Face Mapping: the Digestive System and Your Forehead


Today in the second article of our six-part series about face mapping, we’re going to be talking about forehead acne.

You may recall in our first article, where we introduced you to the concept of face mapping. It began as the Chinese traditional medicine practice called “face reading,” in which doctors, scholars, and other professionals studied the face to gain clues as to a person’s personality, health, and fortune.

Today, Eastern practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use the practice of face reading to help diagnose their patients. An experienced practitioner can often identify health issues before they become too pronounced, helping patients to adopt lifestyle changes that can help prevent complications.

In the Western world, we’ve started looking into the idea that the face can give clues as to our holistic well being, particularly the skin and its condition. And we all know how the forehead can betray us.

When it’s not sweating or perspiring, it’s breaking out, or wrinkling, or showing up unattractive red blotches. Some you may never have problems with your foreheads, and you can count yourselves lucky, as most of us have had to deal with its embarrassments several times in our lives.

Face mapping gives us some insight into what may be causing the forehead to misbehave.

Forehead Pimples May Be Related to Your Diet

In traditional Chinese medicine, the forehead is connected to the digestive system. More specifically, the upper forehead (near the hair line) is linked to the bladder, and the lower forehead (above the brows) to the intestines.

In general, problems that show up in this area are thought to be most frequently caused by a build up in the colon, bladder, and digestive system. Maybe your kidneys are working harder than usual to flush waste out of your system, because you haven’t been drinking enough water. Or maybe you indulged in a few fast-food meals this week, overloading yourself with unhealthy fats and sugars, and your digestive system is paying the price.

It helps to think of the emotions that may be tied to these issues, as well. Stress, for example, is likely to cause digestive issues, and is often connected to flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive diseases like ulcerative colitis.

So with that in mind, let’s look at what may be causing your forehead to act up.

7 Reasons Why Your Forehead is Reacting and How to Stop It

Of course, you could be suffering from forehead pimples simply because your bangs, laden with hair spray, were brushing against your skin all day, or because you were wearing a worn baseball cap in the hot sun.

Never forget to think about the more obvious connections to your acne/redness/skin irritation, as sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one.

If there is no obvious cause, however, face mapping can help. Below are several of the most common causes of forehead problems:

1. Mild Dehydration

If you’re not drinking enough water every day, your body struggles to get rid of waste. We all create waste every day just by living, breathing, and eating. Much like a manufacturing plant, the body takes in oxygen, water, and food, and puts out energy and waste. Water helps the body flush that waste out. If you’re not drinking enough, toxicity can build up in your system, resulting in forehead acne.

Solution: Drink more water. Drink at least one glass first thing in the morning (with lemon if you want extra detoxing), and then keep a bottle with you always and sip throughout the day. Try to cut back or avoid completely caffeinated drinks.

2. Bacterial Imbalance

You’ve seen those yogurt commercials that say more yogurt equals fewer digestive issues. What they’re talking about is the probiotics in the yogurt. We’re learning more every day about the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, and how it affects our overall health—including the health of the skin.

Studies have shown that probiotics can help ease traveler’s diarrhea, symptoms of IBS, constipation, and more, and the American Academy of Dermatology recently stated that they were excited about early research showing a link between the use of probiotics and clearer skin in acne and rosacea patients.

Stress, poor diet, antibiotics, and other factors can also upset the delicate balance in the digestive system, resulting in forehead problems.

Solution: Eat more foods rich in probiotics, including yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso soup, and sauerkraut. Consider a quality probiotics supplement.

3. Overload of Fatty, Greasy Foods

Fast-food items such as french fries, fatty meats, deep-fried anything, and foods filled with partially hydrogenated oils can all tax your digestive system. They tend to slow things down, which can be bad news for your forehead.

Solution: Get back to a healthy diet filled with whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Try to completely avoid fast-food, and focus on food in its natural state. Stay away from processed snacks and desserts.

4. Too Much Sugar

Studies have shown that high blood sugar levels lead to acne, in general. Too much sugar can also mess up the digestive system. Fructose, especially, which is often found in processed foods, decreases insulin sensitivity and increases lipid (fat) formation.

Sugar messes with your hormones as well as causing you to crave more sugar, which can lead to overeating. Overeating is very taxing on your digestive system. Sugary foods are known to encourage bloating and gas, and may also lead to constipation.

Solution: Cut back on sugar. Ditch the sugar-sweetened beverages (artificial sweeteners are also connected to digestive issues) and try fruit-infused water instead. Click here for some easy fruit-infused water recipes. Use real fruit to satisfy your sweet cravings—the fiber slows down digestion, going easier on your system.

5. Struggling Digestive System

Sometimes problems on the forehead may show up because your digestive system is having a hard time digesting food, period.

A well-balanced diet is your best solution, with smaller meals spaced out about three hours apart. There may be times in your life, however, when you would benefit from digestive enzymes. These can help get your digestive system back on track.

Digestive enzymes help break food down into energy the body can use. We usually produce all we need in the pancreas, but that production can slow down as we age, or because of poor diet or other health issues.

Solution: Try chewing your food more slowly to digest it more thoroughly before swallowing. Eat smaller meals, and increase your intake of raw foods like fresh fruits and veggies. Increase your intake of enzyme-rich foods, including papaya, pineapple, kiwi, grapes, avocado, raw honey, bee pollen, olive oil, and mango. If these don’t help, try a quality enzyme supplement with your meal. Choose one that has a mixture of different types of enzymes.

6. Partied Too Hearty

Excessive alcohol consumption can encourage heartburn and interfere with the secretion of stomach acids. It can also impair the movement of the intestines, contributing to diarrhea or constipation, and potentially increasing the transport of toxins and toxic elements to other organs in the body, particularly the liver.

The take away from this is excessive alcohol consumption can lead to digestive stress, and potential forehead skin problems.

Solution: Go easy on the alcohol.

7. Not Enough Sleep

Besides increasing your stress levels, lack of sleep can mess up the digestive system. In a 2013 study, for example, researchers reported a link between sleep disturbances and inflammation in the digestive system. That can translate to flare-ups of inflammatory bowel disease, gastro-esophageal reflux, and even colorectal cancer.

A lack of sleep also messes with your hormones, which gives you cravings for fatty, sugary foods that will likely mess up your digestive system even more.

Solution: Get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Turn off the technological gadgets at least an hour before bed, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and create a routine of quiet, relaxing activities before shutting off the lights.

Do you get forehead pimples or redness? Have you found that clearing up your digestive system helps?

If you would like to learn more on face mapping and the different parts of the face that are connected to different organs in the body, read our other posts:

Face Mapping: An Introduction

Face Mapping: the Liver and Between the Brows

Face Mapping: the Respiratory System and Your Cheeks

Face Mapping: Heart, Blood Pressure and Your Nose


American Academy of Dermatology – Could probiotics be the next big thing in acne and rosacea treatments

Christians Bode, Ph.D. and J. Christian Bode, M.D. (Vol. 21, No. 1, 1997). Alcohol’s Role in Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders. Alcohol Health & Research World.

NCBI – Sleep, immunity and inflammation in gastrointestinal disorders

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