Troubled by spots on your face? Many adults still suffer from skin outbreaks on a regular basis, and it turns out they can be a good indicator of underlying problems including hormonal imbalances, inflammation and food intolerances. We spoke to dermatologist Dr. Julia T. Hunter, founder of Wholistic Dermatology, who is often begged "what do my spots mean" to find out the cause of spots on different areas of the face – and what you can do to prevent them.
"The skin is the window to your internal health. Acne issues are caused by internal problems and are activated by the inflammation in your gut, which in turn causes your hormones to go askew," Dr. Hunter told HELLO! "This could also be related to low-thyroid and food allergies. Acne on your chin, cheeks and other parts of the face again can also be related to hormone imbalance or internal inflammation, poor gut health, the foods you eat, a thyroid issue or food allergy."
WHAT CAUSES SPOTS ON FOREHEAD?
Spots on your forehead may be an indication of gut inflammation, which can cause hormones to go askew. "When you are inflamed, it increases oil production in the hair follicle. Bacteria, viruses and fungus come in contact with our skin 24/7 and feast on oil," Dr Hunter explained. "Hair wicks microbes down into the narrowed, thickened from inflammation follicle, resulting in a spotty forehead with blemishes and pus filled whitehead ones."
WHAT CAUSES SPOTS ON CHEEKS?
Similar to spots on your forehead, gut inflammation may also cause outbreaks on the cheeks and the side of your face.
WHAT DO SPOTS ON YOUR CHIN MEAN?
The meaning behind spots on your chin is often very simple. Julia remarks, "If you just have a few pimples on the lower chin, I find this is primarily just hormonal and you probably do not have the acne gene."
WHAT CAUSES SPOTS ON BACK?
"Back and/or chest acne is inflamed adrenal glands and that can be secondary to longstanding gut inflammation, high or great sensitivity to stress, unresolved emotional issues/traumas," Dr Hunter said. "Also you are allergic to what you crave and that can significantly contribute to gut issues and blemishes."
HOW TO GET RID OF SPOTS
A holistic approach will tackle the root cause of spots and lead to clearer skin. Dr Hunter recommends "healthy lifestyle changes, a diet plan, and overall external treatment as well as internal to combat acne issues." The dermatologist has launched her own Skin Therapy line of non-toxic and non-inflammatory products, which "consist of AM/PM protocols and supplement and low-dose bio-identical hormone support to clear up the break-outs and help prevent new ones from occurring."
FOODS TO AVOID FOR CLEAR SKIN
"For clear skin and overall health and beauty, certain foods should be avoided as much as possible with an 'everything in moderation' approach. Sugary treats are not good for your health and skin, but to satisfy your sweet tooth, the alternative to eat is dark, dark chocolate (the higher the % of cocoa the better – at least 70%)."
FOODS TO EAT FOR CLEAR SKIN
"Eat green, green and more green! Eating foods as close to nature as possible, both to improve your appearance and feel healthy. Eat red meat not more than once a week, and enjoy lean proteins such as turkey, wild fish (not farm raised because they don't have the same nutrients), black beans, red beans, wild or brown rice (not white), and nuts. The foods that keep you young are the same as those that keep you healthy: whole foods, with as little processing as possible."