Everybody wants to feel and look good. Feeling good happens on the inside while looking good is about what people see on the outside. Feeling and looking good manifests outwardly as confidence, which actually exudes from the inside. In the present world, looking good is associated with having perfect, flawless and glowing skin tones and complexions. Blemishes and acne are flaws that affect this perfect, flawless and glowing skin tones that should come naturally as one was created.

Acne and blemishes are both types of inconsistencies on the skin of an individual. Although all acne can be classified to be blemishes, not all blemishes are actually acne. Acne can be classified as a disease while blemishes are just a disorder and not considered to be a medical condition. The medical term for acne is ‘acne vulgaris’. The word acne itself is derived from the word acme which means ‘highest point’ and is in turn derived from the Greek word “acme” whose meaning is ‘spot’ or ‘point’.

1. Appearance

The first difference between the two is their manifestation. Acne is manifested as pustules, whiteheads, blackheads, papules and cysts. Pustules are small pimples that have pus at the top. Whiteheads and blackheads are open or closed comedones which are actually clogged hair follicles that are either open or closed. Papules are bumps on the skin while cysts are deep-seated pimples in the skin and are painful. Blemishes, on the other hand, manifest as skin discoloration. This results in having different levels of pigmentation on varied parts of the skin, inflammation that is accompanied by redness, bumps on the skin surface and visible veins near the skin surface among others. Where they occur is also a major point of departure between the two. Acne is commonly found on the face, back and upper chest. Only in severe cases does acne spread past these primary sites. Blemishes, on the other hand, can occur almost anywhere on the body. An initial appearance of skin discolouration or bumps on the legs is therefore not likely to be acne.


Another difference between them is what causes them. Acne mostly results in excess oil production, which is known as sebum that leads to inflammation of the skin. The cause of acne is mostly said to be associated with the male hormone androgen. Acne is mostly prevalent in teens going through puberty but can be found in older people too. The causes for the blemishes, on the other hand, are varying. Some can occur naturally while others can be caused by an underlying condition such as a disease. The general causes of blemishes include; environmental factors such as over exposure to the sun, not taking adequate care of the skin by taking insufficient amounts of water, reactions caused by cosmetic products and hormonal causes. Medicines may also cause a side effect of blemishes.

3. Treatment

As the causes for acne and blemishes are different, their treatment also differs. Treatment for acne involves prescription of topical creams, administration of oral antibiotics for more severe cases such as where cysts are present and using skin care products containing active ingredients fighting acne. There are new acne products in the market that are said to be good for acne. One can also be administered with hormonal treatments such as family planning drugs depending on the dermatologist’s assessment.

Blemishes, on the other hand, are treated depending on the cause. If a disease is determined to be the cause, doctors will administer drugs to fight the disease. Blemishes caused by other superficial causes such as sunburns can be resolved by methods appropriate to treat each case. For both blemishes and acne, one is advised to visit a doctor for them to determine the cause and advice on treatment to avoid misdiagnosis.

4. The similarity

A similarity between blemishes and acne is that they both affect an individual’s wellbeing. This occurs by mostly causing them self-esteem issues as they may feel less beautiful or even be told that they are not good looking.

This directly affects an individual’s confidence. To counter this, individuals are advised to go see a doctor over any skin condition for early resolution as research shows that continued periods of disease may cause depression. In addition to this, seeing a counselor is also advised for guidance on how to accept chronic conditions and generally maintain mental wellness when going through episodes of having skin conditions.


Blemishes and acne are both conditions that affect the skin. They appear as pimples, inflammation or colour change among other manifestations. The two are however different in many ways ranging from where they occur on an individual’s body to what causes them. Blemishes are not considered to be a disease but may be caused by an underlying disease. Acne, on the other hand, is a disease.

Acne is mostly found on the back, face and upper chest unless in severe cases where it is found on the rest of the body while blemishes can occur everywhere on the body. The two also have different causes. Despite all the differences, the two can cause a person to have self-esteem issues hence it is advised to visit a doctor and a counselor.




Author's Bio: 

Sara Biston, a freelance article writer by profession. She has written numerous articles, online journals on health disorders, workouts, exercise and diet plans. She is also passionate about beauty and fitness. She has 6 years of experience in health and medical writing for beauty and medical communication industries. She also holds an education in Psychology that complements her belief of inner health. Her mantra is "Change your life by changing your mind. Today is a new day!"