There's a picture and body of text making its way through Tumblr again:

Facial Map

What is your acne telling you?

1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just because you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!

The whole thing reeks of palmistry; I feel people are trying to find patterns where they don't exist. Although the graphic may not be 100% accurate, will acne be found in specific areas according to problems in a diet or other imbalances, like illness?

Obviously, touching location is out of the question.

  • 1
    You should check out this website- acneeinstein.com . It has, I think, a lot of well-researched information on the topic (acne), though I am not sure it has any on this particular topic. This may not answer your question but just saying it is a good starting point. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 4:26
  • 2
    Anecdotally: None of the acne I've had in my life matches up with the "deficiencies" listed for the locations I had it in. Also: if acne location corresponds to various other bodily problems, what about things such as "backne"?
    – Brian S
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 14:38
  • How funny! Acne Einstein has an acne face map article which actually discusses the claim's "historic" Chinese origins with qi energy, concluding with "we can't say for sure, but probably not." I don't feel experienced enough to write up an answer if this article is indeed credible, but there's a lot of text written there.
    – Bret
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 17:32
  • @Bret I've just looked at the article you link to, and its conclusion is much more definite than you make it sound. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


The NHS lists a number of causes of acne. All of them are systemic, so they will not affect one part of the face more than any other.

The basic mechanism is:

Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, become blocked.

This is caused by the over-production of sebum, which is not affected by any of the organs listed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .