Unmasking the Secrets of Acne and Eczema: Causes and Solutions Revealed

As a child we often navigate a variety of fears but one that always stands out is the monster under the bed. A fear heightened by the youthful sense of the unknown. Through change in perspective, the growing of understanding of how the world works and the exposure to the right information and knowledge those fears evaporate into the thin air these monsters come from. However, new monsters appear again creating new fears and low self-esteem, ACNE and ECZEMA, but through the same principle of providing key information and shining light on these monsters to your skin, acne.org.za looks to evaporate those fears by providing the necessary tools and products.


The causes and where acne and eczema originate from play a crucial role in you as a person understanding what you are dealing with as well as how to proceed with the problems and fears acne and eczema bring. In order to grasp a hold of your fears and better your self-image, here are some reasons why you may have acne or eczema.

Causes of acne

The cause of acne ranges from a broad variety aspect related to skin, oil, hormonal balance, diet, medications, and stress. Exposure to certain bacteria and inflammation are also common causes of acne. The majority of acne cases are prevalent in the areas related to the face, chest, shoulders, and upper back as these areas have the most sebaceous (oil) glands. These oil glands, as they become filled with bacteria and sebum (oil), they cause acne through the development of whiteheads and blackheads. Pimples also manifest due to inflammation as hair follicles within the skin are blocked or bacteria-filled. Pimples caused by inflammation are the natural reaction of your immune system looking to fight bacteria or any follicles it believes to be a threat to your health. Acne is often set off by a change in hormone balance with regards to an increase in androgens especially during puberty but can occur due to medication, diet and/or stress. The androgens cause sebaceous (oil) glands to develop excess oil within the glands which leads to acne breakouts.

Causes of eczema-

Atopic dermatitis or eczema has a wide range of causes regarding the skin and has different symptoms which interlinked to the causes. Eczema and its grounds are linked to environmental factors, genetics, and the skin’s barrier function. Eczema is a condition often categorized by dry and itchy patches of skin. Usually, your skin’s ability, based on your genetic build-up, to fight against environmentally based contaminants such as allergies or bacteria is what cause your skin to have an adverse reaction. Your skin’s ability to also store and maintain the desired level of moisture also causes eczema. Allergies and constant exposure to certain types of make-up, lotions or moisturizers can cause eczema so it is extremely important for you to be weary of what you put on your skin. Identifying what the causes of the affect your skin is paramount to your skin’s health as well as reducing your exposure to the cause reducing the chance of eczema being prevalent on your skin.

Differences and similarities:

Eczema and acne often present themselves in similar sways as they both are skin conditions; however, they affect they have one the skin varies. Eczema often is linked to dryness, itching, swelling, certain blisters or bumps that look like zits. It is the blisters and bumps which are often mistaking as pimples, blackheads and nodules that link eczema and acne together. They both often occur at key stages of a person’s life like puberty whereby the change of the body’s characteristics increases the likelihood of these skin conditions occurring. Acne and eczema can appear in similar areas of your body, but acne majority of the time is linked to your facial area, back and neck whereas eczema occurs on more locations on your body. On your face eczema affects the upper areas of your cheeks as well as certain areas of your arms and legs whereas acne usually is limited to the central part of your face. You can therefore differentiate using location as well as the “feel” of the skin condition. Both often being read and irritated, you can distinguish using itchiness and whether the skin is bumpy or not. Acne is rarely itchy and often is bumpier than eczema in majority of cases as eczema can be seen as a more raised dry and itchy area of skin. Ensuring you know the similarities and differences helps you to be able to differentiate increases your understanding and hopefully helps you destress about the monster you are facing.

Tips that can help you to reduce and control eczema and acne flare-ups.

Now that we understand the causes, similarities, and differences in these monsters here are some ways that you yourself can fight theses monsters:

  •  Be gentle with your skin, the use of the correct products or soaps (*ahem* acne.org.za) whilst washing your face can positively affect the health of the skin on your face and reduce the chance of having flare-ups as it removes irritants as well as reduce any blocked skin oil ducts. Acne however is not caused by dirty skin so don’t destroy your skin with too many washes.
  • This one but a challenge but muster up the required strength and DO NOT SCRATCH THE AFFECTED AREA or POP THAT PIMPLE. We are not lying when we say you scratching is just making it worse, just by scratching you are agitating the skin more and increasing the chance of infection by opening the skin. This only can increase the chance of flare-ups and the amount of control the monsters have over your skin.
  •   Stay cool – the sun, especially during the time where exposure to UV rays is high, influences your skin so using the right products again (*ahem* acne.org.za) can negate the negative effects that exposure to environmental factors like the sun can have on your skin.
  •   Keep your skin moisturized (*ahem* We aren’t going to keep making the same product placement joke). Hydration of your skin can positively affect it and reduce dry skin which are often prevalent in eczema and prevent the chance that your pores become clogged with the irritants and allergens.
  •  STOP STRESSING. Having the right mindset and unwinding to create an outlook of calmness reduce flare-ups as hormones are not constantly fluctuating from the stress. So, whether you are in a high-stress environment, find ways to create opportunities for yourself to chillax try some meditation or read a book or another one of our articles, who knew.

Treatment and management of these monsters can be tricky but now that you know the causes, differences and similarities of acne and eczema and a few tips you can hopefully begin an informed journey alongside acne.org.za in fighting the skin condition monsters, ensuring that you are comfortable in your skin (pun intended). We encourage you to continue to have an open mind and build and expand your knowledge on acne and eczema positively and effectively.

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