Acne is one of the most common skin conditions people have. While acne can appear almost anywhere on the body, the nose is particularly prone. A person can prevent future breakouts on their nose by finding the cause and type of acne they have.

Acne vulgaris is characterized by blackheads or whiteheads. It is a chronic skin condition that happens when the hair follicles and their associated glands become swollen or blocked with oil.

Acne rosacea is a type of rosacea, a common skin condition that affects the face. People with rosacea experience redness of the skin that can be lasting or pass quickly.

Rosacea is often accompanied by pustules or small pimples with yellow or white centers, or papules, which are small, solid pimples or swellings without any pus.

Fast facts on nose acne:

  • Nose acne can be caused by either acne vulgaris or acne rosacea.
  • A good skincare routine can be key to helping prevent both types.
  • The exact cause depends on which type of acne is on the nose.

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Acne vulgaris causes whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, and pimples.

Due to similar symptoms, it is often difficult to tell the difference between the two types of nose acne.

Acne vulgaris is closer to stereotypical acne. It is related to the following:

  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • pimples
  • cysts

It is also likely that a person with acne vulgaris on the nose will notice it on other parts of the face and body.

Acne rosacea, on the other hand, is a subtype of rosacea and not related to acne types. It is also possible to have both acne vulgaris and acne rosacea.

One of the best ways to tell the two conditions apart is the presence of clogged pores. A person can check their nose for:

  • whiteheads
  • blackheads
  • pus-filled bumps
  • cysts
  • pustules

Acne rosacea is characterized by red, swollen, or inflamed skin. It will often start on the nose. And it can spread to nearby areas, such as the cheeks. It will not spread over the entire face or body. Often, the nose may appear enlarged.

Acne vulgaris is when the pores in the skin become clogged and trap bacteria.

The sebaceous glands support healthy skin by producing an oil-like substance called sebum. At times, these glands may produce too much sebum. Too much sebum can trap debris, such as dead skin or bacteria, in the pores.

The nose is particularly vulnerable because the pores in this location tend to be larger than elsewhere. The larger size makes it easier for debris to become trapped, leading to acne breakouts.

Some underlying conditions may also cause acne to form on different parts of the nose. Some examples include:

  • Digestive troubles: Often associated with the formation of acne on the tip of the nose.
  • Hormone fluctuations: These can lead to acne forming on the side of the nose.
  • Hair removal or blowing the nose: Under these circumstances, acne often occurs inside the nose.

Certain conditions make acne vulgaris outbreaks more likely. These include:

  • hormone fluctuations
  • Increased stress
  • a family history

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A dermatologist may prescribe medication to clear up severe cases of acne vulgaris on the face and nose.

Acne vulgaris may cause an inflammatory or noninflammatory response. These two responses require different treatments.

For inflammatory responses, nodes or cysts tend to form. This causes swelling around the nose and any other area that is affected. Often, over-the-counter and at-home solutions are sufficient to treat this type of acne vulgaris.

These treatments may include:

  • using a warm, wet washcloth to draw out oils
  • applying ice to reduce swelling
  • over-the-counter creams that contain benzoyl peroxide
  • pimple patches and swabs
  • medicated facial cleansers

For more severe cases of inflammatory acne vulgaris, a person may need to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe stronger medications to help clear up severe cases.

For non-inflammatory responses of acne vulgaris, it is often easy to treat with over-the-counter products and at-home remedies. Typically, the medication involved is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can help remove dead skin and remove excess oil.

Some products include:

  • creams
  • ointments
  • toners
  • scrubs
  • cleansers

These products help clear oils from the skin. In the process, they help clear the clogged pores and kill any trapped bacteria.

In general, a person should:

  • wash their face with gentle cleansers twice a day
  • use salicylic acid toners and creams to help clear pores
  • protect the skin from sun exposure
  • keep the skin moisturized
  • use a clay mask or other mask specific to acne prevention

Acne rosacea is not true acne, despite its name. Instead, it is a type of rosacea.

Rosacea is a skin condition that can cause redness and swelling in addition to acne-like breakouts. Acne rosacea is caused by inflamed blood vessels that become visible on the surface of the skin. The resulting redness may also form acne-like bumps on the skin.

Though acne rosacea causes acne-like bumps, it is not actually acne but is still often mistaken for what people usually know as acne.

Scientists are still uncertain what causes acne rosacea. However, the following are suspected of being risk factors or causes of rosacea:

  • a family history of rosacea
  • fair skin
  • an immune response to the bacterium Bacillus oleronius
  • personal history of Helicobacter pylori, a gut bacteria that can cause ulcers
  • a malfunction of a protein that normally protects the skin
  • reaction to the mites that live on everyone's skin

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A doctor may treat acne rosacea with medications such as antibiotics.

Unlike acne vulgaris, there are no over-the-counter or home remedies that have been proven as effective in treating or preventing acne rosacea.

As a result, a doctor will need to help a person treat their acne rosacea. This is typically done with medications, such as:

  • Brimonidine to reduce redness and swelling
  • antibiotics to help treat inflammatory acne
  • metronidazole acid
  • azelaic acid
  • isotretinoin

Also, a doctor may suggest alternative therapies. These may include:

  • dermabrasion
  • massage
  • meditation
  • laser therapy
  • microdermabrasion

In cases where a person has both acne vulgaris and acne rosacea, they should speak to their dermatologist about what is the best treatment plan. Typically, if both conditions occur together, a person should not use treatments for acne vulgaris unless directed to do so.

Nose acne can be a nuisance when it develops on a person's face. Depending on the type, it can be easy to treat with both at-home, over-the-counter, and prescription medications. Following good facial hygiene can help prevent future outbreaks.