Spotlight series: What exactly is a spot?

We all know that feeling of dread when you look in the mirror and are greeted by a new friend, Mr Spot – someone we’d happily never meet and who usually pops up when he is least welcome.

But what most of us don’t know is what exactly a spot is…

The science behind spots

Each and every hair follicle on the skin has a sebaceous gland that produces, you guessed it, sebum.

A spot occurs when excess sebum or oil clogs these follicles, as a result of dead skin cells or a layer of new skin impeding its flow.

This mixture is a breeding ground for bacteria.

It is when a mild bacterial infection occurs that a spot develops pus, as well as its characteristic redness and soreness.

What causes spots?

Spots are the skin’s way of telling us our bodies are out of balance.

This imbalance may be caused by the following:

  • Using products that are too heavy, rich or suffocating on the skin
  • Conditions such as Acne or Acne Rosacea
  • Hormonal imbalances that trigger excess sebum production
  • Using products heavy in alcohol or detergents (these strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to produce exces sebum to compensate)
  • Dietary excesses of refined sugar or low-grade fats
  • Stress – which impedes many of the body’s detoxification processes and can cause the skin to become congested.

The good news is that all these causes are both preventable and curable!

Read my previous post for my Top 7 Tips to keep skin clear, calm and blemish-free – Acne: I’m not a teenager, so why do I keep getting spots? 

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