Where Your Acne Is And What It Looks Like Can Tell You What’s Causing It

Why is that you always tend break out in acne over and over again in the same areas of your face?

Why do you get cystic acne along your chin and jaw, but only blackheads and whiteheads on your forehead? Why do you have acne even though your skin isn’t oily at all? Why are your cheeks a mess, but your T-zone is pristine?

It seems to be that where you get acne on your face, and what type of acne you get can give you some clues about what the root cause of it may be. If you know the root cause, you can treat your acne more effectively.

In this article, I’m going to introduce you to three different resources I’ve come across that relate to this concept. The first one is Chinese face mapping, the second is a chart that Fran from High on Health came up with, and the third is a chart from the acne ebook ‘Diagnose Your Acne‘.

Keep an open mind about these things – none of them are 100% accurate, conclusive, or true for everyone. They’re just guidelines that may or may not be accurate for your particular case of acne. I hope you find them interesting and enlightening nonetheless!

Chinese Face Mapping

Now, in your travels around the internet looking for a cure for your acne, you may have already come across something called Chinese face mapping.

Chinese face mapping is part of their ancient medicine system and is based on years of observation. It brings forth the idea that different parts of your face correspond to specific organs and body systems. So checking out your problem areas could give you some clues to what the underlying imbalances are.

This is an extremely popular concept right now amongst beauty gurus. And it seems like everyone on the internet has already written about it, but of course, all the interpretations seem to be slightly different. I have noticed a trend though, and one that goes best with my experiences. Example: chin and jawline = hormonal acne, forehead = digestion etc.

I will share with you one example of a an acne face map that seems to fit well with this general theme that I’ve noticed. If you’d like more examples to compare and contrast, just google “Chinese Face Mapping” … you’ll come up with plenty!

This is from Piece of Chic:

And this is Piece of Chic‘s analysis of what breakouts on these areas of the face might mean:

Fran from High on Health’s Analysis

If you’re not familiar with Fran from High on Health, she’s a blogger who has blogged for years about natural acne treatments. She has now moved on and transformed her blog into a spiritual theme, but she’s still got some wicked good resources on acne available.

I found one of her older posts where she describes acne types matched with possible root causes. This is based on her personal experience, research, and from talking to her readers.

Ananda Mahony’s take on the matter

The following information is from the acne ebook Diagnose Your Acne, which is written by Australian naturopath and nutritionist Ananda Mahony. It’s an in depth guide that helps you do exactly what we’re doing in this article – figure out the root cause of your acne so that you can treat it more effectively! (it’s a great book by the way)

Watch This Article in Video Form

Do any of these interpretations match up for you? Tell us in the comments below about the wheres and whats of your acne and what you think the root imbalance is.

photo by Beauty in the Bag

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  1. Alex says

    I think the chinese face map is a spot on! (well most of it) Because, I was out drinking somewhat heavily at a college party with my friends and I got a pimple just between my eyes 1-2 days after I was recovering from the hangover!

    • Tracy says

      hah spot on :) was that meant to be a pun? Lol – yes I always remember reading some article about face mapping a long time ago and it mentioning something about frat boys always having an oily acne patch between their eyebrows because they drink so much….. and I thought… well…. from what I’ve seen, that does seem kind of true!

      • Alex says

        Erm.. I didn’t intend to use that spot on as a pun. :) Well, erm. I’m not sure about the oily acne patch between their eyebrows.. I have an oily nose and an oily forehead. But I don’t think the area just between my eyebrows are oily. But I broke out 2 days after the party. (Trust me I was really drinking heavily there, around 16 cans of beer) The pimpel is nearly gone now, but I think I could use the chinese face map since I have pimpels mostly on area 11, 12 and 13. And I just changed my diet for the better, and I noticed that I’ve been somewhat stressed lately. So this works more or less.

        • Alex says

          The Chinese face map seems to be very accurate for my experience! About three years ago I had walking pneumonia and would get acne around my cheeks, where the map shows problems with the lungs. I’m cured of the walking pneumonia and haven’t had a breakout on my cheek since. Recently I’ve been stressed and got a very bad breakout on my forehead that won’t go away with the face wash I used to swear by! Things are going better and I hope by drinking lots of water I can finally clear this stubborn breakout.

  2. Katherine says

    What if, according to the face map, your whole body is toxic? Even though I’ve switched to a heatlhier lifestyle, done a candida cleanse, started exercising, etc. for months now. I guess that must mean the face map doesn’t apply to my situation…?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Katherine – I don’t believe it does apply to everyone! If you find that nothing stands out to you here, then maybe it’s not relevant to your situation

      • Jo says

        Hey there tracy,
        Im really confused as i have had no acne problems for years..
        i am a health food chef., working the last 5 years in raw food etc, workshops etc..
        Anywho recently on my return to new zealand for my first winter in 7 years, i started to get bad ance, on my left cheek mostly and in my hormonal areas…
        my periods have been regular and forsure my sleep levels went down, work levels went up, and sunlight obsorbtion went down massivly as i was working helping a organic resturant get on there feet for 8 weeks and saw no sun..
        I am now sleeping more, stress levels are down, sun everyday, lots of herbs im on, tintures, zinc, cod liver oil and more..
        It is clearing slowly, wondering if you have anymore advice?
        What did i do do you think?

    • soliferi says

      or maybe theres an internal problem that needs to be addressed by a doctor? or try a different face map that may have more detail.

  3. says

    I always break out on my neck (particularly over my lymph nodes) right before I get sick. I get cystic acne along my jawline both the week before and the week during my period–as well as during high stress periods of the semester.
    So as far as I can tell, this is pretty accurate for me.
    I’ll have to try drinking more water next time I get a breakout on my forehead. I don’t really pay attention to links between my acne breakouts and my water consumption…but I wouldn’t be surprised if days when I don’t drink enough lead to more breakouts. Lack of water causes all sorts of lame-ness.

    • Tracy says

      It seems fairly accurate to me too – it seems like mine is some combination of hormones and digestion… I have much more stubborn acne around my chin, and more like clogged pores on my forehead.. they seem to have different patterns and may be caused by different imbalances

  4. Ef says

    Thanks for this, it’s really interesting and has turned out to be extremely accurate! I was wondering if you knew anything about other areas of the body and traditional chinese medicine (back acne, arms etc), are they linked in similar ways? Will definitely have to go on a hunt for some more info… meanwhile tackling my lymphatic system with much more tenacity! Thanks again.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Ef – yes I’m not really sure what body acne means. I had once heard that chest and back acne is linked to greasy foods, bad fats, and dairy

    • Tracy says

      I’m not really sure.. I always assumed it was because that’s where sweat pools, and there’s lots of potential friction and irritation there. That’s just a hypothesis though

  5. says

    Chinese face mapping is amazing, it’s amazing how transparent our bodies are… It’s all about being in balance, being healthy and making sure are organs are properly cleansed and given the nutrition they need.

    Thanks for sharing this very in depth article!


  6. LJ says

    My acne is hormonal and stress-related. What are the TOP natural ways to sort this out? I have a feeling that a sugar detox is on the cards.

    By the way, your skin looks wonderful in the video!

    • Tracy says

      Well with hormonal acne – I feel like it’s kind of misleading in a way, since it’s other things that affect your hormones and cause them to be out of whack – like your diet and stress levels. So in my opinion the best thing to do is just improve your diet (yes, definitely lowering sugar intake!), lower your stress, and if that doesn’t completely take care of it after a few months, I think getting a saliva hormone test is the best thing to do. This will tell you exactly what hormonal imbalance you have so you can treat it with effective supplements

      • LJ says

        Ah I hadn’t even heard of a hormone saliva test before, thanks so much for letting me know, I really appreciate it!

  7. Laura says

    Hey Tracy! Haven’t commented in a while but have been checking out your posts every week :)

    I love this post as I often look at these things and wonder if they have any bearings. In my experience lately it does.
    It depends on the chart, but my acne is definitely mostly hormonal as I tend to break out on my jawline, chin, neck and shoulders and a certain times of the month mostly.
    I get the ocassional few on my forehead, or around my nose or on my cheeks though. This last week has seen more breakout than I’ve had for a while, accompanied by dry patches on one cheek, but my system was down! I had been out camping in the cold and came down with a cough and runny nose with a resounding tiredness, and all I wanted to eat were really bad sugary things; not to mention it’s around the time of the month when I break out anyway. Makes sense!

    • Tracy says

      Cool! It seems like many people are finding this to be at least somewhat accurate so that’s very interesting :)

  8. Annemarie says

    I have seen a couple of these around and it seems that they all say that cheeks have to do with lungs/respiratory system.. I don’t smoke, and I don’t even processed food (processed food is like 5% of my diet) but I do eat a lot of (good?) Fats.. I don’t have any allergies, that I am aware of.. I did almost drown once, but I think that is too far-fetched to be related to my lungs now.. Maybe this just doesn’t really relate to me, but I think some of the other parts might!
    I went on a candida cleanse once, and it completely cleared my forehead of the clogged pores and tiny whiteheads, and just all the uneven skin.. yet it didn’t do anything for my cheeks..Anyway, this is interesting and I think it could make things easier for some people!! I hate how people just brush this stuff off and say it has “no scientific backup” what does that even mean!? If it helps people, it helps people, and it doesn’t really matter if its certifiably legit or not!

    • Tracy says

      I always thought that maybe cheeks were related to hidden food allergies – because I know – it’s not like everyone who has cheek allergies smokes or has something wrong with their lungs!

      • Lita says

        I have seen a couple face maps that show cheeks being “stomach”. I took that to mean you were eating something that was causing issues in your gut, and in my case that was true. When I cut out all dairy, (which I had known I was at least mildly allergic to..) my cheeks cleared up. This is the first map I’ve seen that doesn’t include that. Usually, cheeks are broken up into upper (respiratory) and say.. the hollows of your cheeks, would be stomach. :)

  9. Amanda says

    My diet hasn’t been very healthy lately (since school started in August), relative to what I had been eating, but my skin has still held out, being SO MUCH clearer than it has in years, thanks to dramatic changes, caveman regimen, and gut healing tips I learned HERE (thank you SO MUCH!) I still get breakouts, usually directly related to a late night with <7 hrs sleep and consumption of caffeinated things and sugar, oh and the stress of cramming… but even those have been so rare lately. Life has been good.
    and then
    Saturday night/Sunday morning I freaked myself out and didn't sleep at all and cried for a day. Now, Wednesday, I have one large (not cystic, but the kind that hangs around 3-4 weeks) spot on either side of my chin, at the jawline. There are a few little spots surrounding the one on the left, but they'll be gone by Sunday.
    Just another anecdote supporting the above post. I can't wait til these spots go away.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Amanda – it’s fantastic to hear your skin has been so much better!! That’s great to hear – it does always suck though when you get an occasional big one … at least you know what caused it so you don’t have to worry. Here’s hoping it goes away quickly :)

  10. Stella says

    I don’t think this stuff applies to me. I get breakouts all over the face, then they’re less intense, then they’re coming again with NO logic pattern at all. It’s frustrating. Right now it’s getting worse again. I don’t have cystic acne but lots of black heads, some whiteheads and some red pustules(?), I think. My skintone is so uneven overall.

