hello i’m dr. neal schultz and welcome to dermtv. one of the more important treatments for acnewith red pimples, pus pimples or cysts, is antibiotics. butacne isn’t an infection. the red pimples, pus pimples and cysts aren’tcontagious… acne isn’t contagious… you can’t spreadit to yourself or to other people. well, if inflammatory acne, which is whatwe call acne
with pimples and cysts, isn’t an infection, then why do antibiotics help it? there are two reasons. first and most important,most of us have an otherwise harmless germ which livesin our skin, in the oil gland and hair follicle. it’s calledcorynibacterium. while it doesn’t cause an infection it doesmake a protein called lipase. lipase is an enzyme that splits the normal,gentle, non-irritating triglycerides, one of the normal fatty materialsin your oil… it splits those harmless triglycerides intoseveral parts.
one is called a free fatty acid, and freefatty acids are very irritating to your skin and cause swelling, redness,pain and pus, which are what cause the red pimples, puspimples and cysts of inflammatory acne. so the antibiotic helps inflammatory acneby killing the bacteria… that makes the lipase… that splits the triglycerides… into terribly irritating free fatty acids which cause pus pimples and cysts. the second reason antibiotics help inflammatoryacne is because
zits are caused by the formation of pus inthe skin. pus is caused by the accumulation of goodwell intentioned white blood cells trying to fend off the irritating effects of the free fatty acidson your skin. the white blood cells that cause pus comeout of the blood and move into the skin and when they do that, they cause pimples and cysts. so even if there are irritating, free, fattyacids present, some antibiotics can prevent these white cellsfrom moving into your skin
and causing pus which is at the core of all inflammatory pimplesand cysts. so the next time your doctor treats you withantibiotics for your acne, he or she may not be treating an infection, but he or she certainly is treating your acne.