Cortisone Shots for Severe Acne

Don’t you hate those huge, monster blemishes? They’re big, painful, and take (what seems like) forever to go away. Don’t you wish you could magically make them disappear, or at least heal more quickly? And the worst of all they usually show up when you have to look your very best!

Although not quite as extraordinary as a magic wand, corticosteroid injections may be the next best thing. This treatment quickly reduces inflammation and heals the breakout in just a few days.

If you have a cyst or nodule and you have a big event on the horizon like prom, your wedding, etc., a cortisone shot may be a way to quickly reduce swelling and heal the lesion. Cortisone shots need not be reserved for special occasions. Feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Benjamin for injections on an as-needed basis.
The technical term for this procedure is intralesional corticosteroid injection, but many acne sufferers just call them steroid shots, cortisone injections, or cyst injections.

How It Works:
Intralesional corticosteroid injections are used to treat deep papules, nodules or cysts. A very dilute corticosteroid is injected directly into the blemish. Don’t worry, it’s a small needle! It’s quick and nearly painless.

The cortisone reduces inflammation quite quickly. Over the next few days, the blemish softens and flattens out. Most lesions heal within a week after treatment.

Corticosteroid injections also lessen the chance of developing scars. This is especially valuable if you are prone to scarring or hyperpigmentation.

Possible Side Effects:

If too much cortisone, or too strong a dilution is used, the fat around the injection site can atrophy. You’ll notice depressions, or pitting, of the skin in the area.

Fortunately, these depressions usually go away. This can take a long time, though (up to 6 months). Rarely, this loss of tissue is permanent.

Incidentally, if you develop permanent pitting of the skin, it isn’t necessarily caused by the injections. Severe breakouts often cause atrophic scars. Dermal fillers may be a good solution in these cases.

Cortisone shots cannot be used as preventative treatment, so other preventative measures must be taken. If you have an extreme case of acne which is deeply scarring and widespread, you may wish to learn more about Accutane.

For more information or to schedule your appointment please call Dr. Benjamin at 516-448-5816.