    A few weeks agao I’ve had a really stubborn sinusitis and after a few weeks my doctor told me I had to take antibiotics to get rid of it. The last time I’ve taken antibiotics was years ago. I haven’t had any side effects but after 3-4 days I’ve noticed that my skin cleared up. To be honest it didn’t occur to me that it may be the antibiotics. After the last pill (10 days) my skin looked better than it did in years. Seriously, so amazing. Then I’ve read that this medicine indicated for acne. After 1 1/2 weeks my skin got back to normal, though. So disappointing, but I’ve had already expected it.

    Question: Not everyone with acne seems to respond to antibiotics. Does it mean that my skin problems don’t stem from diet, allergies etc., but mainly from bacteria overgrowth? Is there anything other than antibiotics that one can do?

    • Stella says

      *I meant that my oral antibiotics could also be prescribed for treating acne (I’ve read the prescribing information in the package).

      • Tracy says

        Hi Stella –
        To answer your question – no, because everyone has acne bacteria all over their face (even people without acne). What causes acne is your body’s hormones creating too much oil/ not shedding the skin properly – this clogs pores, and then the natural bacteria gets trapped in a pore, then your body’s immune system overreacts to this trapped bacteria and creates a pimple.

        So the problem is not the bacteria – the problem is a body that is not doing it’s job correctly (making the right amount of sebum, shedding skin cells correctly, overreacting immune system)… the question is why is it not doing it’s job correctly? Because the hormones that tell your body to do these things aren’t sending the right messages – and they aren’t doing the right things because they are affected by your diet/lifestyle/toxins/allergies and whatever.

        With antibiotics, it kills the bacteria – if that doesn’t exist, then there’s nothing to get trapped in the pores and cause your body to overreact. But since this bacteria is natural on the skin, usually people just get acne again as soon as they go off antibiotics.

        And the BAD news is that taking antibiotics majorly hurts your digestion and gut flora, which actually makes it more likely for you to get acne worse in the future after you are off them.

        So yes. I really don’t recommend antibiotics as a good course of action for getting rid of acne. And you should also get on some probiotics asap.

        • Stella says

          Thanks for your answer, Tracy!
          I def. don’t consider longtime antibiotics for my acne. It’s just so frustrating: I’ve tried everything from diet to face care to these stupid CLO capsules!! 😀 Nothing has worked longterm. No doctor, no homeopath could do anything. Sometimes (when my skin is not that bad) I think I’m at peace with the fact that I will never have absolutely clear skin. But when it’s getting worse like right now, I’m like, I am 25 years old, will this godd*amn acne haunt me till I’m hitting menopause?? Not fair.

          • Jessica says

            I had the same description … constant overall acne with no pattern…some cystic, some small. I finally tried giving up dairy and gluten (all!!) and it cleared up to the best it’s ever been. Then I did coffee enemas, and it got even better. If I don’t touch it, it really makes a difference too. Oh, and I can’t eat eggs much either unless they’re baked in things.

            • Cali says

              Hi Jessica I am experiencing the same as you with my face for the most part and did a candida cleanse to try and help with the ache as well as other symptoms am experiencing. I had cut both gluten and dairy out of my diet for a while and now reintroduced it after finishing my cleanse and my face got awful. Do you recommend any special facial cleansing products that have worked for you as well as make ups??? Would really appreciate a response.

        • Bethany says

          That’s partialy right. But not completely. Acne comes because of an over sensitivity of the the sebaceous glands to androgen hormones. If you’re constantly prone to acne you’re more than likely very androgen sensitive.

          I think people misunderstand the relationship between acne and diet. When someone improves their acne from eating a healthy diet it’s not because they’re balancing their gut or getting the right nutition to combat the disorder. What’s really happening is they’re consuming less calories which balances their insulin correctly (But sometimes this is short lived). Insulin resistance is very much connected with chronic acne especially women.

          • SiriBai says

            that’s not really right either. A healthy diet doesn’t necessarily mean consuming less calories. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but usually it’s replacing the calories from foods that one is sensitive to with calories from foods one isn’t sensitive too, ones that don’t stimulate a negative hormonal reaction. You seem to assume that all women with acne don’t eat well. Well, I know I don’t always eat well, but I know people with acne who eat healthily and still have acne.

  11. Jesse says

    My skin is better than ever. I still have redness and inflammation. But I have 7 to 8 bowel movements a day for the past week, they’re healthy looking. I always like to check the chinese face chart in case I ate something bad and it might be correlated to whenever I have a breakout.

    Hoping for the best!! 😀
    I’m not even slighty stressed about my skin for the past 2-3 months. Being unstressed helped me a lot. Emotionally and physically!

  12. Lorena says

    Hi Tracy 😀

    Your observations seem pretty spot on (at least in my case). I think my acne is also a combination of hormonal imbalances and digestive issues. I think I’ve gotten the digestive issues under control (my forehead is pretty much clear now). However my jawline is still breaking out; I’ve been really stressed out these past few weeks. So it seems like my acne solution is to be relaxed and happy…it seems like such an awesome and simple remedy, yet it’s sooo hard! Wait, didn’t you right an article on this once? :)

  13. Ashley says

    The past 2 weeks I’ve been breaking out on my forehead and my temples pretty bad. My skin isnt oily but still have painful systic acne and small bumps. Looks like I need to up my water intake even more and cut out dairy again. Thanks for all your help Tracy! I can see you have helped so many people! Your awesome!

  14. Samantha says

    Hi Tracy,
    I came across your site looking to see if I could find some natural solutions to my acne…no OTC face wash/product seems to work–AT ALL. Most of my acne is indeed on my chin/jaw line, and I have been diagnosed with PCOS—though I have been put on birth control as a means to control that, I am still surprised to see that my acne pattern hasn’t seemed to change much!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Samantha – no, generally with hormonal acne, nothing external makes that much of a difference. Frustrating! Wishing you the best with everything

  15. Krista says

    I am having a lot of small pimples around my mouth (upper lip and chin) and they ITCH! Could this be a sign of healing? Also, I am taking fish oil and a multi-vitamin to try to balance out my internal state to prevent acne. Do you suggest probiotics as well?

    • Tracy says

      Yes it could be – it’s normal in some cases for acne/wounds to itch when it heals. And small rash like pimples in places you don’t normally get them sounds like typical herxheimer acne (did you only just start getting these after you began to treat acne holistically?)
      Also, yes, I do recommend probiotics! Especially if you have any digestive symptoms

  16. Krista says

    yes!! the rash-like acne has been around for some months now, but it didn’t start until after I began holistic treatment. My skin use to be red/raw but smooth with pimples here and there when on topicals, but now it’s itchy and scaly…uneven and really dry in parts despite using honey and jojoba oil (aloe on the active acne to help heal, I was afraid to use tea tree on my sensitive skin)…it’s like some pores are scabbed over or congested. Any suggestions?
    As for digestive symptoms, I do have gas and irregularity at times…maybe I should start probiotics. I try to eat garlic and drink lemon water to regulate my system.

  17. JacquelineW says

    Hmmm…there might be something to this for me. Not sure, exactly, but I noticed that the acne on my forehead seems to be the most unwilling to clear up, and about a month ago I found out I had a heck of a lot of food allergies, so that’s interesting. Also, while I’ve had acne on my chin for most of my life, I’ve recently started eating a higher fibre diet, and I’ve just noticed that my chin is completely clear! I don’t know if this counts or not (I don’t smoke), but another weird thing is that I’m currently suffering from a cold that’s annoying the heck out of my sinuses and lungs, and I just developed a very out-of-the-ordinary pimple in Zone 5 (?!?!?) Zones 13 and 11, hormone issues, check. All very interesting, thanks for the post!

  18. Hannah says

    Hi Tracy :)

    I get really painful acne along the jawline and my neck as well and it is spreading over my cheek are as well. I think it is because of my hormonal imbalnaces and lymphic system?

    What should I do to treat hormanal imbalance(lack of estrogen) and lymphic (immunal) system?

  19. Lindsey says

    Hi Tracy!

    So I just need help lol
    I get really bad breakouts on my chin and above my upper lip under my nose. I tried the caveman for a while but I used water and honey occasionally and for a little while it seemed to be awesome. But the past month or 2 its gotten worse. Do you think I should find some kind of facial cleanser? Or try the caveman with no water or honey or anything? I’ve read your articles about what causes my type of acne and it seems for me that its hormones and maybe digestion.

    Any quick suggestions?

    =D blessings!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Lindsey,
      If you have hormonal and digestion issues, what you do to your face isn’t going to make a major difference. Choose what feels good to you – maybe try using honey as a cleanser regularly.

      As for homones and digestion, look into the supplements DIM, and Vitex, and also a liver cleansing supplement (like milk thistle)… digestion, take probiotics and fermented foods!

  20. says

    Thank you so much!!! I think your blog is about to save my life!!! I was an avid pot smoker, and I just quit last night thanks to this chart…. lets see how my skin goes! I’m taking on a healthier overall lifestyle, drinking more water, and will restart my detox

  21. Chick Pea says

    Hi Tracy – long time reader, first time commenter :) I know I’m a little late to the party but I am wondering whether you or anyone has any ideas why you would get acne only on the body (chest and back) my face is mainly fine – some hormonal acne but nothing I can’t deal with. But I have had acne on my body for about 15 years now and no one (naturopath, doctor or otherwise) has been able to help me or give me an explanation as to why its only on my body.
    I’ve tried so hard for so many years, it really feels so hopeless sometimes. Every time I read a new acne book, for example, in the end i am disheartned as i am already doing all the recommendations and more. But all I can do is keep trying, keep persevering until I find something that works. I’m awaiting my order of DIM after joining Fran’s webinar and have just started introducing b5… So I’m hoping that something (along with everything else I do) will finally be the last piece of the puzzle!

    Thank you for giving us hope and a place to share and feel safe :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Chick pea :)
      I hate to tell you, but I don’t know why either. The only thing I have ever heard about what causes back acne is that it may be aggravated by bad and damaged fats (so lots of vegetables oils, deep fried foods). I’m guessing if you’ve been following a healthy diet and other recommendations, that isn’t the case…
      I had one bout with fairly severe back acne that came out of nowhere and disappeared suddenly without explanation… I’m still not sure what caused it. Could have been fluoride in the water, could have been stress, could have been a weird hormonal reaction from quitting birth control six months earlier.
      Wish I could be of more help. Keep working at it, I know at some point you will find the right thing that kicks its butt. Good luck trying the DIM, so far I am very happy with it.

  22. Kamila says

    Very spot on I must say for the must part but it left me a little confused at the same time I must admit, lol
    I figured out I had to cure down my soda caffeine and alcohol (which I must say its a lot) and I do have a huge problem with allergies however I do often get backheads on my back and shoulders and and what I like to think are whiteheads on my face. Could this be hormonal as well?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Kamila,
      I’m still not really sure what specific thing that body acne might mean! It doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s chinese maps.

