Acne is a complicated cycle which occurs within skin pores, often starting weeks before a spot surface and developing in the following four stages:
Acne begins with a blocked pore. As skin cells constantly renew themselves, most dead cells will shed every 30-days, revealing fresh skin underneath. If you’re acne prone, however, these dead cells mix with oil and become sticky and instead of shedding, clog pores and trap oil and bacteria inside.
At times of emotional stress or throughout puberty, androgen production increases leading to the over production of oil, or sebum, which further clogs pores. As oil continues to be produced it collects and becomes tapped behind the plug, building up pressure inside the pore.
The excess production of sebum increases the growth of bacteria known as P.acnes, which grow deep inside the pores. In a plugged follicle, the low oxygen and continuous building up of sebum create the perfect environment for the growth and spread of P.acne bacteria.
As bacteria ingests the oil, they release inflammatory by-products that leak from the follicle. The body recognises these by-products as foreign objects and kick-starts an immune reaction. Red and white blood cells flock to the infection- resulting in swelling redness and inflammation, forming what you will recognise as a spot.