Sickness Shows

December 6, 2011 by staff 

Sickness Shows, Beauty is more than skin deep, and we’re not just talking about having a congenial personality. “Our skin can reflect what’s going on inside our body,” says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “As part of the immune system, the skin defends against environmental factors. But when your body is fighting an ailment, it can get overwhelmed and things like acne and redness can show up.” Here, how to read the signs in the mirror.

The problem: Chin acne

The cause: Hormonal imbalance

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Anchors and their mini-mes! Kids recreate iconic TODAY pics Boxing Day with Pippa: Will and Kate’s holiday plans Amanda Knox hires attorney for possible book deal ‘Major milestone’ in search for Earth’s twin There’s a reason many women have breakouts on their chin right before their period: That part of the face is particularly sensitive to rises in progesterone and testosterone. Many women simply experience mild acne, but if your breakouts tend to be more severe or painful and are no match for OTC treatments, it’s time to see your ob-gyn.

“Deep, cystic acne on the chin or along the jaw line can be a sign of underlying polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS] and other types of hormonal abnormalities,” says Chapas. Left untreated, the condition can increase your risk for diabetes and infertility.

Get healthy: For certain patients, going on birth control pills is an effective way to balance hormone levels and clear up skin. (The pill is also very effective for treating symptoms of PCOS.) If you prefer a nonhormonal option, ask your M.D. about spironolactone, a prescription med that blocks testosterone receptors, thus preventing the skin’s oil glands from going into overdrive in some patients. Skipping dessert can help too, since extra insulin stimulates the hormone production linked to breakouts. “Some studies show that eliminating processed sugars and sticking to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables may also mitigate the hormonal stimuli that can lead to acne,” adds Chapas.

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