  23. Abinav says

    Hello Tracy,

    I have been reading your articles and checking out your videos for some time now and it always makes me feel better and more knowledgeable.
    I’m 19 years old,i live in southern India and i have acne only on both side of my cheeks.I don’t smoke,stress comes and goes,my diet is good with plenty of fruits,vegetables,nuts,EFAs and i’m free of dairy,sugar,wheat.But my only problem is that i live in hostel and i only get white/basmati rice for my lunch and dinner(breakfast is oatmeal)and i do include in vegetables,legumes etc with the meals,but can the white/basmati rice be causing my acne on both side of my cheeks(pus filled pimples usually).The rest of my face is perfect,and i do have mild acne on my back as well.Hope you can help me out,i have been trying to find the answer to my problem for over 2 years,but i still don’t know.

    Best regards,

    • Tracy says

      Hi Abinav!
      Thanks for stopping by the L Vitamin, it’s nice to see you here :)
      Unfortunately from this short description I’m not really able to tell what it is that might be the issue for you, but keep reading around my site because you might find something to make you go aha! White rice could be a problem if it spikes your blood sugar too much, but it totally might not, everyone is different. I eat white rice now. The only way you would know is to cut it out and see.

      • Abinav says

        Hello again,

        Great to hear from you!!!I’m currently going through the cavemen regimen(i use water though),now if i look much better after like 2 or 3 months,should i go for the cavemen regimen forever?
        Oh and i only got broiler chicken here,is it better off to avoid them or go for them(like 4-5 days a week)?(i don’t get organic meat/chicken here).
        I believe the only way to know the culprit is to eliminate it for like a week,and include it the next week to notice changes,right?What’s your opinion on wheat-free ready to eat granola?And it would be really helpful if you could list out some cereal kind easy to cook food(like oatmeal)so i could be a little more healthy in my hostel room.

        Best regards,

  24. Tristen420 says

    Hey tracy, the chinese face map doesnt really work for me since I have problems on my forehead, and I drink at least 6 bottles of water a day and eat healthy. No sugars barely any milk and I wash my face twice a day. But no matter what I do I still get the little under the skin ones. You can’t even see them but they still bother me. Was wondering where to get a candida cleanser and also how precise the saliva test is, cuz I jus got my blood test back and everythings normal but maybe the saliva does more extensive searching? Also I smoke both cigs and weed but have gone weeks without both and it doesn’t make a difference at all, whether I smoke heavily or not at all. Jus kinda confused over here, don’t know if your still checkin these but if you do can you think of anything to help my situation?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Tristen,
      From what I know, the saliva test is more accurate for hormones than a blood test. There’s lots of stuff it could be.. yes, hormones.. could be a hidden food sensitivity, could be stress that you aren’t aware of… I know it’s annoying, but there’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to treating acne

  25. Myranda says

    Seems pretty exact. My chin has always been a real problem for me, probably started because of a lifelong bad diet, and the stress from acne let it spread. I also noticed that My cheeks breakout bad when I smoke, which started because of my stress. Very interesting.
    Thank You

  26. Eva says

    Hey Tracy, I am so overwhelmed and stressed out on figuring why and what is breaking me out. My skin is sometimes normal but most of the time, oily. My inner cheeks, forehead, nose and chin are really oily after a few hours of wash. I am having spots on the inner cheeks near my nose. It always appears red and irritated in that area. The acne is mostly small and clogged pores which turns into a pimple. Another problematic area is my chin and lower cheeks. My right side of my chin has been erupting acne. Is it some kind of hormonal imbalance? Also my center if my forehead is sprouting some babies and my hairline near the temples. I am so confused and want some advice. Also, does anger cause acne? I have some anger issues. Thanks for the help Tracy!

  27. Chloe says

    Hi tracy,
    I have a lot of pimples on my face and i have been using dermalogica to wash my face and been getting a facial every 2 or 3 weeks it has helped but i still have quite a lot of it especially around my chin and forehead and hairline and sometimes on my nose and rarely on my cheeks i do wear make but its a mineral one but not as much as i used to. My skin gets very oily very quickly. And i have a lot of little white bumps all over my chin but they never seem to go away,

  28. T says

    I’m at a loss…I’ve been suffering for over 20 years. I mostly get cysts. Currently have one right smack dab in the middle of my upper lip. Small under the skin bump. And my chin is disfigured from cysts. I had my hormones checked-normal. I take EFAs, probiotics, exercise religiously, eat healthy, drink lots of water. I use epsom salts and baking soda to help the inflammation. I’ve taken every medication imagineable. Every topical. I’ve tried everything. I hurt inside and out. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s bs I have to worry now about wrinkles and cysts!!

  29. KU says

    been suffering for years on my chin area, never came by any research on fiber intake. I rarely have any pimple now, thanks a lot!!!!
    I took green beans with chinese barley (a cup/bowl daily)
    Green beans helps to detox
    Chinese Barley is cooling
    fish oils helps with anti-inflammation(reduce redness)
    papaya helps with cell regen/growth

  30. Jonny says

    Hi, Tracy

    Stumbled across this article while trying to diagnose my acne. My face has been bad for about 4 years now. I have tried anti-biotic prescriptions, proactive, and many cleansers. I agree that external products help substantially, I believe it is hormonal and digestion problems. I read somewhere that some guy cured his acne by taking 800 mg of vitamin A3 and low dose of magnesium (250 mg) supplements for 2-3 months and it helped drastically. Would this help me in my case since it is hormonal imbalance? I also started taking probiotics and flaxseed oil capsules (1200mg) daily.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jonny,
      It’s worth a try… but it’s hard with supplements because everyone is so different that what works for one person might not work for another. The best thing you can do with supplements is to see a naturopath or someone who could advise you on the best supplements for your particular body. That being said, Vitamin A is a really awesome thing for skin (I highly recommend Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend, as it has natural Vitamin A, Omega 3s, Vitamin D and other nutrients really important for the skin and hormones). Magnesium is a great all around nutrient that the vast majority of people don’t get enough of and need more of, although I’m not sure of it’s direct implications in fighting acne. Probiotics are great, keep up with that, and just in general make sure you are eating well, sleeping well, and really keeping your stress as low as possible, which will help balance your hormones.

      • Jonny says

        Ok, the only thing i have a question about is taking vitamin D with Vitamin A. I read that vitamin A and D don’t mix well in high quantities because they counteract each other and can become toxic to your body. Do you find this valid or should I start eating spinach and other high sources of vitamin A? Thank you for your time though Tracy.

        • Tracy says

          Interesting, I’ve never heard that. I thought that Vitamin D moderated Vitamin A… so like… people talk a lot about getting Vitamin A toxicity in high amounts, but that isn’t an issue with the Green Pastures product because Vitamin D needs to go along with Vitamin A to work properly and ensure it doesn’t get to toxic levels. And actually vice versa. Weird you’ve heard the complete opposite!

    • Tracy says

      It seems valid. I have also heard before of others finding the root of their acne with Vitamin D. But you have to realize that all the time people come along on the internet proclaiming they have found the cure for acne because something worked for them. And it did work for them, but it doesn’t mean it will be the cure for you, because unfortunately there seems to be about a gazillion things that can be the root cause of acne.

      This is why I generally just recommend getting your lifestyle healthier across the board – this way you don’t have to be paralyzed until you find out what your exact root cause is, because it’s likely as you improve your areas of health all together, you’re going to hit on the money! And if you don’t, then maybe more investigation and experimentation is in order. Perhaps Vitamin D is the winner for you, perhaps not :) It’s worth a try. Worked for that guy.

      • Jonny says

        Yea that sounds like good advise. Maybe I should start riding my bike again and take up jump roping. Need to start that better lifestyle, stop gaming so much as well I’m sure.

        If my acne clears up I will owe you my social life haha. Thank you for your help Tracy, wish there was some way to donate to you or something, you’re the best!

  31. Krista says

    I am still on the fence about vitamin D. While we all love the idea that it’s “do this and skin will be perfect!” as Tracey has said it’s not that simple. Even the guy in the article takes back his claim. I read through it and scrolling down to a later post he wrote

    “Hi everyone… I just wanted to state some disappointing news.

    The vitamin D therapy is inconclusive to highly doubtful as a cure to acne.
    My acne… although much better, isn’t becoming ‘cured’ as I once thought.
    I still can’t get rid of it despite supplementing 5000 IU of vitamin D daily.
    I’m back using my supply of Differin cream.

    The best thing is to just be smart about your acne and do a multitude of things to keep yourself healthy, and your acne in check. ”

    So as Tracy says in her ebook, Vit D/sun is def a tip/step to clear skin but may not be the “end-all-be-all”

    • Jonny says

      Oh lame I didn’t read through all the comments,I just figured it was a sure thing and but all my hopes into believing it. That’s discouraging =[

  32. Krista says

    I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be discouraging, but I didn’t want to see anyone put “all eggs into one basket” looking for a miracle (been there done that…) In the end it just breeds more confusion/stress which in turn likely doesn’t help cure acne.

    I def think incorporating more Vit D isn’t a bad thing (I am going to start doing so myself! :) but its best not to get “taken” by one blog.

    Live well and get off antibiotics. The source of my severe acne was a yeast infection cause by antibiotic abuse from dermatologists. Do extensive research and/or Go to a naturopath. Best of luck!!

  33. Savannah says

    Hii, my names Savannah. I’m 17 , I started smoking weed when I was about 13. I never really had acne, my face was always clear and even if I did break out it wouldn’t last long. Just like 5 months ago maybe 4 I stopped smoking weed, since then I have been breaking out more and more and it’s horrible Ive tried so many things like neutrogena, clean and clear, exc but nothings working. I’m not sure if the acne is from me stopping smoking weed. Idk what to do, I wanna try smoking again but I know I shouldn’t, idk what to doooo someone help meee.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Savannah,
      Are you a lot more stressed out now that you aren’t smoking weed? If so, that could have something to do with it. Also, a lot of people start breaking out for some reason or another and then begin going crazy with face washes, acne creams etc… these actually can make acne a lot worse. So it’s the “cure” that is actually the problem. Google “the caveman regimen the love vitamin” to view my articles about how I don’t even wash my face with anything anymore and it’s actually better acne wise than ever before!

  34. Krista says

    Interesting… I have yeast in my face hair follicles (as well as in my body, I am a candida sufferer!) so I am to use a silver-based topical from my naturopath, but I may stop washing my face all together. Right now I am only splashing it at night anyway…

    And you don’t use oil or anything and your face has remained clear? I am still getting pimples (which is likely still the candida’s fault as it is dying off with my doctor’s supplement regime…food testing is soon too once my body regulates itself!) and sometimes worry about the hyper-pigmentation marks.

    • Tracy says

      Hm, I wouldn’t say that the caveman necessarily cleared my acne completely, but just that it was even better than when I was washing my face even with gentle things (like honey and using jojoba)… and, let’s face it…. it’s way easier!!

    • Tracy says

      Nope, not on purpose. If I go swimming (in the summer), or get water on it when I wash my hair, then I don’t mind, but I try to keep water off it because it makes my skin dry

  35. Krista says

    good to know, thanks!!

