One of the more important treatments for acne with red pimples, pus pimples or cysts, is antibiotics. But acne isn't an infection. The red pimples, pus pimples and cysts aren't contagious... acne isn't contagious... You can't spread it to yourself or to other people.
Well, if inflammatory acne, which is what we 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 lives in our skin, in the oil gland and hair follicle. It's called Corynibacterium. While it doesn't cause an infection it does make a protein called Lipase. Lipase is an enzyme that splits the normal, gentle, non-irritating Triglycerides, one of the normal fatty materials in your oil... It splits those harmless Triglycerides into several parts. One is called a free fatty acid, and free fatty acids are VERY irritating to your skin and cause swelling, redness, pain and pus, which are what cause the red pimples, pus pimples and cysts of inflammatory acne.
So the antibiotic helps inflammatory acne by 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 inflammatory acne is because zits are caused by the formation of pus in the skin. Pus is caused by the accumulation of good well intentioned white blood cells trying to fend off the irritating effects of the free fatty acids on your skin. The white blood cells that cause pus come out 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, fatty acids present, some antibiotics can prevent these white cells from moving into your skin and causing pus which is at the core of all inflammatory pimples and cysts.
So the next time your doctor treats you with antibiotics for your acne, he or she may not be treating an infection, but he or she certainly is treating your acne.