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Where Your Acne Appears Can Reveal Your Body’s Health Problems

Who knew your skin could communicate your interior health issues?


Everybody gets breakouts once every now and then. Sometimes these breakouts often appear in the same place in your body. Interestingly enough, where you grow pimples may be your body’s way of hinting there’s something wrong.

There are 14 body zones where acne breaks through our skin, and these zones are thought to correspond to certain internal organs. Mapping out where your zits are can pinpoint your health issues and what you can do about them.

A body map for acne.

acne 1

Twenty-first century doctors who analyzed and interpreted ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medical texts created a diagram based on these age-old documents. The map showed the body’s different acne zones, and how they can indicate potential problems within:

Zone 1: Jaw and neck

acne 2

Hormonal overdrive causes frequent breakouts in this area. When your adrenal glands are doing the funky chicken, such as during puberty, you’ll likely get a lot of zits here. Other causes include stress, too much sugar intake, shirts with tight collars, or long, greasy hair.

Zone 2 & 3: Shoulders

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Source: M. Turner

If you are frequently under stress, your shoulder area is a sensitive spot for pimple growth. Its either that or you frequently lug around heavy bags with tight shoulder straps causing friction on your skin.

Zone 4: Chest

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Zit breakouts on your chest area that include a lot of whiteheads may point towards allergies, digestive problems, or poor eating habits. Try to avoid spicy food and too many cold beverages. On the other hand, this condition is also caused by wearing non-breathable synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester, as well as untreated fungal infections.

Zone 5 & 6: Arms

acne 5

Source: Bustle

Do you have rough skin in your arms coupled with small goosebump-like spots? This kind of acne is known as keratosis pilaris, and appears due to poor circulation and an excess of dead skin cells around your hair follicles. Nothing that regular exfoliation and salicylic acid moisturizers can’t cure. However, keratosis pilaris can also be a sign of your body’s improper utilization of vitamins from the food you eat.

Zone 7: Stomach

acne 6

Source: Noah Health

Breakouts surrounding the belly are rare because there are so few oil glands in the area. Beware, however, if you suddenly grow pimples here. It may be a sign of high blood sugar levels. That or wearing too tight garments.

Zone 8: Pelvis

acne 7

Embarrassing as it is, zits do grow in your pubic region. They’re pretty painful and hard to get rid of, as well. Considering the high moisture level in the area, plus ingrown hairs from waxing or shaving, and you may have a long-term infestation of pimples in your nether regions. On the other hand, zits in your privates also point towards poor personal hygiene. If they itch and ooze, and resemble warts, they may be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease (genital warts).

Zone 9 & 10: Legs and Thighs

acne 8

Source: Noah Health

When breakouts occur in these areas, you may possibly have allergic reactions to any number of things. These include body lotions, shower gels, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or clothing fabric. Add this to ingrown hairs from shaving or waxing, and you are likely to have a breakout of epic proportions. The solution: a body wash with salicylic acid (BHA) or glycolic acid (AHA), plus a light non-comedogenic moisturizer will do the trick.

Zone 11 & 12: Upper and Lower Back

acne 9

Believe it or not, these are the most common areas for acne breakouts. Causes include poor hygiene, excessive sweat, non-breathable fabric, tight clothes, athletic gear, tight backpack straps, and allergies from lotions, laundry detergent or fabric softener. But then again, they’re also caused by a high calorie diet, deep fried food, or not enough sleep.

Zone 13 & 14: Buttocks

acne 10

Source: Acne

Dirty underwear will cause unsightly butt breakouts. Undergarments made of non-breathable fabrics and really dry skin are culprits, as well. So are a poor diet, too much spicy food and cold drinks, and poor digestion.

These zones mapping out the breakouts on your skin also point out other health problems you may have that you aren’t aware of. The next time your skin goes on zit overload, start mapping. You internal organs may be sending you an important message that a visit to the doctor is in order.


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