    From watching your videos, I know another way you helped cure yourself (besides what is pointed out in our ebook) was through food sensitivity testing. That by not eating those foods, your skin cleared. Now do you still avoid those foods that came up during testing or can you eat them again now that your guy has healed?

    I wonder because I have leaky gut and will get food testing done soon (once my yeast calms down) and I am curious to know if I will be able to eat foods like I use to again…

    • Tracy says

      Hi Krista,
      Yes after you have healed you should be able to eat most of the foods again! I eat everything now that showed up on my initial sensitivity tests.

  36. Emily says

    Hi! This was really helpful but how can I treat my acne? I have horrible acne on my cheeks and jaw line. These different charts point it to a number of things, could be anywhere from gingivitis, hormone changes, or fatty foodss. I have been really watching what I eat and am only eating healthy food. My face has been breaking out ALOT on my cheek area. It is horrible and never did this before. Some friends are telling me it might be hormonal other friends are saying it might be allergic reaction to pollen. I have been eating really healthy since I am trying to lose weight. Mostly yogurts, fruits, veggies, lean meat, green tea, and protein shakes. I don’t understand why it is so bad. Really effecting my self esteem. I don’t want to wear make up to make it worse. please help!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Emily, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. It points to a number of things, because it could be a number of things… the best thing to do for acne is to improve your lifestyle in all areas, and especially the areas that need the work. So eat well, sleep well, keep stress low. This way you don’t have to worry so much about diagnosing, because it’s likely you will hit on the money. And if you don’t, then experimentation is in order.

      From your brief comment, what I’m thinking is that if you are trying to lose weight, you might not be eating enough food, and you also could be exercising too intensely… this can put a lot of stress on the body, which could be causing your acne to get worse. Read my recent article for more information on this: http://thelovevitamin.com/8298/best-exercise-hormones-gorgeous-skin/ – also protein shakes are usually make of crappy stuff that could aggravate acne. What sort of protein is it?

      If that is not the case, then it could just be detox… many people find that as they lose weight, they break out for a while… it’s because fat stores toxins, and as your body metabolizes that fat, your body can get a little overloaded with toxins which can come out through the skin until you stop losing and your weight stabalizes

  37. Jen tuazon says

    Hi tracy,i have acne on my forehead,jawline and even in cheeks but the forehead got it a lot. Is it weather ( winter) can cause also acne??

  38. Jules says

    Hi Tracy!

    My acne-prone area is primarily my forehead and for the past three months, I’ve made numerous changes to my lifestyle which has helped reduce the amount of acne I have in this particular area (it’s almost clear!!! AHHHH!) But.. I’ve been noticing that I now break out on both temples—which in the past has never been an issue for me.

    After doing research, I heard that temple acne could be due to consuming too much fat or irregular sleep patterns. I’ve increased the amount of saturated fats I consume (coconut oil, walnuts, avocados, etc.) and I’ve been doing my best at being asleep by 10:30.

    I use coconut oil to cook everything. Mainly my lunches and dinners. Could consuming too much “good” fats cause acne?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jules! It could… everyone is different, so I can’t really say… you’ll have to experiment to find out if fat is the culprit in your temple acne

  39. CHRIS says



  40. Victoria says

    All three charts seem to fit what is going on with me, my chin and mouth area are constantly breaking out. I have been using EstroSense, a hormone balancing therapy for the last few months. I am not seeing any results as far as clearing up my skin goes. My cycle is shorter and not as heavy, I don’t get as much pain but my acne is still painful. The product has liver support, which helps get rid of all the bad Estrogen in my body, it leaves my wondering… Do I need to be on progesterone to create a balance?

  41. Melanie says

    For the past 6 months my face skin has gone thru stages of normal to very very dry, red & burning. Its very red after a shower. It is wrinkling way faster than I thought it would and is so dry looking even with coconut oil on it. Its like this for a while & then will seem more normal again for awhile before it starts drying again. Any idea where I shoukd start? I eat gluten free (celiac disease) very healthy. When the skin flairsI have stomach & digestion issues. Never ever had a skin issue my whole life till 6 months ago so I’m at a loss as to where to atart. I’m 34years old.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Melanie :)

      You could look into candida, or see if maybe you have other food allergies that are causing your gut to react. Stress is another thing that greatly affects the gut, which in turn affects the skin. Take lots of probiotics and fermented foods, and maybe look into using L-glutamine to heal the gut lining

  42. Dougie says

    I fall into the painful cystic acne that takes weeks to clear, I can go for weeks with nothing and then I feel a small lump on cheek (left cheek next to my nose seems to be the preferred side for my acne) any suggestions, Also if the spots come to a head its a tiny white head and totally out of proportion to size of pimple, If I leave spots alone I’m still left with acne scars. Doctor prescribed me a daily ant-biotic and an anti-biotic cream to apply if spots appear but it makes no difference.


  43. Jessica says

    I don’t know if this chart applies to me or not.. I have acne on my forehead, upper cheeks, and sides of my chin but they’re ALL whiteheads or blackheads (apart from the occasional hormonal pimple or cyst). I’ve had these whiteheads for YEARS and when I pop them (bad I know) they fill right back up with goook. Have any idea!? I eat really well and have for years –minimal dairy (only raw on occasion) and organic meats and no wheat/sugar.

  44. melissa says

    i was reading through some posts. i heard of the saliva test, as well as it beign expensive, tracy do you know of any sources or links that one could get a saliva test done for much cheaper? or does it generally have to be thru a doctor/naturapath? or labs sent thru online? i just havent found anything that convinces me yet. as well how does it differ between mineral hair analysis?? thanks!

  45. Jennifer says

    Thanks for the insight! The only areas of concern on my face right now are located on the lower left and right cheeks (zones 5 and 9) which could be related to dental problems. I don’t have gingivitis but have 3 or 4 mercury fillings/amalgams (two of which with active decay). I don’t smoke nor drink though.

  46. says

    Very helpful. I have issues with cystic acne in the cheek areas(5&9) and while it didn’t list my actual issue it did link me to it with PCOP. I didn’t know what that was so I googled it and at the bottom of the article I read it stated that Thyroid problems sometimes have the same effects as PCOP. I have a condition called hyperthyroidism which I was diagnosed with 5 or so years ago… Never knew that was my acne issue too, kind of figures tho.
    Thanks for the article.

  47. Jeanette Tovey says

    This is really interesting.

    My acne used to be very bad but has improved significantly since I came to Asia, perhaps due to diet and the water quality being very good. However, I do tend to break out occasionally on my chin – and this as the table suggests, is largely due to stress I think.

    I really do think a low sugar diet is imperative. I barely eat sweet food any more, and do eat a high veg diet just because Asia food does contain so much vegetables etc.

    That and not touching your face! It’s hard but when we7re stressed we tend to touch our faces subconsciously – that is awful for acne.

  48. Julie says

    Hi, I am new to this and have been reading and I am excited I am not alone however my face seems worse than most posted… I have cystic acne in zones 5, 9, 11, & 13. I have never had acne before and I am in my mid 30s. It is very painful and my face is scaring and it is so embarrassing. I know I shouldn’t let something like this get me down but it does and I am just being honest. I can’t tell you how many doctors I have been to and how many creams and washes i have tried over the last few years. I have oral antibiotics but they don’t seem to work. Then again I am not very good at taking a pill everyday. I am going to start again tonight.

    I really enjoyed reading everyones posts and the Chinese Face Mapping. I am sure it’s hormonal and bacterial together and that is why it’s so hard to shed. I have considered getting on birth control to help control the hormones. Any advice on that for women my age?

    I am not being conceited but my face is the one part of my body that I have going for me and it’s being ruined so any suggestions you have would be great. I never considered diet as a factor to cyst acne or smoking… and after all the dermatologists I went to NOT ONE ever mentioned diet or smoking. In reading your posts I feel so silly not making the connection but for someone new to a different kind of healthy this is eye opening.

    If anyone has any solutions to cystic acne on the chin and sometimes cheeks please send them my way. I am looking for overall help but specifically, how to lessen scaring, how to lessen pain, and how to lessen redness. Also, what would you eat to prevent or lessen the scaring, pain, and redness.

    Thanks again for your help,

    • Krista says

      ****STAY AWAY FROM ORAL ANTI-BIOTICS!!!! *** They cause yeast overgrowth in your body which turns toxic and comes out the skin (when the liver gets flooded and can’t handle them all) I know, I am living the consequences…

      Read articles on this site, Tracy has better insight than medical doctors I have seen!

      Cut out dairy and watch high glycemic foods (raise insulin which is a hormone) And if yeast is already starting to be problem since you’ve been on antibiotics already, cut down on sugars/alcohol so not to feed it.

    • Florence says

      I have tried this product from the Philippines – Beauche. Google it.

      I have constant zits on my face and on my cheeks. After using this product I would have a single pimple on the week of my period. It’s not expensive (not sure if it’s available in the US though).

      You use a toner, a clarifying lotion, an exfoliating cream and a rejuvenating cream at night, in the morning you use the toner and the sun protection cream. It’s about 17 usd.

      Let me know if you’re interested.

  49. Camille says

    I never suffered from acne as a teen. Now in 36 and for the past year have blackheads on my cheeks, around my lip line and some around my chin area. Mostly my cheeks. I’ve been told by numerous people ( including a dermatologist and an esthetician) that its hormonal acne. But everything I read says different. The dermatologist prescribed a topical antibiotic which I’ve been using for a couple months to no avail. Could my acne actually be the cause of something else? I’m overall pretty healthy and I don’t smoke or have dental issues as some of these suggested. Im just frustrated and want my skin back:(

    • Krista says

      I’d say attack from the inside!! Acne is a result of inflammation due to an internal issue.

      Look to do stress management and supplements like DIM and Vitex (stress releases cortisol which is a hormone ergo can lead to hormonal acne)
      Also, it could be stemming from digestive problems (the liver gets overloaded with toxins and next places it dispels in the skin). Maybe a supplement dealing with liver cleanse (including milk thistle)…

      Def listen to what Tracy has to say!! I just wanted to give some insight from my own personal experience :) OH and caveman regime!

  50. says

    This is very interesting. For the first time in my life I am having regular and fairly severe breakouts on my forehead and cheeks, and I’m on the verge of turning 42! I’ve always had hormonal breakouts on my chin, but for the past nearly two months I’ve had small bumps with a few bigger spots all over my forehead and cheeks, and this is just not my usual pattern. What I find puzzling is the fact that these are said to be digestion/diet related and I’ve never been healthier, diet-wise. I’ve recently reversed my diabetes (I only had it a short time) and I drink tons of water. I have removed every suspected culprit (any new products, vitamins, etc.) and it seems none were the problem. The possibility of an allergy is interesting…I suppose eliminating dairy and wheat at separate times might be worth a try.

