• Mapping the Acne on Every Part of Your Face

    Mapping the Acne on Every Part of Your Face

    Got a pimple on your face? Some blemishes can't be easily removed with a killer cleanser or spot treatment before applying an acne cream to the entire face. These products can help target breakouts on a topical level, but not all acne is caused by oily skin and clogged pores. Acne in certain areas may indicate an underlying health or lifestyle issue that will only resolve after the problem is resolved. Mapping a dubbed face is a practice that has been done for thousands of years and has evolved over the ages, but many dermatologists still rely on it to diagnose the best treatment.

    If the eyes are the window to the soul, then consider your face the window to your health. Mapping the face for acne divides the face into zones that correspond to specific medical or lifestyle triggers, says Claire Chang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. It comes from ancient Eastern medicine and suggests that a person's skin may be a reflection of their inner health. Imbalances in the body were thought to cause skin rashes, with certain areas of the face representing specific organs. Recently, modern facial mapping has evolved to include more scientific and evidence-based causes of acne outbreaks.

    Are you interested? Us too. However, you need to practice with a grain of salt. According to Dr. Chan, facial mapping may help point out some possible triggers, but it is far from a universal rule that works for everyone. Facial mapping can be used as one tool in the toolbox of acne diagnosis and treatment, but it should not be viewed as an absolute certainty. Rather, the whole patient needs to be taken into account. Genetics, hormones, diet, lifestyle, and environmental triggers also play an important role.

    If breakouts always appear in the exact same place on the face, we've put together the latest acne face mapping guide, combining the best of Eastern medicine and dermatologist-confirmed statistics. Keep scrolling to find out how to best diagnose a spot based on its location.

    1. Forehead

    In Chinese medicine, the forehead is associated with the digestive system," says Dr. Chang. "Breakouts in the forehead area are said to represent digestive imbalances such as poor diet, improper digestion, and irritable bowel syndrome." Replace caffeinated and overly processed drinks with some H2O to flush out toxins and aid digestion. If you have bangs or naturally oily hair, you can also wash your hair more often, avoiding dark hair oils. According to Dr. Chan, dirty hair can aggravate sweat and oil that clog pores, thereby worsening the occurrence of acne on the forehead. Wearing hats or caps that cover the head can trap bacteria in the area, triggering a rash.

    2. Temples

    According to ancient Chinese maps, temples correspond to the kidneys and bladder. Infections and inflammation in these areas can manifest as acne, so you should monitor your consumption of alcohol in addition to highly processed and greasy foods. If you still find your temples flaring up, consult your doctor to see if more intensive medication is needed.

    3. Cheeks

    Acne near the tops of the cheeks is associated with the respiratory system, so if you frequently walk in the city or drive with the windows open, you need to pay special attention to cleansing your face. Try employing an air purifier or some air cleaning plant in your home. On the other hand, Dr. Chan said you may also want to look into possible environmental triggers in your lifestyle, such as dirty pillowcases, bed sheets, and cell phone cases. With so many things touching our cheeks every day, cleaning the items around us can help reduce the chance of new acne forming.

    4. Chin/jaw

    Acne on the chin is indicative of hormonal imbalance, which is the biggest instigator of blemishes we are all familiar with. According to Dr. Chan, hormonal pruritus tends to be cyclical and worsens with menstrual periods and menopause. This is because the relative levels of androgens are higher than estrogen. Excess androgens stimulate the production of more oil in the skin, causing clogged pores and breakouts. Do your best to maintain a regular sleep schedule Eat a healthy diet to temper the fickle hormones, but if chin acne persists, you may want to consult a dermatologist or OB/GYN to see if birth control or spironolactone can help.

    5. Hairline

    Acne on the hairline suggests certain hair and skin care products as triggers, says Dr. Chan. Acne on the hairline is sometimes referred to as pomade acne. Pomade is a thick, oily product that clogs the pores and causes acne outbreaks. If most of your acne is clustered around the edges of your head, it is best to stop using oil-based hair care products and switch to non-comedogenic alternatives such as shampoo and conditioner. SEEN's fragrance-free hair care line, which was developed by a dermatologist, is free of sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, dyes, gluten, and anything else that might clog pores.

    6. Nose

    Ah, those pesky nose pimples. The nose has more sebaceous glands than any other part of the face, making this area the most prone to breakouts. Thoroughly cleanse and use a skin care product that works to unclog pores. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, this helps to normalize the metabolic turnover of skin cells and reduce inflammation. In Chinese facial mapping, nose acne is also associated with the liver and kidneys, so it may be worth double-checking with your doctor to see if you have high blood pressure or liver dysfunction. If that seems to be the case, try cutting back on after-work happy hours and consumption of overly spicy food (sorry, Sriracha lovers).