Tips for Diagnosing & Treating Your Acne

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Experiencing acne at any stage in life is something that can greatly impact your self-confidence. We’re here to tell you, IT IS possible to clear your skin. We aren’t saying it will be easy, but if you follow a few simple steps, it is achievable.

When it comes to working to clear your acne, there are a few crucial steps to not only diagnosing the type of acne you have, but also the cause. If you and your skincare therapist can hone in on the cause and/or multiple causes and develop a plan to heal your acne from the inside out, you will be one step closer to achieving healthy, clear, and glowing skin! 

Let’s first dive into the different types of congestion. These skin eruptions can sometimes appear individually and other times together.

Types of Acne


Whiteheads can appear in clusters and can be irritating due to the fact that they do not come to a head. These hard bumps under the skin are plugged pores that are covered. These form the same way as blackheads but do not oxidize.


Blackheads are tiny, dark spots on the skin. These are plugged pores that are exposed to the air that then oxidize giving the sebum plugs a black color.


Pustule pimples are the most common form of skin lesion. A pustule is a circumscribed elevation of the skin, that is inflamed and filled with pus that may be white, yellow, or a greenish-yellow color.


Papules are small, raised, solid pimples or swelling, often forming part of a rash on the skin and typically inflamed but not producing pus. We see this most often when a sugar imbalance is present or Candida Albicans.


Cysts are those deep painful lumps that rarely come to a head they are like closed sacs that contain liquid or semisolid material. When touching or squeezing at a  cyst it is usually quite painful. These are generally associated with hormonal acne.


A nodule is a small swelling of cells on the body. Nodules are forms of Papules but are larger and deeper. Nodules are usually 1⁄2 cm. or more in diameter.
As we said before some people experience a single form of acne while others have multiple types of lesions. So now that you’ve hopefully gathered some knowledge about which type of acne you have, let’s dive into what might be causing it.  
The hard part about treating skin with acne is that there can be so many different causes. If you struggle with a specific type of acne from the info above or find that the acne consistently appears in a specific location, we’d recommend taking a look at the dietary trigger face map below


Reference these face maps to see if you’re consuming too much of something in your diet. It’s a great way to have a look into what’s going on inside the body. The location of pustules, blackheads, wrinkles, and the color of your skin can tell a story about the digestive system. 

We believe the skin is a window into your digestive system. If something is triggering your digestive system to be off balance, your skin will reflect these internal problems. When working on clearing your skin, the very first step for every single client we have is to establish good digestive health. Eat good, clean food. Avoid excess sugar and dairy and increase fermented food. 

While overall eating and health contribute to the skin, certain types of acne have fairly easily diagnosable causes. Let’s dive into a few of the most common types of irritations we see and what could be causing them. 

Red, inflamed skin with pustules
Often caused by poor detoxification, which leads to a buildup of waste in the skin.

Red, cystic acne
We can see this type of acne when the liver detoxification process is not working optimally.

Breakouts around the nose and mouth
Weak digestive system, possible inflammation of the digestive system and/or food intolerance. Could indicate low hydrochloric acid in the stomach and possibly an underactive liver.

Red & sore breakouts *Can be with oily or dry skin
These irritations can be caused by possible liver congestion, the liver may be struggling to break down fats from food. There may be an imbalance of good and bad fats.

Rash like pimples, small and hard
Often caused by one of two things: an overgrowth of candida and yeast, or gutl dysbiosis. This specific type of acne can take a while to go away.

Small lumps under the skin along the jawline
If you are experiencing this form of acne look at clearing the lymph. It could be caused by possible lymph congestion.

Cyclical breakouts that appear along the jawline
This acne is often related to hormonal issues such as PCOS, and can be accompanied by the growth of facial hair. This type of acne can take 3 to 6 months to heal.

Whitehead/blackheads in congested patterns
Often incorrect products and makeup can be the cause of this acne. In many cases, this is associated with puberty.

Lumps on the forehead in a rash-like pattern
Diet and stress can cause these irritations. Stress makes hormone breakouts worse. Dehydration can also play a part. Keeping your body hydrated helps your body function properly!

Cheek Breakouts
A diet that is high in fat and dairy is generally the cause of these breakouts.

While these are just a few of the conditions we see and treat, each and every skin type is unique and should be treated so. Having acne can be frustrating, especially when you’re older, or are unsure of the cause. If you want to clear your skin, you need to take care of the liver and clean up your diet, and we cannot stress that enough. Avoid your dietary triggers. A clean diet can only work if you also use clean products on your skin. Reevaluate your skincare products. Using the wrong products can irritate the skin and fill it with toxins, strip the natural oils, and change the pH. This causes more acne, early signs of aging, and health issues. Choosing skincare products that best suit your skin’s needs is no easy task. We’ve worked hard to make this process easy and seamless with our janegee Skin Quiz. In just a few minutes, you’ll receive custom product recommendations to help you create a simple and effective skincare routine.

If you are experiencing recurring breakouts or congestion that will not go away, book an appointment with a skin therapist. Treat your skin like you’d treat your body. Skin fitness is incredibly important to your overall health!

If you are interested in learning more about the connection between your skin and your gut and are committed to truly understanding how your nutrition affects your skin, we highly recommend taking a look at our Nutritional Skincare Acne 101 course! This in-depth course was created in partnership with Alyssa Lovas, a holistic nutritionist who has a true passion for helping other women achieve a healthy balance with food.