  51. Jess says

    Hi. I have been coming out with spots on my nice. It looks red but when I run my finger over it I can feel loads of spots that can easily be picked over. Also I have 3 solid white spots that look like whiteheads but will not be budged and have been there for 2-3 months.
    I have recently started a low carb diet and cut out all unrefined sugar as well as breads potatoes as it was causing severe bloating.
    Any help, thoughts or advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Jess,

      have you tried any other lifestyle improvements (apart from cutting out carbs and sugar), so that your body is able to fight off toxins and to balance your hormone levels? Things like: lowering stress, eating a healthy whole foods diet, sleeping better, getting enough exercise, fresh air and a little bit of sunshine? If not, please do it! You can also download Tracy‘s FREE ebook ‘ Roadmap for Clear Skin‘ for more information: http://thelovevitamin.com/ebooks-products/

      However, I cannot tell you what exactly is wrong with your body, I‘m really, really sorry ;( . There can be a million of reasons: a sluggish liver or hormonal issues, food intolerances, digestive problems, lack of exercise… Please don‘t stop investigating, but try not to stress out about it. This article might be interesting for you, too: http://thelovevitamin.com/8382/skin-trying-to-tell-you-something/

  52. Taya says

    I’m in tears right now because I suffer from hormone imbalance and there nothing much I can do about it it’s causing my face to break out with very bad big cystic acne bumps I guess I will forever be ugly I guess I’ll never get the experience to live a normal life with clear beautiful skin I guess I will never have romance in my life no guy will want me with my face looking hideous like this I will tell you something honestly cystic acne during menstrual time is so bad my ex husband divorced me just because I have cystic and he said It looks ugley on my face and he told I will never make friends are get a boyfriend with all those hideous cystic acne bumps on my face I have I tried to be strong but I can’t nomore the cystic acne has won it’s been winning for years I barely eat anymore because I’m afraid if I eat I will brake out more with cystic acne I stop drinking coffee completely I use to love drinking coffee in the mornings time I cut that out because I don’t know if coffee was helping contributing to the hormonal cystic acne I hate my face I hate how I look with these cystic acne bumps I’m putting pure apple cider vinegar on them now im hoping a miracle will happen for me I’ve suffered for years with this cystic acne what people don’t understand is hormonal acne has ruined my life I recently went on a job interview and the woman said we can’t hire you my response was why not I have all the qualifications for the job the woman said true but your face appeal doesn’t appeal to are company standards I got turned down from a job because of this hormonal cystic acne I feel like my hands is tide with situation like I told my ex husband before we divorced if I had insurance I will be at the dermatologist office to get this cystic acne taken care of but unfortanly I don’t have no insurance so I have faith in natural remedies to help me get thru this cystic hormonal acne so just maybe one day I can live a normal life with clear skin and nomore cystic acne

    • says

      Hi Taya,

      I can understand you: You feel like your whole world is breaking down right now and you‘re even more discouraged by people who are hurting you just because of your cystic acne. That doesn‘t only suck, but it‘s real injury. They should be ashamed of themselves. It‘s okay to feel hit rock bottom and to hate those people who hurt you so much, but please don‘t become one of those people yourself. Please do not hate yourself and your skin. Much of your struggle is dealing with anxiety, and I think a big part of that anxiety comes from loss of trust in yourself and your body. This trust issue is a struggle. Every day. Keep at it. You have no choice. Do not let any of this defeat you.

      I know, it’s HARD, but speaking openly about your skin and how you feel about it with a very close friend or family member (somebody who will NOT judge or criticize you) might lift a huge weight off your shoulders. There must be somebody you can trust. Patience and faith are the names of the game. You have to believe in yourself and in somebody you want to share your pain with. You have to believe that healing is possible. You also need patience. Nothing worth having was ever achieved in an instant. You need patience for yourself, for your body, and for your acne to heal. It will. I swear. You need patience for all the pain in your life and in the lives around you.

      And I want to convince you that you ARE beautiful. So who are you to be beautiful? Here’s a better question: Who are you NOT to be? This is not just your right. It is not just your nature.
      Hey, you are a composition of more than a trillion cells working together. It‘s our culture that kills women, our contemporary ideas of beauty, our obsession with thinness, with being attractive. You are beautiful because you are YOU. You are your cells, you are your brain, your soul, your life and everything that has ever happened to you.

      Still think you’re not beautiful? Fine. Give it time. But start paying attention to yourself.

      The psycho-dermatologist Ted Grossbart shares an amazingly awesome free ebook on his website. You should definitely check it out. However, you have to sit down, dedicate some time to it and actually DO the things suggested. Please try it. It’s truly helpful!

      And please read the new guest post on The Love Vitamin:

      And yes, I suggested you to try apple cider vinegar, but you shouldn‘t use it straight. It‘s far to harsh for your skin and you acne will only get worse. I know you hate your acne and I can understand that it‘s tempting to throw anything at it, even the kitchen sink. But please don‘t treat your skin (and yourself) as if it was your worst enemy. Try to dilute 1 part of apple cider vinegar with 4 parts of water instead. Your skin should never burn or sting. If it does, add more water to the mixture. It‘s fine if you just feel a slight prickling sensation. And after a few minutes (max. 10!!!) wash the vinegar off your face. Some trace amounts of it will remain in your pores and do its job during the day. Without irritating your skin.

      I wish you all the best 😉

  53. Tristen420 says

    Hi tracy, my names tristen, i used to have bad acne all over but out of nowhere about a month ago all acne on my chest and back disapeared but now its getting worse on my face. I grew my hair out and im a boy i dont pull it back or anything honestly I grew it out to hide my skin but now im wondering if maybe my hair is making me breakout. I only have spots on my forehead and my temples where my hair lies all day and night so that may be it, but still i cant help but wonder why my chest and back cleared up, its weird because my back use to get kindve oily and now it doesnt but my face has started getting oily. I am going on accutane because although your method works for you, to me i seems like it only works while your working for it, i dont want to live my life constantly taking the right vitamins and eating nothing at all. I want it to be over with for good, but anyways I was just wondering why the sudden switch? Why has my face and back cleared up and now my forehead is freaking out? My forehead is normally clear, it just doesnt make any sense. If you know why this is happening id greatly apprciae a response, I know your busy being beautiful an all but meanwhile im wishing I were.

    • says

      Hi Tristen,

      Tracy is without internet access right now and she asked me to reply to her comments for a few days.

      I‘m not sure why your back acne is better now and you are breaking out on your forehead instead. However, it‘s definitely your decision to try conventional medications and we respect that.

      Your back and chest acne (even if it has disappeared magically) as well as your acne located on your forehead and along your hairline reminds me of a skin condition called Pityrosporum Folliculitis. It looks like acne, but is caused by a sensitivity to a yeast that lives on everyone’s skin. It can easily be treated with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos like Head and Shoulders or Ducray Kelual DS (or diluted apple cider vinegar applied topically, if you‘re still open for some kind of holistic treatment 😉 ). You can use the shampoo on your face and body, too. At least it‘s worth a try:

      And please ask your dermatologist about it.

      Or maybe the shampoo you‘re using right now makes you break out? Did you switch products recently?

      However, before going on Accutane, make sure to read this article first:

  54. Tristen420 says

    Thank you, I think you may have jus handed me that annoying lost puzzle piece that keeps you from putting it together. It all started happening 2 years ago, I literally went from having flawless, never even heard of acne skin to a pretty agressive mild case of acne overnight. Now that you mention yeast it makes sense, about two years ago I cut off my finger tip and had to take cephalexin for a bit, an antibiotic. I always thought that might have something to do with it, apparently antibiotics can cause yeast infections, do you think that could be it? I have no sympoms and havent for two years so maybe its a blood yeast infection, could that cause acne? I will be sure to check out that link though, accutane is a pretty severe drug.

    • Krista says

      I am currently fighting a blood/systemic yeast infection. It was DEF cause acne (my main symptom) or as I like to call a face rash but it is SO OTHER!! you need an anti-yeast/candida diet, probiotics, vitamin c, anti-yeast supplement

    • says

      Hi Tristen,

      yes, antibiotics can be the cause of many different kinds of yeast infections. And that happens pretty often. I don‘t know anything about blood yeast infections, but I know that antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your body as well (= the natural antagonists of yeast). In addition, antibiotics tend to weaken your immune system. It doesn‘t necessarily have to be a yeast overgrowth. It can also be an intolerance to that specific kind of yeast and your skin reacts with inflammation and breakouts.

      However, the yeast on your skin feeds on sebum and fats (especially oleic acid), so please avoid to apply moisturizers to the effected areas. A little bit of sunshine may be helpful too. However, please don‘t overdo sun exposure (max. 10-15 minutes / day, unprotected).

  55. ISHA says

    hi tracy,

    I came to another place from that time only my food changed oil ,weather changed i m avoiding as much as i can from oily n junk foods and mostly i m getting big big pimples on my cheeks full redish skin tone and when ever i ll go to my home town for a couple of days it started improving own by own so what can be the root of this prob can u pls suggest n help me thanks tracy

    • Tracy says

      Hi Isha,

      Maybe it’s something in the water where you are that isn’t in your hometown’s water? That’s either irritating your skin from the outside when you wash it, or reacting internally… for example, sometimes people react to fluoride http://thelovevitamin.com/2744/could-fluoride-be-causing-your-acne/ .. just a thought. It’s what comes to mind when people say that their skin always clears up when they are in different locations

  56. kumar says

    Hello Tracy,
    I congratulate and thank you first for this generous website.
    Being an acne sufferer for past 10 years, your work seems a lot of help to me. I tried accutane for 3 months, liver cleansing, yoga, drinking a lot of water, exercise, vegetarian and a lot of other stuffs but nothing worked out till yet but gave me some serious sideeffects and weakened the digestive system. I am now waiting to get over 30 yrs soon to recover this problem. Tracy how can i strenthen the digestive immunity, insuline resistance and regulate the sex hormone due to poor liver function.

    • says

      Hi kumar,

      Tracy is away for a few days, so you‘ll have to deal with me in the meantime… 😉
      I‘d suggest you to try a milk thistle supplement to restore your liver health and to aid digestion. In addition, try to treat yourself to a life without sugar, refined grains and add fresh ginger and curcuma (great for liver and digestion) to your diet.

  57. Monika says


    All of the face mapping info is really interesting but I am still nt completely sure what could be the cause of my breakouts.

    I never had a problem with my skin before I moved to Australia 5 Years ago. I am now 25 and I have these funny little lumps on my forhead , they never develop into sore red lumps . They just sit there and I only get rid of them I squeeze them . As soon as the lump has healed a new one forms. I went to the doctors and asked to take some antibiotics for it but they didn’t work. Also I get them around my mouth . My boyfriend asked me the other day what rash is that. :( I have wen on the same contraceptive more than 2 years. It’s is so frustrating cause I work in a beauty industry and I know everything about a good skincare regime !

  58. grace says

    Hey I am a gluten free vegan and I still after 2 years get pimples around my mouth I don’t know what else to remove from my diet.I rarely eat any processed food so I don’t knoe.

