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Dr. Altman’s answer to “Getting rid of these scars, marks and rashes on my face?”

I want to preface my answer that it is very difficult to make a diagnosis or suggest a treatment without examining the patient in person. However looking at the photos, there is a rash and some ice pick scarring, probably from previous acne.

Usually if dermatologists cannot diagnose a rash, the next thing to do is to perform a small biopsy and send it to a pathologist for a diagnosis. Sometimes the rashes on the face can look very similar to each other.

The most common scaling red rashes on the face, similar to yours, can be

  • eczema (atopic dermatitis), which is related to allergies and hay fever
  • seborrheic dermatitis, a form of inflamed dandruff that usually goes together with flaking and itching of the scalp and sometimes midchest and midback.
  • psoriasis, which may be localized or generalized. When localized it may just affect the scalp, elbows and knees or be more wide-spread.
  • allergic contact dermatitis to something you are using on your face, like an acne medication, a wash, aftershave, etc. Sometimes the allergic reactions can be subtle and may require patch testing to figure out the cause.

There are other entities that could look similar, but would require a biopsy diagnosis.

I recommend a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist for a more definite diagnosis and treatment of the rash. As far as acne scarring is concerned, once your rash is under control, other treatments like fractional laser resurfacing can be explored for acne scarring. However, I do not recommend doing any cosmetic procedures, such as laser treatments, while there is an active rash present.

Disclaimer: Dr. Emily Altman and Advanced Skin Wisdom provides the content on this website solely for informational and educational purposes. Information provided on this website should not be considered medical advice and is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Communications to or from Dr. Altman and Advanced Skin Wisdom and any person will not be considered to establish a patient/doctor relationship.

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Disclaimer: The information on this Web site is solely for to educate patients. It is not intended to be medical advice and, therefore, should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Communications to or from the Summit Medical Group Web site and any person will not be used to establish a relationship between a patient and doctor.