What Your Acne is Telling You

According to Chinese medicine, you can tell what's going on inside your body by your acne's type and location. Find out what your acne is telling you.
What Your Acne is Telling You

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, clogging pores and trapping sebum and dead skin cells. As a result, pimples and blackheads form which can range in levels of severity. In this article, we’ll look over what your acne is telling you.

Acne is usually related to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. In addition, it can be from stress, using birth control, and other causes. Yet, Chinese medicine suggests that the location of acne on your face can reveal health problems in your body. In other words, you can determine what your acne is telling you. Therefore, to identify any condition you may have, you should first identify the type of acne and its location on your face.

What your acne is telling you: upper forehead

Acne in this area reflects problems with the digestive system or bladder.

What should I do?

  • Drinking water helps remove toxins from your body. Consequently, it’s a good idea to drink more and to review the foods you’re eating.
  • Drink fewer carbonated beverages and caffeinated drinks. Instead, drink herbal teas and especially green tea.
  • Also, consume less chocolate, snacks, and soft drinks and drink more water. Eat more foods that help eliminate toxins from the body like boiled cabbage and baked apples.
  • Get at least 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
  • In addition, exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day, outdoors if possible.
  • Practice relaxation techniques to worry less.
  • Finally, wash skin and hair properly.

Acne on your lower forehead

Woman rubbing temples

Acne in this area can indicate heart problems. The heart is a massive organ responsible for pumping blood to the entire body. If stressed by poor nutrition, inactivity, or mental or physical stress, not only will you get pimples on your forehead, but your whole body will be affected. Keeping your heart healthy means avoiding stress, exercising regularly to strengthen your cardiovascular system, and eating a healthy diet.

What should I do?

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Eat healthy, preferably a high-fiber, low-fat diet.
  • Quit smoking.

Acne in your ears

This can indicate problems with the kidneys. When kidneys are not properly cared for, large, painful pimples can develop on or in the ears.

What should I do?

  • Drink more water.
  • Avoid excess salt and caffeine.
  • Cleanse your kidneys with diuretics like parsley and water.

Acne around your eyes, orbital area, and between your eyebrows

Illustration of liver in torso

Acne found here indicates liver problems. Oiliness, redness, peeling, and blackheads between the eyebrows can signify an overworked liver that needs cleansing.

What should I do?

  • Eat fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C (kiwi, sweet peppers, oranges).
  • Also, try to avoid eating late at night; especially just before bed when your body won’t be able to digest foods with maximum efficiency, leading to an accumulation of toxins.
  • Reduce your consumption of fats, sweets, greasy foods, alcohol, and milk products, especially when lactose intolerant.
  • Finally, some of the best foods to cleanse the liver include garlic, grapefruit, green tea, carrots, beets, leafy greens, lemons, and limes.

Want to know more?: 6 Smoothies to Eliminate Toxins

Acne on your cheeks

This can spell problems with the lungs and respiratory system. Breakouts on your cheeks can be caused by smoking, asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections.

What should I do?

  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Exercise.
  • Avoid polluted areas.
  • The best foods for healthy lungs include kale, Brussel sprouts, and squash.
  • Include oatmeal, rice, and fresh vegetables in your diet.
  • Also, include more foods like pumpkins, winter squash, and green beans.
  • Don’t overeat.
  • Avoid soda, fast food, junk food, and artificial sweeteners.
  • Avoid mango, wine, and seafood.
  • Finally, eat less sugar.

Acne on the sides of your chin

Acne is telling you

Often, this indicates hormonal problems. When the sides of your chin develop acne, it’s a sign of a hormonal imbalance, often caused by menstruation. Sometimes, emotional or physical stress can cause a hormonal imbalance.

What should I do?

  • Avoid eating before bed.
  • Eat more fruits and fresh vegetables.
  • Also, rest and sleep more.
  • Further, exercise for at least 20 minutes a day and massage your body to relax.
  • Finally, take herbs that promote hormonal balance like licorice, Chinese magnolia, holy basil, maca, red raspberry leaves, and green tea.

Acne in the middle of your chin

Your acne is telling you that you may have problems in the stomach and intestines. It may also be caused by poor nutrition and food allergies.

What should I do?

  • Eat more fruits and fresh vegetables.
  • Also, get more rest.
  • Increase your consumption of water and the amount of fiber in your diet.
  • Finally, remove any bad foods from your diet.

Acne on your chest and neck

Woman with her hand on her neck

If you have pimples on your chest and neck, then your acne is telling you that you’re stressed out. Therefore, it’s important to find out why you’re stressed and eliminate the cause. You should be able to feel at ease at work and home.

What should I do?

  • Firstly, try to eliminate the things that are stressing you from your life.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Finally, drink more water and take vitamin C to fight infections.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Chiu, A., Chon, S. Y., & Kimball, A. B. (2003). The Response of Skin Disease to Stress. Archives of Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.139.7.897
  • Toyoda, M., & Morohashi, M. (2001). Pathogenesis of acne. Medical Electron Microscopy. https://doi.org/10.1007/s007950100002
  • Ejaz, A. A., & Mohandas, R. (2014). Are diuretics harmful in the management of acute kidney injury? Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.mnh.0000441150.17202.be
  • Borek, C. (2001). Antioxidant Health Effects of Aged Garlic Extract. Journal of Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/00984100290071243
  • Rigopoulos, D., & Korfitis, C. (2014). Acne and smoking. In Pathogenesis and Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-69375-8_21
  • Meissner, H. O., Mscisz, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., Kedzia, B., … Barchia, I. (2006). Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. International Journal of Biomedical Science.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.