  59. Brisa says

    I think I have a hormonal imbalance because all three pin pointed it correctly I have mild breakouts on my jawline and they take forever to heal I just recently stopped taking birth control which I was on to clear up my break outs but it didn’t really do anything for me and it’s still the same now that I’m not taking it anymore I wonder what I should do to control it any suggestions??

      • brisa says

        Hi Tracy so I finally think Ive figured out what the problem is…and most likely I have a wheat sensitivity or allergy which sucks because I LOVE bread and most things made of or containing wheat especially sweets! I am addicted to sugar and its a habit I am working on breaking. But I figured it out just recently because I finally said to myself this needs to stop. I had been noticing that every time I ate something containing wheat that I would get a painful bump under my jaw and it was only on my left side but then it started to spread to my right side which was completely clear and this whole time I thought it was other factors such as the oils from my hair or my pillow cases or even my hormones because last year I stopped taking bc and I thought that my system would just regulate its self but its a year later from then and my face is still acting up so anyways on Sunday the 9th of February, a week from today, I cut all wheat products out from my diet and guess what… I stopped getting painful lumps under my jaw and then to test it on the 14th my bf and I went to eat Vietnamese and he had ordered egg rolls so just to see if I would get one I ate an egg roll and just as I thought I did get a couple painful lumps under my jaw line so I am pretty sure that is my problem because I also thought it might have been dairy but whenever I drink dairy which isnt often my face is fine although my stomach doesnt agree. And for the most part I have been in the process of changing my eating habits since early 2013 as in less processed and more fresh foods I dont really even eat meat except for every once in a while although I do love seafood. And I dont drink high sugary beverages just mainly water although I have been thinking about investing in probiotics to help my gut get rid of all that nasty wheat and regulate its self again. I will keep you updated on how it heals or if I get any more painful bumps but I am mostly sure its an internal problem caused by my eating habits and I am going to try to be strong and resist wheat’s enticing charm haha and continue this experiment to see what happens

  60. lynsey says

    Im currently seeing a naturopath and have had the hair cell test done and was told i have a range of issues, very low progesterone, liver conjested, candida.. the list goes on. Anyway i have been on a very good diet for about a month, a little more.. to help my gut, liver etc.. i would say my blocked pores have slightly improved, but its a very slow process. i started using progesterone cream about a week ago and have been taking DIM supplements aswell for a few months. Since starting the progesterone i have had almost an instant increase in my non existent before libido. However i have just gotten 2 new painful cysts, so big that being below my lip, it has swollen my lip up and i look and feel like professor clump. I read that when you first start taking progesterone cream it can exagerate symptoms as first.. but i dont kno whether to keep on a high dose to get through the period quicker or whether to decrease it slightly to reduce the symptoms. Any advice would be great, as its very painful. Im going to do the whole hot cold compress tonight, and maybe apply some hydrocortisone to help with the swelling. Lynsey

  61. Jessica Elizabeth says

    Hi Tracey. my name is Jessica, i’m 23 years old. and my body has changed dramatically in the past year. my symptoms have started in October, 2012. And im lost for words to what is causing it. First off, I started losing a lot of hair, especially in the shower. it bugged me a little but I didn’t take it serious. Sometime in early December of 2012 I started getting acne out of no where(note. I never had pimples or acne before, my skin was always clear). 95% of the acne is on my cheeks and jawline. So anyways, now dealing with hair loss and acne, I start noticing my skin has developed keratosis pilaris on my thighs, skin rash on my stomach and breast, vaginal fissures out of no where and hemorrhoids. Also have beau’s lines on both of my big toes. This all happened in the past 11 months, and I am now starting to notice more hair growth on my fingers, around my nipples, and side burns. I have recently developed ringing in the ears, red eyes and twitching in my left eye, I have zero libido. I went and got blood work and I am waiting for my results. And I am hoping and praying they find something wrong me so I can fix whatever this is. My guess is it’s either PCOS or thyroidism, maybe both. Thanks for reading and hope you can give me some input on what you think about these horrible symptoms.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jessica, wow, sorry to hear what you’re going through :( Definitely is hormone related. If the blood test doesn’t show anything, don’t just take that as an answer, I’ve heard so many people say that they go to the doctor and get blood tests and the results come back fine even though they CLEARLY have hormonal issues. Go see a naturopath who can give you a saliva hormone test or something, apparently they are more accurate. And it sounds like you really need to be working with someone one on one.

      • jessica says

        hey Tracey, thanks for your response. I also want to throw in there that I have perfect periods, it is like clockwork every month BUT they are really heavy ones and I have horrible cramps, also I am only 115 pounds, so that really confuses me when im thinking of PCOS. But im assuming there are other endocrine disorders that I can cause all the symptoms I am having. very frustrating. and yes I will definitely ask about the saliva test. thanks!

  62. Drew says

    Hey Tracy, I am hoping you can shed some light on my acne issue. For the better part of a year now, I’ve had a patch of acne above my left forehead the size of a half dollar. There are about 20 pimples there now, some in clumps, others on their own. I’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables, making smoothies to help digestion, not eating dairy, and reducing sweets for a month now but nothing seems to be helping. After several weeks, some of the pimples will become darker and don’t break the skin but are still noticeable. I’ve taken steps to reduce stress but of course, this acne issue causes some stress. Please help.

  63. Christine says

    Okay, so I have been reading up on the root of my acne but I am stumped! I am not the typical acne map kind of girl and need some help. My break out started approx. 3 months ago and it is reoccurring, not associated with menses but could be hormonal. They are red and painful and only located on the right side of my upper cheek. Close to my nose. I do not get them anywhere else. I though it was a spleen deficiency but my symptoms to not match. I do have intestinal problems….like IBS but not diagnosed. Help??

    • Tracy says

      Hi Christine,
      I can’t really say exactly, but it could definitely be related to you gut issues as that can be a definite root of inflammation that can lead to acne.

      • christine says

        Thank you Tracie. Any recommendations for specific vitamins or minerals I should be taken? I’m currently taking Magnesium and vitamin D. The magnesium helps with the gut issues if I remember to take them everyday. ;o/

  64. Kim says

    I had cleared my acne up completely with Tamanu oil. Now my acne is back only on my left cheek only and cystic. I don’t want to go to a derm. just to be put on all sorts of meds and harsh chemicals. If anyone has any info…please let me know :\

    • Ang says

      Hey! This is very interesting because I love my tamanu oil, it’s helped my skin a ton! But my right cheek broke out lately with cysts. I have like 3! I think I’m going to do a food journal to see if it’s linked at all to the mucus forming foods.

  65. Marie says

    Hi! I started to have some sort of rosacea acne a few years ago, on my right cheek only. Having had porcelain skin all my life, I was (and still am) distressed and worried. I tried all sorts of things – not products, but trying to understand what the source was, what triggered it, and then avoiding that source. But I still haven’t been able to get rid of it. I was diagnosed with severe anemia last year, and I am taking iron supplements now, in a month or two I should be ok. All that to say that, one of the big symptoms of anemia is respiratory problems.

  66. Marie says

    (sorry I pressed enter before I was done!) Anemia thins your blood and forbids it to carry oxygen properly throughout your body. You’re always out of breath, etc. Anyways, all that to say that, it all makes sense, reading the charts you put on the site : cheeks are linked to lungs! So I’m hoping, when my anemia is cured, my cheek will be back to normal! That’s all! Thanks for your article!

  67. Jane says

    PLEASE HELP!! I don’t understand what is going on…my problem started last year, and is back again its the same time of year and im freaking out!my chin all of a sudden starts to get these small whiteheads but then it turns to my chin feeling like its on fire and the skin is very dry feeling but is actualy very oily! please help im stressed to the max. last year it started as this then slowly took over my entire left side of my face I went t two different dermatologist and none of their creams or pills helped! it lasted about 2 months then disappeared but I don’t want it to get to that. please help me!

  68. Yasmin says

    Throughout most of my teen years, I have always had acne around a concentrated area of my chin. I have recently found this has calmed down somewhat but is seems the CENTRE of my forehead is now where the problem lies. I have many spots around there, the seem like blackheads but some dont develop into spots, rather just lumps on my forehead. Others do, and it has been affecting my confidence quite a lot.
    Is there anything you could suggest to help?
    Thank you x

  69. Aiych says

    Hi! I have questions stemming from some issues I’ve been having with hormonal acne –

    I used Clean and Clear Persa Gel 10 (a 10% benzoyl peroxide spot cream) for years and my skin remained nearly pristine. I’m in my mid 20’s now. I knew my hormones were somewhat out of whack during those years since I didn’t ovulate regularly but oftentimes it was during times of heightened stress, stress that sometimes resulted in mental issues, breakdowns and hospitalization. It was intense and I typically did not ovulate during those times. Also I am fairly athletic being a runner but I don’t believe I exercise heavily, although I did drink a ton hormone-laden of milk. I’ve stopped that recently though. I experienced some excess hair growth in my teens and 20’s but I didn’t know if that was tied to longtime childhood use of many asthma meds that contained steroids, or maybe even excessive milk drinking (I mean truly way too much milk). The hair growth is no longer bizarre, just a little annoying. I don’t think I have PCOS because I never experienced skin discoloration or weight gain, in fact I typically have trouble staying above 135 and I’m almost 5’8″. Through all this my skin remained almost completely zit free with the BP cream. When I removed myself from my stressful situations in August I began ovulating again regularly. Around September I also decided to stop using my BP cream. However, when I stopped using it for about a month, my acne came back mainly around the jawline. But now I’m ovulating regularly and my hair growth is no longer out of the ordinary. I believe my hormones are stabilized at this point (unlike before) but without the BP my acne has returned in areas that are tied to hormonal issues. Even when I use sulphur on my skin to dry it out I still develop some cysts in the chin area, deep in the fatty parts. They come to a head or disappear within about 2 weeks.

    I just am confused since my hormones seem to be normalized and I’ve improved my diet and water consumption, yet hormonal acne has returned. I know it is possible to still get hormonal acne even when using benzoyl peroxide, yet before this August when I experienced long term hormonal imbalances I didn’t break out while on BP. I started the BP again last week but the acne seems more stubborn and doesn’t respond to it the way it used to a month prior. I also know BP kills bacteria but even using many antimicrobial natural alternatives didn’t help. It’s just been really hard nailing down a culprit for the acne.

    Any tips or suggestions? I’m at a loss right now and although the BP is helping again, I’m frustrated with my body because I can’t figure out what it’s doing!

    Thank you

  70. Charles says

    Hi Tracy,

    I had known a TCM for few years. He performed acupuncture on my back a.k.a cupping therapy.
    He noticed that I must drink a lot of cold beverages
    due to the texture of blood.
    Furthermore, he gave me a pack of pearl powder in order to remove and shrink pores.

    Sincerely yours,


  71. Jannet says


    Very helpful, I read and all target me on hormonal imbalance (I believe) since when I am ovulating is when I realize that have more breakouts and worse when during my period. When my acne started to heal, start a new ones, some are cyst acne that take forever to clear up. I am 32 yrs old Please what can I do???

  72. Amber says

    I have recently been encountered with sudden acne breakout all over my forehead and chest. The acne are white. And I am seeing some very little ones on my arms and thighs. I do not understand what is going on. Possibly an allergic reaction?

