Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Why Women Break Out On Their Cheeks and Jawline
Typically we break out in certain areas more than others. For women, the "U-zone" or jawline tends to be the problem area. You may heard this referred to as "hormonal acne".
But do you know why?
The reason? Women don't grow beards, so we have smaller pores in the U-zone than we do in the T-zone.
When our hormones fluctuate throughout the month, we produce more or less oil depending on where we are in our cycle. As a result, these smaller pores become more easily congested where they clog more easily and become inflamed.
On the nose, where we experience the most shine, we are far less likely to get one of those big, under-the-skin monsters because the pores are larger and oil can come and go. But we may or may not experience blackheads here.
On the U-zone though, we are much more likely to experience inflammation because these pores are covered by little flaps of skin, making them much more difficult to move through. This means when dead skin cells and sebum become trapped, we get whiteheads instead of blackheads when there's no inflammation or bacteria involved.
Whiteheads on the cheeks typically indicate that we need to increase our exfoliation, cleanse more efficiently, or use lighter, non-comedogenic products. Many women do not properly remove their makeup at night, which can lead to a lot of clogging in this area--especially if you have long hair or sleep on your side. That doesn't mean you're not washing your face necessarily... It may mean you're not cleansing into the hairline or down onto your neck where you diligently blended your makeup to avoid obvious lines of demarcation.
If you are experiencing persistent inflamed breakouts in this area, along with increased hair growth and even hair loss, then you should speak to your OB/GYN about the possibility of PCOS, especially if you are overweight.
If you are underweight or an athlete, you may also need to discuss your breakouts with a doctor because your hormones may also be affected.
Other medical conditions can also lead to increased breakouts in this region, so I always recommend mentioning your acne to your physician, so they can rule out potential health problems they might otherwise miss.
However, for the majority of women, breakouts in the U-zone are a result of monthly fluctuations in our hormones that are perfectly normal for us to experience, or we are genetically predisposed to having acne. And, no, we don't just have to live with it. =)
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This blog is for educational purposes only and does not diagnose or treat any disease. Always consult a doctor about any problematic skin condition--especially if it does not respond to OTC treatment.