Sudden acne breakout on one side of face. Is it acne?

I’m so glad you brought this up, because this may NOT be acne at all! If this is still active, please see your primary care doctor or dermatologist asap. I want to re-mention the following:

There are things that can look like acne breakout but aren’t acne!

  1. A staph infection on the face is much more likely to be one sided like that.
  2. Also, shingles can occur on the face and in the first few days look like a one-sided acne outbreak.
  3. There are some less common skin diseases too that can cause red bumps with pustules on the face.   Please see your doctor.
  4. A painful rash on the face always needs a medical evaluation.

Most acne and rosacea involves both sides of the face fairly symmetrically. One side might have a little more than the other side, but not usually a ton. The one-sided nature of yours suggests something else.

The good news to reassure you and others: if infections, or acne breakouts, or a rosacea flare, or shingles are caught reasonably early, they will usually heal without scarring. Worst case scenario, if a few scars do occur, they can often be blended and nearly hidden with either Co2 or a Fraxel Restore laser.

For more information on moles, lumps and bumps on the face (that are often confused with acne) see my resource article on it here.

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