Many times, the only way to know the difference between normal acne and an allergic reaction is by noting any other symptoms you may be having and by the duration of the bumps. You may find it very difficult to recognize pimples as an allergic reaction, especially if you have acne to begin with, because the conditions can look very similar. The appearance of the bumps may also indicate one or the other, since pimples are more likely to have a whitehead at the tip. Hives may be lighter in color around the edges, and they often protrude from the skin less than pimples.
An allergic reaction will not typically cause actual pimples, but allergies can lead to hives and similar skin irritation.Pimples are usually caused by clogged pores or bacterial infection. They are red and often have a white center, or "whitehead." This whitehead is actually pus inside the pimple and is created as part of the body's immune response. Hives don't typically have a white center, and they are often flat on the top whereas acne pimples can sometimes be pointed in shape.
What most people mistake as pimples from an allergic reaction are usually actually hives. One way to tell the difference between the two is the duration the bumps last. Hives usually appear quite suddenly and then disappear within a day. Sometimes hives may clear up within just a few hours. Pimples, on the other hand, will usually appear slowly and may begin as a feeling or soreness under the skin. The length of time a pimple will last depends on how large it is and whether or not anything is done to get rid of it, but acne pimples can last for several days at a time.
You may also be able to diagnose pimples as an allergic reaction by the way they feel. Allergy-related bumps are often itchy and they may be accompanied by swelling. Acne is often painful or sore, although sometimes you may not feel anything other than the bump itself. An allergic reaction may also be accompanied by other symptoms, whereas acne usually isn't. Other allergy symptoms may include coughing, stuffy nose, sneezing,watery and itchy eyes, wheezing, phlegm production, swelling, and trouble breathing.
If you have been around something commonly associated with allergies, this may explain your pimples as an allergic reaction. Most times you can treat your allergy symptoms using over the counter medication. If you are experiencing swelling or shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention right away.