    I do break out sometimes from stress, too much sugar, dehydration (the usuals) which only cause one or two pimples usually on my cheeks, nose or chin area. But never like this on my forehead. I am lost. I have no idea what is going on. It has been almost two weeks now. I do see very slight improvement if I am not being delusional. I really do not know what to do ;|

    (Female, 21yrs, no smoking/drinking/drugs-at all).

  73. tash says


    can I know any treatment for acne on forehead n I consulted doc he told it’s because of harmonal imbalance..so please reply

  74. Margo says

    Hi, I know this article is from several months ago, but I’m having skin issues. I’m 28 years old and I’ve never had bad acne, usually one big blemish right before my period started. Well, I got Mirena 3 months ago, so that changes things hormonally and my body is still adjusting. Lately I’ve had terrible breakouts on my forehead and a few along my hairline. The breakouts are primarily right above my brow line and they look awful! I am a “picker” so I have never been able to let a blemish come to a head on it’s own. I read the possible readons above and I’m not sure if the causes listed above are the causes of my breakouts; I don’t drink so it isn’t liver function, I make sure to stay hydrated at all times, and don’t know of any food allergies. What’s going on?!

  75. chance says

    hi,am chance and is like i am goin crazy about these painful pimples on my face.the jaw and is even peeling.am really,can there be any explanation for me on this?

  76. Meagan says

    I used to have bad acne on my chin and occasionally 2 or 3 on my forehead. This was right before new years. Then I wanted to control my acne holistically like you did. I am now eating healthy, pleanty of fruits and veggies. No dairy, milk, carbs. I drink plenty of water every day. Also I am using the honey and a mask twice a day and trying not was my face. Since I have switched over to this new lifestyle I have noticed that my chin has cleared up more so, but my forehead has broken out like crazy. And I never have had it this bad on my forehead. Could this be a detox reaction? It has been this way for about 2 weeks now.
    I just don’t get it because forehead acne is linked to digestion. And I am eating the healtiest I have ever ate. I am thinking that because I am losing weight on this diet my body is trying to get rid of all my toxins and its coming out my skin. Will this pass?
    thank you!!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Meagan, I can’t say for sure but it does sound detox! Pretty normal when you change your diet/lifestyle all at once, and often it shows up in ways that are unusual for you. So the fact that you don’t normally get forehead acne and you are is a sign. It should start getting better soon

  77. Meagan says

    I am also taking more supplements. I am taking fermented cod liver oil, probiotics, and different vitamins. I have been working out everyday and doing yoga. Trying to stay stress free.

  78. kholofelo says

    Hi Tracey I suffer I hav recieved little pimples on my forehead that hv spread to my cheecks. I took anifungals and probiotics thinking it might be acne caused by candida cause I was in antibiotics some months ago.So I decided to go on orratane its been two weeks now.Does candida acne not react to this miracle drug ?

  79. Alicia says

    Hi Tracy,

    I just came across this website and to be honest it has been quite helpful. So my problem is mostly forehead acne. :(. I am 21 years old and about 3 years ago my face was I would say pretty clear. I feel like now as I get older it gets worse and worse. It’s mostly on my forehead and it’s small annoying pimples that are just everywhere and I can feel each and every one of them when I touch them with my fingers. (Which is a bad habit too I know, but I’ve tried to stay away from that and it had no impact on it so I gave up). Time to time I get those big cystic pimples that hurt your whole head but those come rarely. Besides blemishes, uneven skin (I also have like blood vessels visible on my cheeks (areas 5 and 9 on the Chinese Map)) I have black heads all over my nose and cheeks. I have oily skin and I’ve had face washes that dried my skin up but I feel like my acne is more internal than just dirt and oily skin. Scrubs don’t work. If anything they make them swell up even more. According to the Chinese Map forehead is digestion which I think makes sense because I’m not going to lie I love eating out and sometimes I eat junk food and oily foods and I’ve also noticed I’m not really a drinker. I can take one sip of my drink for the whole meal and I noticed dehydration is also one of the reasons for forehead acne. I would say I drink enough water (whenever I want to mostly) but I guess this is my body’s way of telling me it’s not enough? I decided I’m going to force myself to drink at least 1 bottle of water a day, or more, and hopefully see some improvements! And maybe stay away from unhealthy foods! :) but I also love fruits and vegetables and real juices (which I’ve learned are not as healthy as they say) so I don’t understand how my skin could be so bad:(. My 2 best friends eat exactly the same thing as me and their faces are as clear as an egg! Not even one pimple! And I also thought that maybe I only break out before my period but I can’t be breaking out for that long! Anyway hopefully you could help me and suggest something, I just feel like there’s something specific that’s causing it like maybe a food allergy that could be easy to get rid of I just can’t figure out what it is! :'(. I even made my mom get me anti biotics recently I took them for a while and saw only small improvement (but that could’ve been because I didn’t stop going tanning when I should have since you can’t be in the sun light while you’re on anti biotics so it made it a little worse at first) but still no major improvement. :(. Thank you for your time and I really hope to hear from you soon!


  80. Courtney D says

    This just may be accurate. I have never had cystic acne in my life (I’m 27) and in mid December I started to get horrible cystic acne on my cheeks. Funny thing is that I quit smoking (after 12 years) on December 1st. Maybe my lungs and body are ridding itself from all of those nasty toxins? Who knows, but I’m praying that it goes away. (As a side note, I’ve been a licensed Aesthetician for 7 years now and I’m very extreme whenever taking care of my skin. Wish me luck.)

    • says

      Hi Courtney,
      yes, this type of coincidence suggests that your body is riddening itself from those toxins that have accumulated over all those years! Your body just needs time, but I’m pretty confident that it’ll pass in your case 😉

  81. Iza says

    I have celiac disease, and often get a lot of gluten cross contamination, so my small intestine is probably indeed a mess. This would make sense, since I do get acne on my chin and around my nose. Huh!

    • says

      Hi Iza,
      I’m sorry to hear that, but I hope that – even though it won’t be easy – you’re going to find a fix to this situation soon! I know it’s nearly impossible to fully avoid gluten these days… That’s the real mess!!!

  82. Natalie says

    I have a bumpy skin tone. My forehead is very bumpy and idk how to get rid of it. I get most of my actual acne on my inner cheeks. And its really red! I eat pretty healthy, im a track athlete, and i wash my face twice a day and use a non oil lotion. I do get acne on number 11 and 13. But I am under loads of stress so i guess thats why. I am almost 16. Please help! Its so embarrassing. I have to put on lot of foundation to cover up.

    • says

      Hi Natalie,

      I’m sorry to hear that! 11 and 13 indicate a hormonal imbalance or – as you mentioned – lots of stress. You should try to work on how to manage your stress levels in a better way. I know it isn’t easy, but often stress is also the reason for hormonal imbalances. You don’t have to be perfect all time. Try to learn some kind of a “don’t-care-attitude” – it’s not that important what others may think: often we are not even right about guessing that someone might think something bad about us.

      In addition, have you ever tried not to moisturize your skin at night? It often helps to let your skin breathe, especially while you’re sleeping and your body is doing lots of repair work. It might be worth a try!

      • Natalie says

        Thank you for the good advice. I will try it! And I stopped touching and picking my face. It is a lot better and I bought a new foundation which is Neutrogena skin clearing make up. It really helps! Thank you so much! :)

    • says

      Hi Sammy,
      do you shave that area regularly? That could be why you are breaking out right there: skin irritation and some sort of folliculitis or ingrown hair. Sometimes, some slight exfoliation (for example with oatmeal) and applying a little shea butter to your “moustache area” 😉 helps. You could also try aloe vera gel.

  83. Sammy says

    Hey Tracy! No I don’t touch that area (I’m a girl) and don’t have much hair there at all. Yet for some reason it seems to break out frequently!
    I feel that there must be a root cause.
    If anyone has any theories I’m open to try new things!

    Thanks :)

  84. Joanna says

    Hello! I am 21 and have been dealing with hormonal acne for about a year now. From what I can tell it was brought on by HORRIBLE stress. The stress is gone now and I feel fully healed from the experience…but my skin doesn’t seem to think so. When I first started having issues I went to the dermatologist. She put me on antibiotics and a topical cream called Epiduo. Wow. Needless to say, I didn’t have a very good reaction to the cream. Being ignorate, I didn’t realize that the horrible ‘purging’ was not a purge but a reaction to the harsh chemicals. Unfortunately my dermatologist didn’t recognize the problem either and kept me on the regiment. After about 3 months with no results, I took myself off the cream, antibiotics and the dermatologist. Ever since I’ve been dealing with angry skin and terrible scarring. I’ve been using Murad with no great results. All that being said, I want to start following a more gentle holistic regiment but I’m not sure where to start. My skin is extremely sensitive and seems to react poorly to everything I do. I am very social, I do theater so I’m wearing heavy make up often. From what I can tell, I may have some liver issues? I mostly break out on my cheeks with some between my eyes and chin – blackheads, enclosed condone that never surface, and cystic. I cleaned up my diet, cut out dairy, work out regularly, drink a lot and take vitamins. I know there is a lot I’m not doing but again, I just don’t know where to start. Any help you have give would be wonderful! Sorry for the long post :)


  85. Edna Zuniga says

    Thank you for this face map! I think I may have endure the seasonal acne on my chin area bc it seems to come every Jan and now its lasted until April. I have done everything healthy diet, cleansing face, birthcontrol, cremes and solodyn and nothing seems to work. Very fustrating.

  86. Gabriela Ramos says

    I think the Chinese Mapping is relevant in my situation. Lately I’ve been breaking out around my mouth area. And just last week, I went in to the ER because of severe pain in my lower abdomen. Turns out I was diagnosed with Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)since my right ovary showed to have inflammation. I never used to break out around this area before, not like this. So just seems like Chinese Mapping is spot on. I have to get on birth control now. Perhaps the acne will also go away.

  87. Em says

    Hi Tracy,
    First, THANK YOU for The Love Vitamin!!! I have learned so much from you and feel I can always trust you as my number 1 go-to person when I have acne questions! I am planning to write to you with my acne story when I am finally all clear (have made major improvements over the last year or so) and you have been a huge part of my story. So, I really can’t thank you enough for your dedication and courage in writing The Love Vitamin. :)

    I have been researching something very puzzling to me and thought I would see if you have any thoughts. My major acne area is my cheeks–red and cystic (mostly just scarring left now). I do have congestion on my forehead, noticeably bigger pores on my nose. My chin is pretty clear. However, for the past couple of months, I have been noticing something new related to my skin–namely that my nose and especially the area around my mouth/chin are actually yellow colored while the skin on my cheeks is very normal/white. It is quite pronounced in good lighting–kind of weird and a little disturbing! I have been reading that the t zone usually has bigger pores while the cheeks usually have smaller pores…and am wondering if this is related at all. I have also read that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can yellow the skin…the odd thing is why parts of my face are so yellow while others aren’t! If you have any thoughts Tracy I would so appreciate it! Thank you and take care!

