There are three important pieces of information you need to make note of if you are going to heal your acne.

Your age. The root cause of acne is different depending on this factor – acne in your 20s typically suggests poor diet choices; in your 30s breakouts can be a part of the pregnancy hormonal rollercoaster or high levels of career stress; and in your 40s it all comes back to declining estrogen production.
Location. Where exactly it is that you get your acne – whether it’s on your back, your cheeks, your forehead, your chin – will tell you a whole lot about what’s going on inside your body. Each area is linked back to a bodily system, allowing you to pinpoint the flagging organs behind the breakout. Often the culprit is found to be hormonal imbalance, malnourished liver, or gut inflammation. The key is knowing where to start the curing process. “Face Mapping” is a hybrid of modern skincare expertise and Traditional Chinese Medicine ancient knowledge. Read on to learn more.
Timing. Noticing when you get acne is also a crucial tool for preventing breakouts. Is it before your period or when you’re ovulating? All acne is hormonal, but some is more integrally linked to our hormone cycle and can illustrate key imbalances.

What to think about

Most treatments for acne take time. It often takes 6 to 8 weeks for acne to improve after you start treatment. Some treatments may cause acne to get worse before it gets better.

If your acne still hasn’t improved after several tries with other treatment, your doctor may recommend that you take an oral retinoid, such as isotretinoin. Doctors prescribe this medicine as a last resort, because it has some rare but serious side effects and it is expensive.

Certain low-dose birth control pills may help control acne in women who tend to have flare-ups before menstruation.

Dr. Lawrence Jaeger of New York is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions and is board certified in dermatology and dermatologic surgery.