This is a topic we love to cover (who are we kidding, we love to cover all the skincare topics) because there are lots of ways our skin shows us what’s going on inside of our body. Our skin is an organ and acts conjunctively with other organs to show diseases, hormone fluctuations, diabetes, cholesterol issues, hydration and every little thing in between. So, let’s dive into a few of the major (and not so major) issues of what is your skin telling you!
First, the dreaded acne. This can be caused be a slew of things but the most common form of it we see is hormonal acne where we tend to see breakouts in the lower face (think jawline, chin and t-zone). Your t-zone is where you have the most testosterone so if you have higher levels of this, you’ll probably notice an oilier t-zone or have more blackheads. With hormonal acne we’ll often see breakouts on the neck and back as well which are super common.
Also, in the form of acne, we’ll see food related breakouts that will appear on the cheeks and towards the ears and mid-face. These breakouts are caused from eating poorly but not in the way that you’re thinking; sometimes by holding a greasy food item and then touching our face we can get a breakout. So, think of holding a greasy french fry, then touching your cheek, your pores will clog with the grease and the inevitable breakout will happen. On the flipside however, your body will respond to unhealthy food internally with inflammation which will cause breakouts on top of feeling sluggish and tired. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you eat certain foods, your body responds in this way (nap anyone?). We see a lot of issues with food sensitivities here as well and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re allergic to foods, but that certain foods are triggering your body’s inflammatory response (think, gluten or dairy). If we do see this type of breakout, we will often suggest a food sensitivity test, especially if you’re finding it hard to lose weight, feeling bloated more often than not or generally not feeling well.
Lastly, as far as acne goes, we will sometimes see breakouts on the forehead which is usually related to stress. We see quite a few students who are prone to this or people going through major life changes who may not even realize they’re going through a stressful time. We’ll even see those stress breakouts happen around the chin sometimes. Remember, all of these acne issues are general guides as to what might be happening in your body, but it can certainly be a variety of reasons as to why your skin is purging. Often though, these are usually all proven cases.
Along with hormones, melasma is a hormonal pigmentation which is common in certain skin types or those with hereditary backgrounds. Typically, this is called the “pregnancy mask” but it’s not always from pregnancy; oftentimes it will flare up in pregnant women only because they have the melasma gene. It can also come from birth control, from being in the sun for a long period of time, or even hormonal fluctuations. If you have a hormonal imbalance or PCOS you might notice more melasma which is really a pigment that arrives on the upper lip, upper cheek and forehead areas (of course you can have it on other parts of your body as well like your abdomen, upper back and arms but it’s mainly in the facial region). This is strictly induced by hormones and triggered by heat so even if you’re outside in the shade all day but it’s super-hot, you might notice a flare up! A lot of our hot yoga mamas or people who really like to work out a lot and sit in the sauna will notice it because of the heat aspect. Melasma also mirrors itself, so if you have it on one side the other side will often match (if you have it over one eyebrow, you’ll probably have it on the other eyebrow as well)! It will also usually appear as a blotch, kind of like someone threw the pigment on you like paint, so it’s not like freckles or spots, it’s a patch or splotch. The upper lip is where most women get the most frustrated because it’s harder to cover with makeup; we have a ton of melasma patients since we live in hot-as-the-sun Arizona which brings it out. We’ve truly learned what works and what doesn’t and have mastered how to maintain, control, and bring that down to get rid of the pigment. We know it’s a self-conscious thing and you want it gone, so come see us!
Hormones can also cause skin tags which most women will get on their necks or sometimes the cheeks or face in general. These are easily removed at the dermatologist and depending on the size, can sometimes be removed be an aesthetician as well.
Let’s talk eczema and psoriasis! Eczema is something that used to be called internal but that’s not necessarily true, whereas psoriasis is always caused from something internal. Psoriasis can be triggered by prolonged heat or sun, and it can also be related to allergies or dry weather conditions! It’s oftentimes linked to autoimmune deficiencies, gut health or an inflammatory response in your body – people with this will usually see a dermatologist because it’s harder to treat and more genetic. Eczema can be internally related to an inflammatory issue or gut health issue but it’s really a form of dermatitis (dry skin) which include various types. It strongly relates to being more of a dry skin condition whereas Psoriasis is more of an auto-immune skin disease. With Eczema, you’ll see it in patches; but the good news is that it can be treated with a good formulation of hydration. So, it’s caused by multiple things and isn’t always internal; if it is external it’s usually caused by stressors on the skin so if we see clients who are mega-stressed they might even see eczema on their eyelids!
Speaking of eyelids, let’s talk about them! You might (at some point) notice tiny yellow patches around your eyes, and that’s actually a buildup of cholesterol which will be treated by a dermatologist. You might also notice milia which are completely different than cholesterol deposits, these are small white bumps; if you’re not sure, pop in, we’d love to look as we’d know right away. Milia is not something to be concerned about and are common around the eyes. Simply put, these are a collection of dead skin cells that didn’t shed properly; they aren’t pimples and aren’t oily so no need to fret. You will need to have them professionally removed by a great provider who’s careful not to scar the tissue or press too hard; they are super easy to remove, and we treat that here at Skinfinity as well.
Your skin also may be telling you something’s not quite right if your skin is dull or lackluster. This can indicate major dehydration or even that your skin isn’t well oxygenated (meaning circulation and blood flow isn’t great). We’ll see this a lot with smokers or people who have low functioning kidneys so we’ll be sure these clients are consuming the right things, not drinking an excess of alcohol, are drinking plenty of water, and taking care of their overall health because we’ll see it right away in their skin if they aren’t. We have amazing treatments here for oxygenating the skin especially in your face and neck and we know we’ll bring that dull skin back to life!
Rosacea clients rejoice! We have amazing treatments here to help combat this redness in your cheeks! Rosacea doesn’t mean that your entire face is always red, this is a diagnosed condition where the cheeks have a lot more dilation of their capillaries and tend to get blotchy or flare up at different times. Rosacea sufferers cannot simply cool their body down or drink water to make this go away; the great news is that we have lots of great products that will address this and there are treatments for it. IPL is a great option that will bring down that redness, close capillary leakage and we’ll add in our top-notch skincare for a well-rounded approach to combat it.
Under eye puffiness and dark circles are also our body’s way of telling us something isn’t right. It can absolutely be genetic, but it can also indicate your level of hydration and how much sleep you are (or aren’t) getting. What most people aren’t aware of is how it can indicate a high sodium diet! If you struggle with dark circles or puffiness, look at how much sodium you are consuming and how much water you’re drinking as well to make sure they are balanced.
Lastly, if you’re starting to see signs of aging or sun damage it means that the pigmentation is coming out of your skin because you aren’t protecting it properly (hey we’ve all been there, but now we know the importance of sun protection, right?). If you’re seeing loose and lax skin, please make sure you are properly caring for your skin with vitamins, nutrients and sunscreen (you know we could talk all day about the importance of wearing sunscreen every single day). Incorporate Vitamin C and A and preventative products into your routine.
Was there anything that surprised you this week? Is there an issue we mentioned you’d like to address? Give us a shout for a consult and let’s get you feeling amazing!