Difference Between Acne and Eczema (With Table)

Acne and Eczema, both are skin-related issues that are quite unrelated to each other. Although they are very much different from each other yet their symptoms are quite common, thus it becomes difficult to guess if you have Acne or Eczema. It’s even possible that you have both.

Acne Vs Eczema

The main difference between Acne and Eczema is that Acne is the reason why pimples occur, on the other hand, Eczema causes a red or discolored bumpy rash which is quite similar to pimples in looks. The causes and treatments of both are different and it appears in different parts of the body.

Difference Between Acne and Eczema

When your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells, then you can have acne which causes blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. Acne is common in teenagers although it affects people of all age groups. Pimples and bumps occur consistently and heal slowly. Treatments are available for Acne and that too proves to be effective.

Eczema which is also known as Atopic dermatitis is quite common among children but people of every age can get affected by it. Although the main causes of Eczema are not clear while genetics, immune system, and environmental factors play an important role. It is caused by a skin barrier, the area which does not retain enough moisture.

Comparison Table Between Acne and Eczema

Parameters of Comparison Acne Eczema
ItchingAcne doesn’t cause itchingEczema causes itching
Conditions of skinAcne comes up as spots on oily skinEczema comes as itchy patches on dry skin
CureThere is a cure for AcneThere is no cure for Eczema
CauseAcne is caused due to hormonal changesEczema is caused by allergens irritants in the environment
Immune systemAcne is not triggered by an immune system responseEczema is triggered by activating the immune system

What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of age group 11 to 30. It can happen anywhere in the face, forehead, nose, chest, upper back. Acne happens when pores of our skin become blocked by hair, sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells, and then these blockages cause’ pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, nodules. Acne affects teenagers due to hormonal changes driven by androgen hormones, but it also affects adults. Acne could be mild as well as moderate and severe.

Other factors which are responsible for the cause of acne are using oily personal care products, air pollution, high humidity, menstruation, stress, genetics, medications, and many other factors too. There are studies that even particular foods and diets are also responsible for the cause of acne-like skim milk, whey protein, and diets high in sugar.

It’s better to get diagnosed with Acne as soon as possible because acne is quite persistent and irritating causing anxiety and breakdowns. When you go to a dermatologist, he/she will ask your family history or menstrual cycles in the case of women and teenage girls, about your diets and other things.

Depending upon the type of acne and its severity, the dermatologist will suggest non-prescriptive medicines depending upon your age and conditions. It is quite effective. As we know that prevention is better than cure, so you can also take preventive steps like washing your face regularly with a cleanser or using good products which is not too oily and eating a balanced diet.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is common among children, which makes the skin red and itchy too. It appears periodically and is long-lasting, accompanied by hay fever and asthma. Eczema is also known as Atopic dermatitis. Its symptoms differ from person to person. The symptoms are dry skin, itching which is severe, red to brownish patches on hands, wrists, feet, ankles, eyelids, knees, elbows, face, neck, etc., also small bumps, scaly and swollen skin.

It is advisable to seek immediate medical assistance if the condition becomes so severe that it is affecting sleep and other daily activities, infection becomes severe, continuous signs of symptoms even after trying basic home remedies.

Although there is no cure for Eczema you can still take preventive steps like moisturizing your skin at least two times a day with creams, ointments, and lotions. Avoiding triggers and exposure to those triggers that can worsen your condition. Taking shorter baths and that too with lukewarm water and taking bleach bath which helps in preventing flares. Use gentle soaps and dry skin with a soft towel by just damping your skin.

Main Differences Between Acne and Eczema

  1. Acne is categorized as non-inflamed or inflamed pigmentations or disturbances in normal skin color whereas Eczema is considered as inflammation in the epidermal layer.
  2. Acne is a skin disease whereas Eczema is the result of the disease condition.
  3. In Acne, there is over-secretion of sebum(oil) by the sebaceous glands, whereas in Eczema our skin does not produce as much oil as it should, it makes our skin dry.
  4. There is no itchiness in Acne, but the itchiness level in Eczema is too severe and it becomes very uncomfortable to even perform daily activities.
  5. There is a role of hormones in Acne whereas there is no link between hormonal imbalance and eczema.  
  6. When it comes to neonatal acne which appears in the first 6 weeks of life, it appears as white pimples or as red spots whereas eczema appears as red and weepy. If the condition gets worse in neonatal eczema then, it develops a yellow crust or small lumps which contain pus.


Acne and Eczema both are skin-related issues and cause discomfort, anxiety, and irritation at the next level. While you may suffer from acne and eczema, and they might appear similar to you to great extent but remember that both are different and so their treatment. Acne causes pimples, while the rash caused in eczema is often confused with acne but they both are not similar. They both require different medications. Also, it’s always better to use preventive measures for skin-related issues. Use the right products, eat well, take good care of your skin and seek help as soon as your condition gets worse.


  1. https://cdn.mdedge.com/files/s3fs-public/Document/July-2018/CT102001044.PDF
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1976.tb05162.x