Our skin is often an outward portrayal of our inner ecosystem. So, when the skin is irritated, red, or inflamed, we can guess there is something big happening inside. Those who suffer from skin problems like acne or rosacea can become frustrated and even depressed due to their symptoms. It’s time to flip the script and think of your skin as a guide. In this article, we will discuss common skin problems and how they clue us in on bigger concerns. Then, we will explore lifestyle and dietary changes that can improve your inner health and resolve your skin issues!
What is Acne for your skin?
Acne is not just a few hormonal pimples that pop up from time to time. Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs when pores are congested with sebum, hair, and skin cells. When the pores are congested, sebum (oil) can’t properly do its job by reaching the skin’s surface. The combination of trapped oil, hair, and skin cells is inviting to bacteria. Bacteria live rent-free on the face and are usually harmless, but when trapped beneath the skin, they cause inflammation, redness, swelling, and even pain. The bacteria spread underneath the skin, causing whiteheads or acne lesions.
Pimples come in all shapes and sizes, but they don’t all come from the same source. Those who have chronic acne might experience many types of pimples at once. So, if we are viewing our skin as a map of our inner health, it’s important to understand what types of pimples you are dealing with.
- Whiteheads are a common form of acne that produces white puss.
- Blackheads are congested hair follicles. They look dirty, but it’s not dirt you are seeing, it’s hair!
- Papules are small acne lesions that are tender to the touch.
- Pustules are white or yellow puss-filled lesions.
- Nodules are large acne lesions. These are angry, red, and painful and may not rise to the skin’s surface.
- Cystic Acne. The crux of them all. This form of acne is formed by deep, painful lesions that produce puss.
Acne as Your Guide for skin
Okay, so now we know how to differentiate between different kinds of pimples, we can better understand what we are dealing with. Let’s clear something up before we begin to talk diet and lifestyle; You cannot cure Cystic Acne by simply cleaning up your diet. Acne is a complex and determined condition. If you suspect you are dealing with this advanced form of acne and you are desperate for relief, it would be wise to consult a doctor by getting a dermatologist’s perspective on your unique case.
The Acne Face Map for your skin
Healthcare providers and acne sufferers alike widely use acne face mapping. If you can’t establish the reason behind your acne, perhaps the location of your acne can tell you more. Generally speaking, the forehead and nose correlate with digestive upset and a dysregulated nervous system. The cheeks are deemed to be the catching ground for bacteria. Look to culprits like dirty makeup brushes, cell phones, or sleeping on dirty pillowcases. The jaw and chin regions are correlated with hormonal fluctuations.
If you have more pimples appearing on your cheeks (and you are not dealing with Cystic Acne), it may be time to throw out old makeup brushes and sponges and launder your linens. You may even consider acne-safe detergents that won’t cause an inflammatory response. Clean your phone well and often, and choose speakerphone over the old cheek-to-phone ritual. Finally, take inventory of what is making contact with your cheeks often. Perhaps you are touching your face often, even your hair grazing across it, transferring oil and bacteria to your vulnerable and dilated pores.
According to Ayurveda, acne on the forehead and nose is the region of digestive upset and a dysregulated nervous system. We can certainly think of one big culprit adding fuel to the fire! Caffeine not only increases anxiety, but it is also well known for creating digestive upset. If you are experiencing acne on the forehead, eyebrows, and temples, it’s time to call it quits on the caffeine and start replenishing lost fluids with water. Hydration is important for cellular function as a whole, so replace your soda, coffee, or tea with good, old-fashioned water.
Lower-face acne is associated with fluctuating hormones and can be linked to certain foods containing hormones, like soy or milk. Try eliminating dairy and soy and eating more protein-rich foods like fish and lentils. Also, healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds are great for restoring hormonal balance and are likely to help restore equilibrium to the skin.