By Mandy Froelich / Life in Bloom
If you are currently suffering from acne on your face or body, first, please do not despair. I am living proof that adhering to a healthy lifestyle, improving your mental thought patterns, getting hydrated, working with herbal remedies, and listening to one’s body can lead to holistic healing and ultimately, renewed faith in oneself and the power of the natural world.
According to the Global Acne Market Report, approximately 90% of people are estimated to suffer from acne at one point in their life. Personally, I experienced my first zit at the age of 11. And before long, I was covered in painful, bright red cystic acne sores. The shame and depressive thoughts I felt due to the state of my skin eventually led me to develop several eating disorders (anorexia, orthorexia, bulimia, and over-exercising) during high school.
With the help of Spirit, my guides, and the right information at the right time (primarily, the process of detoxification, alkalizing the body, and intuitive eating) I eventually embarked on a holistic journey of healing that continues to this day but has immensely improved my overall health and wellbeing (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
I’m sharing all of this because it is possible to heal your skin and other physical complaints naturally. However, we have to be willing to listen to our body’s cues, consider what organs may be affected by considering the placement of sores and make the changes necessary to shift toward alignment.
The premise of this article, plucked from The Beauty Gypsy blog, is one I am delighted to share, as I believe she “hit the nail on the head” in describing what the body is telling us when acne appears in different zones.
From my studies, extensive fasts, comparisons of various diets, and continued learning from many teachers, I have come to recognize that my digestive system is often the root cause of my minor acne flare-ups which do occur when I am stressed out. Because the gut is a site for the production of neurotransmitters, failing to support my microbiome can and used to result in depression and anxiety. Similarly, the zones acne often appears if I am too stressed are related to the digestive system.
Now, I start the day with celery juice, eat easy-to-digest and healthy foods (not all plant-based, mind you), drink lemon-ginger shots which jumpstart the digestive fire (or Agni), drink plenty of water, don’t eat 2 hours before bed, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and on and on, and on. When I adhere to these habits, my skin is always healthier and more beautiful.
While there is more to holistic healing and the process of clearing acne than this body mapping chart, I hope it proves helpful in learning to tune into your body’s innate wisdom. You can gain even more clarity on what systems are affected by your daily routine and diet by scheduling a holistic nutrition consultation with me.
Zone 1: Hormones
Like the jaw, acne on the neck might indicate that your adrenal glands (hormones) are in overdrive. Other options: stress or excessive sugar intake. That’s if you are not wearing shirts with tight collars or have greasy hair that constantly touches the skin in this area.
Zone 2 & 3: Stress
Shoulder acne could mean that you are overstressed, sensitive and vulnerable. Another alternative? Check whether your handbag strap is causing friction against the skin.
Zone 4: Digestive System
Are you wearing clothes that are not breathable – like polyester or nylon? Have you ruled out fungal infections (especially if you have little whiteheads on the chest that don’t respond to acne treatments) and allergies? If all these are clear, acne on the chest can point towards digestive troubles, like a poor diet, bad eating habits, having excessively spicy food or drinking too many cold beverages on a regular basis.
Zone 5 & 6: Vitamin Levels
Skin is coarser on the arms so you can get keratosis pilaris in this area. This appears as small spots that give skin a rough, goose-bumpy appearance. Keratosis pilaris is caused by poor circulation and overproduction of dead cells at the hair follicle. Try to treat it with regular exfoliation and moisturizers containing salicylic acid. If the problem persists despite this, it could be a sign of how efficiently your body is receiving and utilising vitamins from your diet.
Zone 7: Blood Sugar Levels
There are very few oil glands in this area, making stomach acne a rarer complaint. When zits do crop up here, it’s usually because of one of these reasons: tight fitting clothes or high blood sugar.
Zone 8: Hygiene or STDs
Utterly painful and pretty difficult to clear up because of this area’s high moistness factor, crotch or pelvic acne could crop up because of ingrown hairs from waxing or shaving. Then again, poor personal hygiene might play a role. More worryingly though, it could be warts or the symptom of an STD (especially if the spots itch, ooze or don’t show any signs of improvement after 3-4 days).
Zone 9 & 10: Skin Sensitivities or Allergies
Acne on the thighs and upper legs often comes up as a reaction to body lotions, shower gels, laundry detergent, fabric softener or dryer sheets. On the lower legs, there is the added factor of ingrown hair post-shaving or waxing. It’s best treated with a body wash that has salicylic acid (BHA) or glycolic acid (AHA) and a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Zone 11 & 12: Nervous and Digestive Systems
This is the most common body area for acne and frequent reasons include allergies, excessive sweating, not showering after exercise, friction from athletic gear, clothes that are too tight and not breathable, backpack straps, irritation because of hair or body care products, reaction to laundry detergent, fabric softener or dryer sheets. If you have ruled out all these, evaluate whether your diet is loaded with fried and high calorie foods or you aren’t getting enough sleep… both could be contributing elements.
Zone 13 & 14: Digestive System
There are usually three reasons for acne to show up on the buttocks: underwear that’s dirty, not breathable or too tight; excessively dry skin; and poor diet or digestion, with too many cold drinks and too much spicy food. So if the zits don’t subside despite moisturizing your skin, wearing loose cotton clothes and keeping everything clean, start evaluating your dietary habits.
So the next time you break out on the back or shoulders, look to your body map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermatologist for a proper prognosis. I am not a doctor or a medical practitioner and this is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just because you break out on the stomach doesn’t always mean you have high blood sugar!
h/t The Beauty Gypsy