Diagnosing the Cause of Breakouts

Skin breakouts can be one of the most frustrating dermatological issues. They often affect the facial region, which means they are highly visible. It’s often thought that acne is the only cause of skin breakouts. But actually, a dermatologist might diagnose a patient with other skin issues such as folliculitis, impetigo, or boils. 


Many people who think they are suffering from an acne breakout are actually experiencing folliculitis. This common skin condition can mimic the look of acne with its small, red bumps. However, it’s actually caused by the inflammation of the hair follicles. This may be the result of a bacterial or fungal infection. The bumps tend to occur in clusters. They may be filled with pus, which might break open and then crust over. Some people report itchy, burning skin that feels tender to the touch. There are different types of folliculitis. Most cases are mild, but complications can sometimes occur. Talk to a dermatology specialist about your treatment options. 


Impetigo is a very contagious skin condition that causes crusty red sores. The patients, who are usually infants and children, develop these red sores primarily around the mouth and nose. Although the appearance of the red sores is understandably alarming for parents, impetigo usually doesn’t cause severe itching or soreness. Impetigo is a bacterial infection that can spread through direct or indirect contact. For example, someone might contract the infection by touching infected objects. Rarely, complications can occur. 


Boils are another type of skin infection. They can look like oversized pimples or spider bites. Boils are reddish to purplish with a white head. They are caused by staph bacteria that enter the opening around a hair follicle. Boils can be itchy and painful, and some people report experiencing fatigue. 

You’ll find compassionate, patient-centered care for all of these skin issues and many others at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology. Our board-certified dermatologists in Salt Lake City are dedicated to helping each of our patients enjoy healthy, beautiful skin. You can request our next available appointment by calling our friendly office staff at (801) 266-8841. 

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