Zit Speak: What Pimples Say About Your Health

sad woman with pimples on face

When you get a pimple, all sorts of things pop up inside your head, from that junk food you ate last weekend to the derma appointments you skipped, but never the location of that zit. The truth is, where your pimple pops reveals a great deal about your health. In most instances, it points to the cause of that tiny bump. If you ever had pimples in these specific spots below, look at how you can decode them:

Around the hairline

The culprit behind this is your hair products. They’re most likely blocking your pores. An ingredient called pomade is common in many shampoos, conditioners, and even sprays. This chemical prevents natural oils in the hair follicles from being released. Due to this clogging, a pimple develops.

If you keep getting zits around the forehead area, throw away pomade and avoid it at all costs. Use non-comedogenic products instead, those that don’t block pores and don’t contain tar, color, or cocoa butter. If you need that pomade shampoo fix, though, wash your face immediately. If it’s a hairspray you’re using, protect the forehead area with your hand or a washcloth. As for treatment, mild cases can find relief on tea tree oil or aloe vera. For severe cases, Salt Lake City-based dermatologists recommend creams that have benzoyl peroxide formulation or retinoids.

On the cheeks

This is perhaps the last thing you would think of being the culprit of your zit: your mobile phone. Believe it or not, your tech devices can have traces of E.coli and other bacteria, which when held against your face — like when answering a call — can trigger pimples. What’s the fix? Clean your phone. Disinfect it. If you can avoid putting it against your face, the better. Use a Bluetooth headset when taking a call or put it on speaker mode.

Aside from phones, those cheek pimples can also be due to dirty pillowcases or the occasional and mindless touching of the face. Make sure to change your linens at least once a week. Avoid resting your cheeks on your palms or at the back of your hand, too. Fight the urge.

Along the jaw line

Woman with pimples on her jaw area

This is most likely due to hormonal imbalance. Usually, this is a case of an oversupply of androgens, which then causes the oil glands to produce more sebum and clog pores. You will notice zits popping up along the jaw line when it’s that time of the month. If the pimples don’t go away after your periods and you notice that your menstrual cycles have gone irregular, you may be suffering from a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In this case, your OB-GYN may recommend birth control pills for treatment. Contraceptives help regulate hormones, which can then help in reducing acne.

The location of your acne is no random thing. They’re telling you something about your health. As much as you hate to see your zit anywhere in your face, pay attention to where they’re located to know how you can get rid of them and prevent them.