      • Em says

        Thanks for the reply and no worries…at this point I am not overly concerned but will see if it naturally fixes itself as I continue to detox/work toward the best health possible. It’s weird but I guess there are weirder things that could happen, haha!

  88. Sarah says

    Wow! This just saved me a doctors visit, my ears feel swollen and i have a red patch in number 5 so instead of taking medicine for a ear ache all I should be doing is drinking water. I freaking love this map :D!!!

  89. says

    So glad I found your site. I had oily, pimple-prone skin in my teens and early twenties. In my twenties, I was also on a BC pill that contained levonorgesterol, which made it worse. I’d tried other pills, but it didn’t make a difference. Eventually I went on Accutane and Yasmin BC pill, and my skin was perfect for years. A few months ago, I went back on the levonorgesterol pill for 4 months (to save money) but guess what – my skin problem returned! I’m back on Yasmin, but my probem hasn’t gone away. I could go back on Accutane, but I would rather try natural. Also, I’m a picker, which doesn’t help, but for me, the root cause of my picking is the fact that I have blemishes! No blemishes = no picking, so I want to fix the root cause. Thanks for your site!

    • says

      PS I already follow a clean, mostly plant-based diet, and healthy lifestyle, and use gentle products on my skin and love oils like jojoba. I think it really is hormonal, and I need to figure out how to control it. My aim is to go off the pill altogether in a few months, too.

  90. mark says

    Hello tracy im 17 im breaking out on my foreheaand chin backheads and white pustules. But i always wash my face day and night . Then i eat only vegetables and grilled fish and i drink a two liters of water.and green tea too. And im not stress either everyday im doing yoga but still this little bumps are coming out on my .
    forehead and chin. Can u help me

  91. Emzy says

    Hi Tracy,

    I have always had pimples everytime my period is round the corner. But also figured out that sugars and oily food stuffs also cause them from time to time. They pop in random spots on my face. However, bout 3months ago i got this breakout that is on my forehead. Small under the skin rashes and they seem to not go away. I really don’t understand since I have never had such kind at the same time. Makes me a lil uneasy coz they dont seem to go away. In the beginning they dint hurt but every time i think they are bout to disappear, others come under the skin and have now began to hurt a little. They are not whiteheads as such but they do appear that way sometimes. Been trying to zone in on what could be the cause but not quite sure. When i take antibiotics, i get candida and i have been treating a tooth problem with that. Am on the coil and i donno if thats not working anymore. I have also been definitely super stressed for a while now though wouldn’t know if that is the cause. When am stressed my eating goes to zero. HELP. Need my face back. Thanx

  92. says

    My daughter has dreadful spots along her jawline which is obviously hormonal. She has been trying for a baby for 6 years and now started IVF. I wonder why they don’t give her some meds to sort out her hormone problem which may result in a baby instead of going down the very expensive IVF route ?

  93. Kara says

    Hi Tracy,

    Discovered your blog from a link – can’t remember where now, but was reading about candida and acne, etc.

    Anywho, been reading about people suffering from chest and back acne. Just want to share what helps for my sis.

    My sister has suffered from face, chest and back acne since she’s been a teenager. Her back acne includes: black heads, pus filled pimples and big sore ones and even blind ones – in other words all kinds!

    She does have severe allergies (horses, grass, food, etc), but has found that sunbathing works for her – for the acne, even before she changed her diet, etc. She still get the odd hormonal/food related spot on her face, but since she regularly sunbathe it has cleared up – all over, especially her body acne.. In her face, its cleared, like I said just the odd hormonal imbalance and food related spot (like one or max 3 pimples that go away after a couple of days).
    She feels wonderful in summer.

    During winter, she has a bad back and always says, can’t wait for the summer to tan. It clears her skin beautifully and she can even wear backless dresses in the summer!!! The Vitamin D from the sun, is not comparable to any in pill form imo. Sun is our friend (wisely of course). Oh yes, and she puts nothing on her skin, except spray a little water to cool off while sunbathing as its extremely hot here in summer! I must add, she has a bit of a darker skin tone than European skin tone and naturally oily skin, so be safe in the sun! Beginning of summer she starts out slow in the sun and gradually work her time in the sun up to 2 hours eventually. For fairer skin, maybe start with 10/15 minutes front and back? I don’t promote sun exposure without SBF, its just that she gets acne from sunblock as well, as she has sensitive skin from all the allergies, etc.
    Hope this helps someone as something to try? I know how frustrating this is. Experiment, but please be safe!

    Best of luck to everyone!! Will share my story when I’m done with healing :) !

  94. holly says

    Yes! i have a patch of paintful yellowhead/red spots on my cheek, probably because i eat and drink a lot of junk now i’m at university!

  95. Shimra says

    So I never see the portion of the face that is essentially the hair line and a little bit past it, right in front of the ears. It’s not on the cheeks and it is not on the ears. Any clue what causes acne here in particular?

  96. anonymous says

    Hey, um I get acne on my forehead alot. Sometimes it gets ok like only 2 or 3 pimples would be left but then they come back and my whole forehead gets full of them. My forehead is kinda oily but i wash it regularly. Any idea on how to solve this problem?

  97. Lynn says

    Hi Tracy,
    I have acne on my jawline and on my cheeks. It doesn’t seem like it comes at any specific time of the month, just whenever. I was told by an aesthetician that it’s hormonal. What would you recommend for getting rid of it? Should I do a cleanse? Or just change my diet and drink lots of water? Also, could dairy be the problem? Thank you!:)

  98. Juliette Bataneant says

    Hi Tracy! my name is Juliette, i am 14 and have been breaking out lately:| the thing is though my cheeks and chin and nose are flawless.. i only get a pimple hear and there; but my main place of breaking out is my forehead…its stubborn white heads that i just can not get to leave! the thing is though ive been told many times its from my diet, but im pretty healthty, and eat a good amount of fruits and veggies, and im a natrualy slim teen. i dont know what the root of the problem is….. and i dont know how to cure it!!! Can you please help?

    • Ashley says

      I used to have the same problem when I was your age, until I cut out dairy. Solved the whole acne on forehead thing!

  99. Lorrie says

    It’s right on. I break out on each side of my chin. I am perimenopausal, so hormone fluctuations are definitely the cause.

  100. says

    Hi, I want to throw out a suggestion for those experiencing acne and especially those with cystic acne. Forgive me if this recommendation has already been given!:) Other than addressing eating a healthy wholefood diet, taking probiotics and cleansing the colon and liver, you may want to take vitamin D and Zinc. You may want to get your levels checked and address any deficiencies. Those have helped others with cystic acne. I hope that helps someone! Thanks!
    You can test your Zinc levels with this liquid Zinc Assay if needed:

  101. Jill says

    I’ve heard of the Chinese face mapping from a girl I watched on Youtube, but I honestly thought it was a bunch of crap. But I’m looking here and it is seemingly correct. I have acne no where on my face but my cheeks and my chin. Ugh. It’s gotten better from the little things I mix together but I still have breakouts. I know that my diet is… awful and I’m currently trying to eat better, staying away from sugars. So, with eating cleaner, what do I do about future breakouts and clear skin?

  102. Abby says

    Hey! I’m 15 and just recently discovered your blog. I haven’t started my period yet but have been breaking out on my chin pretty bad for the past 6 months… Any suggestions?

  103. Ashley says

    I have acne mainly on my cheeks. I am currently gluten and dairy free, which I think helps a ton, but I’m still not sure what could be causing my cheek acne. It has decreased some with no whole no gluten thing, but it still pops up every now and then. I don’t eat any processed foods or refined sugars.. Should I be cutting out natural sugars such as fruits too? Or less carbs? Read about the Candida cleanse and cleaning your gut, but I’m just not sure where to start period!! So frustrating sometimes.

  104. Emily says

    I just discovered your blog after googling about my type of acne–I have oily skin and get patchy, itchy surface acne all along the sides of my face, my cheeks, and my chin.
    I’m 19 years old and have a very busy work/school schedule. I exercise daily, I never wear foundation, I drink a lot of water, and I eat a lot of fruits/veggies and meat.
    Please help a girl out, I can’t seem to get this to go away. I really don’t have money to spend on products, so what’s a good natural solution?

    • Krista says

      wait to see what Tracy says, but the itchy red patches sound like what I had/have. A internal yeast over-growth. You can get a blood or skin test to confirm. Google “Candida Overgrowth Syndrome” and see if other symptoms match yours. If so, follow this website http://www.thecandidadiet.com/ (probiotic, diet and antifungals!) and The Caveman Regime (here on Tracy’s sight). Treating this healed me!! Best of luck!!

      • Krista says

        P.S. if you’ve been on excessive antibiotic use (and/or birth control, steroids), candida issues are definitely likely. My condition was caused by 6 years on/off antibiotics. It destroyed my internal workings and the toxins exploded out my skin. Let me know if you need any more tips!

  105. Sabrina says

    I don’t get it! I always get pimples in the winter but it usually goes away when it’s spring… and now they’re just not going away. I always have them on my chin , “lower cheeks” and around the mouth…. but I eat really well and I am not stressed. I also have a red and dry patch on my chin that just won’t go away. I don’t know what to do, my dermatologist doesn’t even know what she’s talking about and always makes things worse.

    • Krista says

      maybe you should look into getting your hormones tested? the location of the pimples (diamond shape around the mouth) is typically of hormonal acne. DIM and Vitex/Chaste Tree berry are great for hormones! Tracy has a great article about it. Both have helped me.

      also you say you aren’t stressed, but you seem stressed about your acne… try to work on de-stressing. Tracy has articles about that too one here!

      good luck!

  106. Lee says

    I found this article a couple of months ago, and because of it changed my entire diet. I’m now a vegan who eats mostly organic food. After cutting out dairy, I noticed that my forehead acne cleared up a lot, but not completely. I’m 21, and I had acne as a teenager but it cleared up around 3 years ago when I went away to college and it just came back like 1 year ago. I’ve been doing everything I can and I can not get this acne to go away. It’s really hurting my self esteem. I drink water and eat healthy, what am I doing wrong? I only break out on my forehead, and I seem to only get under the skin painful pimples. I’ve had one on each side of my forehead for five days, and they both hurt so bad. I ice them every night and I was my face twice a day with mild Dr. Bronner’s soap. If my skin gets dry I use coconut oil. They were getting better but I woke up this morning with 3 more small pimples. Please help me, what am I doing wrong? The only thing I can think of is stress, but there is little I can do to get rid of the stress in my life as I can’t just drop out of college.

      • Krista says

        I was on antibiotics as “acne prevention” for YEARS and it messed up my body’s balance to the point that I got bad acne (candida overgrowth, toxicity overloading the liver so coming out the skin…).

        The same is said to happen when on birth control for long periods of time as well…. so that’s a thought as to the cause of your problems.


  1. […] To get a clue in to why you’re having acne, I recommend starting with Chinese face maping.  There are tons of articles out there about this subject.  I found this article interesting – Where Your Acne Is And What It Looks Like Can Tell You What’s Causing It […]

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