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.
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.
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.
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.
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.