as salicylic acid. Keratolytic brokers trigger the outer layer of the pores and skin to loosen and shed, serving to to exfoliate areas affected by keratosis pilaris.

Your pimples is likely to be an allergic response.

Some pores and skin merchandise can clog pores and trigger pimples, however even many non-comedogenic merchandise could trigger rashes and allergic reactions that may seem like pimples.

“An allergic response might trigger purple bumps which will look just like pimples. An allergic response tends to itch, whereas pimples does not trigger itching,” defined Dr. Jaliman.

Dr. Jaliman suggested that individuals with delicate pores and skin should avoid products with fragrance, as it is a frequent supply of pores and skin sensitivity and pores and skin allergy. Preservatives used in makeup may also trigger allergic reactions, and a few folks could expertise pores and skin issues as a response to sure meals or allergens like pollen.

Chickenpox could cause a rash that appears surprisingly like pimples.

Chickenpox is a common infection that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Symptoms begin to develop round 10 to 20 days after publicity to the virus and usually embrace pores and skin bumps that look similar to physique pimples.

“Chickenpox is sort of generally mistaken for pimples. That is as a result of it causes an itchy rash together with small blisters which might be full of fluid,” Dr. Hardik Soni, emergency medication doctor and medical director of Ethos Spa, Skin, and Laser Center, informed INSIDER.

If you are liable to pimples in your physique, it’s possible you’ll mistake chickenpox for simply one other breakout. However, the virus will normally finally trigger fever, aches, and pains. Though the signs of chickenpox are normally worse in adults, the condition does normally resolve by itself in about a week without any special treatment. It could also be value visiting your physician anyway to verify a prognosis and get recommendation for assuaging your signs.

Staph infections can mimic pimples.

Staph infections are brought on by staphylococcus micro organism. These bugs are usually harmless and normally found on the skin of healthy people, however could cause an infection in the event that they discover their approach into open cuts or scratches.

Dr. Soni informed INSIDER that staph infections usually trigger pimple-like boils, bumps, and redness that may be simply mistaken for pimples. Unlike regular pimples, staph infections can course of to pus-filled blisters or giant patches of irritated pores and skin.

Though most staph infections are minor and will clear up on their own, some can result in life-threatening circumstances corresponding to septicemia or an an infection of the interior lining of the center. If you believe you studied you’ve gotten a staph an infection or have a pores and skin lesion that is not getting higher, head to your physician for a prognosis.

Some kind of pores and skin most cancers can seem like pimples.

One of probably the most alarming varieties of acne-mimickers is a sort of pores and skin most cancers known as basal cell carcinoma.

“Basal cell carcinoma is the commonest pores and skin most cancers and is commonly mistaken for a pimple. Pimples normally resolve over days to weeks. If as a substitute, it lasts a number of months, it’s best to see a board-certified dermatologist as it would must be biopsied to rule out pores and skin most cancers,” Dr. Downes suggested INSIDER.

The excellent news is that basal cell carcinoma is taken into account a low-risk pores and skin most cancers. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s only life-threatening in exceedingly rare cases.  

“The danger of it spreading within the physique is close to zero. It is simply regionally damaging to adjoining tissues,” defined Dr. Downes.

The typical therapy entails surgically eradicating the affected space. Even although basal cell carcinoma is not normally an aggressive kind of most cancers, it can result in scarring if left untreated for too long. Get any suspicious marks or bumps checked sooner moderately than later to catch pores and skin most cancers early.

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