Struggling with both eczema and acne can make skincare feel like a huge hurdle. Both are inflammatory skin conditions that can cause unsightly marks, so it’s also possible to confuse one for the other.
However, eczema and acne have different causes and therefore different treatments. Luckily there are some overlaps in the kinds of treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to treat both conditions.
What Causes Acne?
Acne can be painful and irritating and persistent acne can lead to emotional distress. It can appear on the face, back, and chest and typically presents as:
- Small red bumps
- Large solid painful bumps
- Pus-filled lumps
The cause of acne is blocked pores. Pores become blocked by oil, bacteria, and dead skin. Within each pore, there is also a hair follicle and an oil gland. The pore becomes blocked either from an accumulation of bacteria and build-up or because the follicle is over-producing oil.
What Causes Eczema Flare-Ups?
What causes eczema flare-ups can differ for everyone. Eczema is a type of dermatitis that causes itchy, dry, and inflamed skin. Eczema flare-ups can be caused by any of the following:
- Dry skin
- Irritants (including smoke, metals, fragrances, antibacterial ointments, as well as certain common ingredients like formaldehyde, Cocamidopropyl, isothiazolinone, or paraphenylenediamine)
- Harsh Soaps
- Pet Dander
Eczema skincare treatments such as topical steroid cream, and calcineurin inhibitors can help prevent acne outbreaks.
How to Treat Eczema and Acne Skin
When you are suffering from both inflammatory skin conditions, there are a few good options for both. For starters, salicylic acid is a great resource for treating both acne and eczema. While the term “acid” may make it sound quite harsh, salicylic acid can be quite gentle in concentrations between 0.5 and 5 percent.
Salicylic acid softens the skin keratin which can help to loosen the dry skin accumulating from eczema. For acne, salicylic acid unclogs pores, removes dead skin cells, and slows the shedding of new skin cells which can lead to breakouts.
As well, both acne and eczema can cause scars or hyperpigmentation. These issues can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Dermatologists can help with eczema and acne treatment either with laser resurfacing, micro-needling, chemical peels, or another solution that best suits your skin needs.
How Lifestyle Changes Can Help with Acne and Eczema
The other commonality shared by both acne and eczema is that lifestyle factors can play a big role. Like with any inflammatory skin condition, stress is known to exacerbate both acne and eczema. This is why it is important to exercise, get enough rest, practice mindfulness, and speak to a professional when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Diet can also play a role in triggering acne and eczema flare-ups. Sugar and alcohol can make things worse, whereas getting good nutrients and plenty of probiotics can improve inflammation. Both skin conditions also fare best when they aren’t overloaded with products, however daily SPF is a must.
If you are coping with both acne and eczema, it can also help to reach out for professional help. The top-rated dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology, PC are available at any of our 50+ locations, so feel free to book an in-person or virtual appointment today!