Face Mapping: Determining The Causes Of Acne On Parts Of The Face

Donald Grant
Dr Donald GrantMB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.medGP & Clinical Advisor
1545930286 acne location

Acne (also known as acne vulgaris) is a very common skin condition that usually appears during puberty but can affect people at any point during their lives. Acne spots and breakouts can appear almost anywhere on the body (though they are more commonly found on the face, back and chest), but did you know that you can determine the cause of acne based on where you find it?

This is sometimes known as ‘face mapping’. Face mapping comes from ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The traditional method links specific locations of acne on the face to health issues affecting organs or systems elsewhere in the body.

There is little scientific evidence to support the theory that health issues with organs in the body relate to where acne breaks out on the face. However, some research does suggest that specific factors can relate to acne on certain areas of the face.

As we’ve mentioned before in our acne FAQs article, the precise location of spots and pimples on your face can sometimes shed some light on what’s causing the problem in the first place. By observing where flare-ups happen most, we can get some idea of what is causing these acne breakouts — and how to treat them.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at face mapping and determining the causes of acne, based on where it is found on the face. Not only will this help you understand why your flare-ups are happening in the first place, but it will also help you treat existing acne and prevent flare-ups from happening or worsening in the future.

We’ve also created a helpful table so that you can easily look up acne on different parts of your face and establish the reason for your breakouts — and we’ve included a recommendations section for changes or treatments you could use to prevent breakouts.

For more information on acne, you can visit our in-depth acne guides or visit our acne treatments page to view the acne medication available at The Independent Pharmacy.

Acne Location Chart

There are many factors that can be responsible for breakouts, such as lifestyle, health issues, or external factors that you may not have thought about.

Whether it’s related to hormones, hygiene, genetics, allergies, or beauty products, there are all sorts of reasons why you may be experiencing acne on your face.

This is where face mapping is useful. We’ve created the acne location chart below to help you identify some of the most common acne-causing culprits linked to different areas of the face.

Find out what acne means on different parts of your face here:

Acne zones

Lifestyle habits

Internal factors

External factors

Recommendations

Brow & forehead acne

Dehydration

Poor sleep

Too much sugar

Stress and worry

Digestive problems

Liver or intestinal issues

Lactose intolerance

Dirty hats or caps

Hair products

Food allergies

Keep your hair clean and off your skin

Use lighter shampoos

Use gentle cleansers rather than harsh products

Spots on cheeks

Poor sleep

Too much sugar

Smoking

Stress and worry

Digestive problems

Liver or intestinal issues

Dirty hats or caps

Hair products

Dirty pillowcases

Dirty makeup brushes

Dirty phone

Regularly wash pillow cases & make-up brushes

Wipe-clean your phone

Wash your face before bed

Reduce sugar in your diet

Stop smoking

Spots around nose

Too much meat and sugar

Too much makeup

Respiratory problems

Allergies

Stress and worry

Digestive problems

Reduce meat in your diet

Take make-up off before bed

Choose makeup for sensitive skin

Avoid oil-based products

Spots on mouth

Respiratory problems

Allergies

Stress and worry

Digestive problems

Dirty makeup brushes

Dirty phone

Regularly wash pillow cases & make-up brushes

Wipe-clean your phone

Spots on chin & jaw

Hormonal changes

Respiratory problems

Allergies

Stress and worry

Digestive problems

Dirty pillowcases

Dirty makeup brushes

Dirty phone

Stick to a balanced diet - more fruits & veg, less dairy

Regularly wash pillow cases & make-up brushes

Wipe-clean your phone

As you can see from the face mapping and acne location chart above, there are some specific causes of acne in certain areas of the face.

However, there is a clear crossover between the underlying causes of acne, regardless of whether it appears on the face. Similar issues such as stress, hormones, poor hygiene, digestive problems and allergies can be causes of acne in all areas of the body.

It is worth looking at these underlying causes in more detail, regardless of where the acne is present, to identify the root of the problem so that you can improve your skin and prevent an

In the section below, we will go into the lifestyle changes and home remedies that you can follow to help treat and prevent acne flare-ups.

Home remedies to treat acne

Unfortunately, if you suffer from acne, there is no cure. However, there are changes you can make to your lifestyle to prevent flare-ups and stop acne from worsening.

There are various ways to help counteract and reduce face acne symptoms, whichever zone yours falls into. We will focus on these broader health improvements, which will likely improve your skin and overall health at the same time:

  • Improve your diet: If your diet is high in sugar, fat and processed foods, your skin can suffer as a result. If you are prone to acne breakouts, there are certain foods that may be triggers. Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and increase your fibre intake to help overcome digestive issues. In particular, make sure you’re getting enough omega 3 and vitamin D.
  • Hydrate: In addition to eating well, make sure you drink enough to keep the skin hydrated. It’s also worth avoiding alcohol and smoking to give your skin the best chance of recovery.
  • Exercise: Fresh air and movement work wonders to clear the skin. Introducing 20 minutes of regular exercise per day will have a positive impact on your overall health, as well as improving the skin.
  • Manage stress: Stress is a leading cause of acne, so finding helpful ways of managing it is important. Try walking, meditation, reading or yoga. Take some time out to slow down and relax.
  • Clean up: Although poor hygiene itself doesn’t cause acne, if you are prone to acne, it can exacerbate your condition across various zones. Look at your skincare routine, as well as your pillowcases, phone and makeup brushes. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned them, then you’re unknowingly introducing a lot of bacteria onto the skin. Wash brushes and pillowcases regularly, and always remove make-up and clean your skin before bed.
  • Check your products: Some hair and skin products actually irritate the skin, so look at what you’re using on a regular basis and determine whether or not this could be the reason for your breakouts, particularly around the hairline. Avoid heavy, greasy products which may block your pores.
  • Get enough sleep: If you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep, your skin has less time to regenerate. Try going to bed earlier, getting up later or taking naps.

If your acne becomes severe, painful or chronic, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about how you can treat it with medical alternatives.

Medication to treat acne

Although acne cannot be cured, it can be controlled with treatment. There are lots of different treatments that can help, whether they are over-the-counter medicines to treat mild acne or stronger prescription-only medications. These may be cream, lotion or gels that can help to treat your spots or oral tablets like antibiotics.

Here are some of the acne medications we offer at The Independent Pharmacy:

Speaking to a pharmacist for advice is often a great start — The Independent Pharmacy team is available if you have any queries about acne and how best to treat it.

There are lots of effective acne products that can help — visit our acne treatments page to browse our available treatments or to find out more, read our helpful guide on the best acne treatments available.

Summary

Ultimately, it’s important to do proper research and consult a professional before making any drastic lifestyle changes or trying a new medication. Bear in mind that everyone's skin is different, and so certain remedies will be better than others, depending on the individual.

Hopefully, the above face mapping and acne chart will help you figure out what it means when you break out in spots — and how you can take steps to tackle acne flare-ups.

Here at The Independent Pharmacy, we offer a wide range of acne treatments, including topical and oral treatments. Start your free online consultation today to find the right acne treatment for you, and get it delivered to your door with same-day dispatch.

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