HomeSkin CareWhat Your Acne Might Be Telling You About Your Health

What Your Acne Might Be Telling You About Your Health

If you’re suffering from breakouts, the cause of your acne could be more than skin deep. In fact, according to Chinese medicine, the complexion may provide insight into a person’s internal health, with the different areas of the face corresponding to specific organs and functions of the body—a system referred to as face mapping.

“Many forms of diagnosis were born to help practitioners ascertain what was wrong with patients before the age of X-rays, MRIs and ultrasound technologies,” says Emmanuel Sargenti, a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine and owner of Integrated Acupuncture in Westlake Village and West Los Angeles, California. “Face mapping is one of those diagnostic correspondence systems.”

Emmanuel gave us a rundown of the principal facial zones and the areas of the body that they parallel in Chinese medicine, so you can gain some insight into what your troublesome skin may be trying to tell you.



What’s Happening: According to Emmanuel, acne on the forehead could be an indication of issues in the stomach and gallbladder. “The stomach and gallbladder channels traverse certain areas of the forehead, so gallbladder issues of fat intake or stress and dietary stomach issues can lead to problems in this area,” he explains.

What You Can Do: Reducing your consumption of fat—particularly of those that are unnatural and/or saturated—and exercising to decrease stress may help get breakouts in this area under control.


What’s Happening: “In some practices,” says Emmanuel, “the nose is reflective of the spleen; but the tip of the nose can also be a means of diagnosis for alcohol toxicity, which would fall into the liver’s domain.”

What You Can Do: Want to cover both bases? Revamp your fluid intake by cutting back on alcohol (to support your liver) and replacing ice-cold beverages with warm or room-temperature ones (which are easier on your spleen). Also, research shows that a diet rich in omega-3s may improve the liver’s enzyme levels and reduce inflammation throughout the body, so supplementing with fish or krill oil can also be a step in the right direction of a clearer, healthier complexion.



What’s Happening: “The cheeks are a reflection of the liver (left) and the lung (right),” says Emmanuel, exemplified by the fact that some people’s cheeks get flushed when they imbibe alcohol.

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