Acne and skin break-outs are the most common skin disorders experienced by a whopping 85 percent of the population at some time in their life. Most believe that pimples or break-outs are an adolescent problem but they happen at any age, and appear mostly on the face, back and chest. This blog looks at the triggers that can causes of acne, we breakdown the face into separate sections (face mapping) and establish what is the trigger for these parts of the face that are suffering from the break-outs and what you can do to improve the health of your skin.
Causes of Acne
The main cause of acne is the over-production of oil, which causes the skin’s hair follicles to become blocked. These blockages lead to the growth of bacteria in those follicles. What triggers this over-production and blockage can be many things. Chinese medicine believes that depending on where acne appears on your face can explain the reason behind the over-production of oil. The Chinese use face-mapping as a part of this ancient medical system. Based on years of observation, Chinese medicine is founded on the idea that different parts of your face correspond to specific organs and body systems. The saying, ‘it shows on your face’ might be one way to explain this concept.
Mapping the face Areas to find what is triggering you Acne Breakout
Zone 1 – Upper forehead: your digestive system is saying that your diet needs to include more vegetables, fruit, pro-biotitics and good protein
Zone 2 – Lower forehead: your mind and spirit need more sleep, less stress … and get happy!
Zone 3 – Center of brow: your liver needs to work properly and needs a de-tox, so cut back on alcohol (you know that already!) and fats
Zone 4 – Nose: your heart needs the right blood pressure for your body to function properly so it’s time to de-stress
Zone 5 – Ears and dark circles under eyes: your kidneys may be dehydrated so cut the caffeine, salt and alcohol (again!), get good quality sleep and 8 glasses (at least) of water per day
Zone 6 – Cheeks: your respiratory system is asking you to quit smoking and reduce any allergies you suffer from
Zone 7 – Chin: your stomach and small intestine have built up toxins so you need to help them with more fibre, so increase your intake of vegetables and fruit
Zone 8 – Jaw line/side of chin: your kidneys and hormones are speaking to you, asking for more water. If this area does not clear up in a few days you may have a hormonal imbalance, so seek medical advice
Zone 9 – Neck: a general sign of illness so it is time to get rid of any infections, drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and make sure you are getting the right vitamins especially B and C
Grades of Acne Breakouts
Grade 1 is the mildest form, with open and closed comedones (whiteheads and blackheads).
Grades 2 and 3 include papules and pustules too.
Grade 4 is the most advanced form which includes grades 1 – 3 plus the appearance of cysts or nodules beneath the skin surface. Some of these can be the size of a US dime or an Aussie 10 cent piece.
Depending on the grade of your of your breakout, your professional dermal therapist or esthetician will discuss treatment options. It takes time to re-balance the skin acid mantle and to treat the skin. Treatments may include BHA peels, micro-dermabrasion, increasing the frequency of LED that is teamed with normal calming facials. Acne treatments are needed every 7 – 14 days to accelerate the healing and regeneration process. The goal is to deeply cleanse follicles, disinfect them, clear away oil, bacteria and dead skin cells to normalise your skin’s acid mantel.
Once your acne is under control you will need a maintenance treatment program to assist you in keeping your now healthy skin and to reduce further break-outs. Keep in mind that results will vary and you will need patience. It’s really important to commit to the prescribed home care plan and keep up the professional treatments.
Over the counter products won’t stop the cycle
There are many over-the-counter products at supermarkets and department stores that promise the world. Some use celebrities to convince you to buy a particular product with high levels of with benzoyl peroxide. In my professional opinion, only use these products as a last resort (e.g. stuck in an airport with a 20hr flight ahead of you). Most of these products are full of chemicals designed to strip your skin of vital oil and hydration, which then triggers your skin to produce more oil, which leads to more breakouts. It will be a never ending ugly cycle which can lead to scaring! When my clients come in for acne treatments that are using these products, it takes at least 2 months to fix their skin’s acid mantel and return oil production back to normal levels and stop the ugly breakout cycle. When the cycle is stopped, the number of break-outs decreased, the skin oil production is under control and is slowly returning to normal level so that the skin is able to heal and head towards a healthy glow without any further damage to the skin or permanent scarring.
Home care and treatments
The first and foremost home care treatment you can do is to use a professional grade cleanser; toner and moisturizer. These must be designed for your skin type. Avoid picking at your pimples as this is the single biggest cause of scarring. Also you should ‘spot treat’ your pimples to help calm and kill the bacteria. Untreated or under-treated, acne can lead to continuing, worsening outbreaks and scarring. Your esthetician should be in close contact with you to make sure your products are working effectively for you. As your treatment progresses, your esthetician may change your home care routine to fit your skin’s changing needs.
Squeezing pimples is not a good idea
We have all been guilty of squeezing a pimple or two but did you know you are damaging your skin? A pimple is a little sack that holds oil, debris and acne bacteria. When you burst a pimple all bacteria and other fluids splatter onto the skin (even sometimes the mirror!). And when it lands on the skin it can enter into other open pores, which can lead to more pimples because you’ve just spread the bacteria to another hair follicle!
And picking at acne, can force debris and bacteria even deeper into your skin because this newly squeezed ‘pimple’ has left an open wound. The open wound will become red, inflamed, swollen and infected and will take weeks to clear-up.
And if that’s not enough and you keep picking at the same spot, you will cause scarring – including permanent scarring. Now I reckon Audrey Hepburn would never have done that!
QUESTION ABOUT YOUR SKIN? Make an Appointment Today or send me an email to email@example.com
PERMISSION TO REPRINT: You may use this article in your print, blog, magazine or electronic newsletter. But in order to do so, you must include the following paragraph “Information courtesy from Debra Spence – Answering your skin problems with Science and Nature. Debra Spence is a Cosmetic Chemist and Skin Specialist who provides skincare and treatment tips, product recommendations and reviews to professionals and patients. www.debraspence.com”
Content Copyright © 2016, Debra Spence
All products, material and information provided within this Website are for educational and informational purposes only. No medical claims are implied in the information given and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Any reference to health benefits cannot be taken as a replacement for medical advice or prescription medication or seen as a diagnosis for a specific condition. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice or treatment of your medical professional. The information provided by in this website is believed to be accurate based on the best judgment of the author but the reader is responsible for consulting with your own medical professional / skin therapist. In no way is any of the content on this website to be construed as medical advice or instruction.
Thanks to my co-writer: Aundra A McMullen: Owner/Operator of Faces by Mahoganie Skin Care from Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area.