The 411 on Forehead Breakouts: What is your Acne Saying about Your Health?

 According to Ayurveda, different parts of our complexions are related to different internal organs and doshas.  Like the philosophy of reflexology and acupuncture, the relationship between points on our body’s surface is deeply integrated to our internal health, and where we break out, rash or wrinkle also displays what imbalances are happening inside our bodies.
Vata Breakouts

Our forehead are is governed by the Vata dosha (the element of air).  It being autumn, I find that many people begin to break out or congest in this area as the weather itself becomes more Vata in quality, getting drier, windier, cooler and crisper.  Now, before you label this hippy hocus pocus, keep in mind that Ayurveda is an east Indian science of health and has used the earth’s elements to describe disease and dysfunction for thousands of years.  Like air, Vata embodies dryness, dehydration, thinness, roughness, gaseousness, and irregularity.  So, it is no surprise that at the part of the facial skin that is thinnest, and has the least amount of fatty tissue behind it is Vata.

Balacing Vata for Clear Skin

When we collect too much Vata, by being dehydrated, constipated (from dryness in the colon), bloated (excess air in the digestive system) or scattered and high-strung (irregularity and unsettledness in the mind), it shows on our skin.  Often when we are stressed out and feeling particularly Vata, we break out or accumulated large blackheads and milia in the forehead.  And while, many of you may assume its from too much oil, its actually from the opposite. Vata break outs in the Vata area of the face is usually caused by internal dryness, stagnation of circulation and bowel congestion.  Stress brings this on as tension in the abdomen can lead to constipation as well as taxed adrenals  which exhausts the kidneys and results in water-loss.  Acne and comedones in this area are usually dry looking and small, unlike the juicy cysts that are found in the fatty chin and jawline.

Ayurvedic Acne Solutions

You see, the type of break out you have also shows what is occurring internally and if your doshas are out of harmony.  While red, angry blemishes are indicative of inflammation from the Pitta dosha (the fire element), large, painful, pus-filled pimples are caused by the stagnation and heaviness of the Kapha dosha (the earth and water elements).  Vata acne is from dryness of air, and moisturization, steaming and light exfoliation is the best way to treat it topically.  Internal moisturization is also important, and adding more good fats and oils to your diet, increasing your water-intake, and cutting out dehydrating foods are a good start.  Preventing dehydration is just as important, and making sure you eliminate through your bowels and grounding, resting and meditating are other effective Vata decreasing measures.

So, if it seems odd that your breakouts are isolated to your forehead area instead of being distributed all over the skin, try examining your Vata dosha.  This will avoid you taking on the wrong approach and further depleting your skin with conventional acne products and treatments that dry out your skin, exacerbating the problem.

5 responses to “The 411 on Forehead Breakouts: What is your Acne Saying about Your Health?

  1. tj

    hey can you tell us more about the kapha/chin pimples please?

    • kristen

      Yes, I will make it my Friday post TJ! No problem – Kapha is wet and heavy. I will also provide anti-kapha solutions.

  2. I was going to ask the same thing as TJ! I’m having terrible breakouts around my mouth area (which we kind of discussed on twitter). Looking forward to it!

  3. Ru

    Hi there,

    I have pimples all over my face, including forehead, cheeks, temples, chin, jawline, upper neck, and the occasional big spot on the ear lobe. I’ve had pimples since age 10 and I’m almost 19. It started out on the forehead and spread to the rest of my face in high school. My pimples were inflamed and juicy in high school. Now they’re much smaller, but they’ve grown in numbers and are mostly concentrated around my jawline and chin area. Do you think this is teenage acne or allergy or chronic acne? I’ve eaten healthy for two years, but I don’t see any significant improvement, so I doubt it has a direct link with diet. Thank you for your reply!

    • kristen

      Ru, acne is an expression of imbalance – even in teenage years of during “hormonal acne”. I had this too – I think since you have had this issue for almost a decade, I would consider it an indication that you need to rebalance your body and doshas.

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