Learn what your body needs by examining your common breakout spots


For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with breakouts and blemishes.

Somehow, even as I passed through all of the other awkward stages of adolescence, bad skin hung on, improving overall but still plaguing me to this day with occasional flare-ups.

Along the way, I've learned that it's a pretty common problem. Plenty of adults still experience the occasional pimple or bout of acne well into adulthood.

In addition to a handful of other topics — like hair loss in women — adult acne is one of those conversations we all tend to shy away from. It feels embarrassing and vaguely weird to discuss, but the truth is that almost everyone experiences it in some form.

And not only is it common, but you can usually trace bouts of adult acne to specific root causes based on where it appears. This makes it pretty easy to track down the culprit, and adjust your lifestyle and habits accordingly! Remember, you should never pick at a zit, especially not when there's an easy solution available!

Scroll through the gallery below to find out what root problems are to blame for different pimples and blemishes.

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Breakouts can point to a wide variety of different causes. Pimples can be linked to diet, exercise, and even emotional health.

If you're getting breakouts in more than one area, multiple factors might be at play.

Below, we've outlined the many different areas in which you might be experiencing breakouts — and what it all means about your body and health.

Chin And Jawline

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you experience acne around your jawline, you can probably chalk it up to hormonal shifts.

This is especially true for women, who go through monthly hormonal cycles that can cause flare-ups.

Going through menopause may also cause some blemishes to appear. Fortunately, they should disappear just as quickly.

Hairline And Forehead

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

This type of acne can usually be linked back to what you're putting in your hair.

You may be using a product that doesn't agree with your skin, or you may have to adjust how often you wash your hair.

Surprisingly, the solution may be to wash it slightly less frequently; washing your hair too much can cause your scalp to overproduce oil.

Cheeks And Next To Ears

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you find that you tend to get pimples on your cheeks, or at the side of your face near your ears, there are likely two culprits at fault: your hands and your phone.

If you frequently chat on the phone or rest your face in your hands, make a habit of sanitizing or washing hands regularly, and cleaning your phone with an antibacterial wipe.

Along The T-Zone

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Consider the T-zone your early warning signal.

The sensitive skin along the nose and above the brows breaks out easily, and is quickly affected by small lifestyle shifts.

If you suddenly come under a ton of stress, or start grappling with a problem that makes you anxious, your T-zone will often be the first to show it.

Try meditating or drinking soothing antioxidant-rich tea as a way to combat the stress and the pimples.

Chest, Collarbone, And Back

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you're experiencing pimples on your back or chest, there's a good chance that you're just committed to working up a sweat!

If you go to the gym, garden in the sun, or otherwise engage in physical activity, you might be trapping moisture against your skin with the wrong clothing.

Find some breathable cotton or moisture-wicking sportswear to help beat the heat!

Around The Mouth

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This one almost goes without saying; you are what you eat, after all!

If your diet is too heavy in inflammatories like fat, sugar, and alcohol, you're more likely to see blemishes around your mouth.

This is partially your digestive system reacting to the overload, and partially a result of the skin around your mouth coming into contact with foods that may be too sugary or too greasy.


Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Drink up!

If you're experiencing pimples on your temples, the zone that falls between your eyes and your hairline, it's probably the result of dehydration.

The same way over-washing hair can lead to zits, not drinking enough water can cause the oil glands at your temples to go into overdrive, leading to clogged pores and unsightly pimples.

In And Around Eyebrows

Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If you tend to get pimples in and around your eyebrows, you're probably experiencing ingrown hairs from plucking or waxing.

Don't pick or try to extract the hair unless you're visiting a licensed dermatologist.

Just use hot compresses on the ingrown hair until it goes down, and make sure that your tweezers are sanitized before each use!

If it was helpful to learn about the hidden messages behind common blemishes, weigh in below, and remember to SHARE this useful guide on Facebook!

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