Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are antibiotics harmful to human skin cells?

  1. Jun 19, 2004 #1
    Just curious if antibiotics you might put on a band-aid over a wound that risks infection could kill/harm the skin cells around it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2004 #2

    iansmith

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It will depend on the concentration and type of antibitiotic use. It is only consider an antibiotic if the concentration used does not harm the recipient. Then it becomes a toxin. :wink:

    If the concentration used is below the toxic level then no harm should be done to your cells.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2004 #3
    Alright, thanks, it was just some neosporin, so I guess my skin cells won't go cancerous. :biggrin:
     
  5. Jun 19, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The skin cells would have a greater risk of dying from the inflammatory response to infection than from an over-the-counter topical antibiotic.

    And the top layer of skin is already dead cells. Inside the cut is the place where live cells would be exposed to the antibiotic.
     
  6. Jun 20, 2004 #5

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The antibiotic belongs to the aminoglycosides class, that binds to the 30S subunit of bacterial ribosomes and block the attachment of the 50S subunit to the initiation complex.

    Although the eukaryotic ribosomes in the cytosol are relatively unaffected by these drugs, ribosomes in the mitochondria are sensitive to their effects (remember that mitochondria have a prokaryotic evolutionary history).

    So the dose used will determine the effect.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2004 #6
    So the antibiotic is bacteria-static?
     
  8. Jun 20, 2004 #7

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Bacteriostatic? You'd think so (as with tetracyclin or chloramphenicol which also inhibit protein synthesis), but no, it is bactericidal :)

    Apparently it can inhibit mRNA translation to protein, with the little translation occuring it causes misreading and thus nonsense peptides, but apparently there is also an effect on the membrane which becomes leaky that would explain the bactericidal nature of the antibiotic.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2004 #8
    Gawd Dayum girl! Thanks for that explantion, I feel so filled with knowledge now!
     
  10. Jun 21, 2004 #9

    adrenaline

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    neosporin if applied for longer than a week can induce neosporin dermatitis , a form of contact dermatitis and can actually excacerbate redness and prevent good tissue healing. It is notorious for it.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Are antibiotics harmful to human skin cells?
  1. Stem cells in humans (Replies: 23)

Loading...