All The Things Your Acne Is Trying To Tell You About Your Health

Acne can be the bane of your existence, whether you're a teen going through awkward changes or you're well into adulthood. Sometimes, there's more to your pimples than meets the eye - and what acne can tell you about your body is pretty amazing.

Our bodies have strange ways of telling us what is going on internally. Everything from our ear wax to acne can give us insights on our overall health. Many people opt to treat acne with specific cleansers, essential oils, and dietary changes - which can all assist in fighting acne - but knowing the facts about acne and its internal causes can help get you on the path to clearer skin faster. 

Acne facts may appear simple, but what's happening behind the scenes is far from it. Many factors, such as diet, allergies, and stress can trigger acne on different places of your face and body. Spicy foods can cause breakouts on your nose, and allergy season can prompt zits to pop up on your cheeks. Even your nightly glass or three of wine could be giving you less than perfect skin. And if your work schedule has been insane lately, feel free to blame your acne on your boss - stress is definitely a major cause of breakouts. 


  • Your Nightly Wine Habit Could Be Giving You Acne Between Your Eyebrows

    The area between the eyebrows is called the "wine and dine" area for a reason: acne here is linked to the liver. It could mean you've been hitting the bottle a little too often or indulging in some late night fatty snacks. 

    Breakouts in your T-zone are also linked to the liver, so lay off the alcohol and greasy foods if you're seeing zits pop up here. You may have noticed alcoholics often have a red nose - this connection to the liver is why. 

    Alcohol can lead to acne through more than your liver, though. Regular alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, dry out your skin, and lead to a buildup of toxins - all of which can lead to a nasty hangover and a few new whiteheads in the morning.

  • What You Eat Can Affect Acne On Your Forehead, Nose, And Chin

    If you've been driving through your favorite fast food restaurant or indulging in late-night snack binges, acne may pop up on your forehead. The forehead is associated with the stomach and bladder, so acne here could be a sign you need to drink more water and up your fruit and veggie intake. Bitter herbs and enzymes can help, as forehead pimples can also mean you're having trouble breaking down food. 

    Zits on your nose are linked to digestion and the liver, so breakouts in this area mean you should lay off the booze for a bit and avoid spicy foods. Increase your daily intake of leafy greens to give your skin a hand. 

    Though acne on the chin is usually linked to hormones, the chin is associated with the large intestine as well; your acne here could be an indication of a food allergy. 

    Before you ban chocolate and fast food from your diet, remember the glycemic index of a food is what dictates how it affects your skin. The higher a food rates on the glycemic index, the worse the potential for acne is. Look for chocolate with a higher cacao percentage for a sweet treat that won't wreck your face. Though there's also evidence suggesting chocolate and greasy foods don't cause breakouts, no one can deny a healthy diet can lead to better skin. 

  • Pollen Can Cause Acne On Your Cheeks

    You may be used to developing allergy symptoms in the spring, but have you noticed an uptick in acne around the same time? Acne on your cheeks is associated with your lungs, and it can flare up in the spring.

    Pollen isn't the only thing that can affect your lungs; household cleaners, city air, and even the air in your house can be dirtier than you think and cause acne. Putting some plants in your house could help clear up that pesky acne on your cheeks. 

    Ancient Chinese medicine has led many acne sufferers to look at bee pollen as a homeopathic cure for their skin ailments. Though there's no concrete evidence bee pollen does anything beneficial for your skin, some still believe it is a cure-all for eczema, acne, and more. 

  • Your Phone Screen Might Be The Culprit Behind Cheek Breakouts

    Think about what touches your face frequently. You may think about your hands, your hair, or even your bedsheets. For many of us though, the thing that touches our face the most is our phone, and it is a breeding ground for acne.

    Your phone has about 25,000 germs per square inch; comparatively, a toilet has about 1,200 germs per square inch. All the bacteria buildup on your phone can cause massive breakouts. To make matters worse, your phone's warmth both breeds bacteria and causes your pores to open up, letting in more of the bad stuff. 

    If you're now super grossed out thinking about the fecal matter that's probably lurking on your phone screen, fear not - you can make your phone germ-free quickly with a cloth and diluted alcohol solution. Disinfect weekly for fewer germs and hopefully fewer breakouts. 

  • Your Hormones Could Be The Reason You Have Cystic Acne

    If you've had painful cystic acne, you know how incredibly frustrating it can be. If you are a woman suffering from this type of acne, it could be due to a hormonal imbalance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Symptoms of this common condition include ovarian cysts, a heavy period, and acne. PCOS has no cure, but it can be treated by an endocrinologist. 

    However, if you only have cystic acne at the beginning of your cycle, you shouldn't worry too much. This isn't indicative of PCOS, and it can be treated without the help of an endocrinologist. Birth control or topical meds should do the trick. Spearmint tea and Omega-3s can also help keep your hormones in check. 

    Don't force yourself to suffer through painful acne cysts. If they burst, the spread of oils and bacteria will cause more breakouts, leaving you in an endless cycle of zits. Over-the-counter products typically won't do much for cystic pimples, so it's imperative to head to a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe medications to help, which may include an antibacterial cream, retinol, vitamin A, and antibiotics. 

  • When You Break Out Can Tell You Why You're Breaking Out

    The time of day you break out could give you some valuable clues about what's behind your acne. If pimples pop up in the morning, ask yourself what you did the night before. Perhaps you ate something your body had trouble digesting, or you did not catch enough Z's. 

    If you see zits in the afternoon, this could be linked to hormones. Makeup and skincare products could also be to blame, so if you started out the morning zit-free and see one later in the day, investigate the ingredients in the products you use. Many common ingredients, like mineral oil or propylene glycol, could be behind your breakouts. 

    If your acne shows up at night, start washing your face when you get home for the day. The buildup of polluted air and makeup is behind your sudden breakout and the sooner you can wash it all off, the better. If you wear makeup, be sure to remove it prior to washing your face.