Many people wonder about using cortisone shot injections for acne treatment, especially because of concerns about how it works and whether it is a safe and effective treatment for acne breakout. Since there’s seemingly very little information about how cortisone shots work as a remedy for acne, it’s not surprising that you may feel anxious about this acne treatment option.
Acne is one of the most frustrating skin problems faced by millions of people of all ages worldwide. Numerous creams, soaps, ointments, medications and other topical interventions make big promises to clear acne, but unfortunately, they often fall short and fail to eliminate acne as expected.
If you are frustrated by the ineffectiveness of creams and over the counter acne medications, then it is time to consider a cortisone shot acne treatment to get rid of your acne problem for good. Make no mistake about it, cortisone shot acne treatment is one of the most effective solutions for acne (in addition to Accutane acne treatment), and you would learn how and why if you continue reading.
What is a Cortisone Shot Injection?
Cortisone shots are injections that contain corticosteroid medication coupled with local anesthetic, which is formulated to quickly relieve inflammation.
Cortisone is a naturally occurring chemical released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Dealing with inflammation is perhaps the most important function of Cortisone, which explains why a cortisone shot is typically injected directly into the area of your body where there’s inflammation.
It is important to note that inflammation is the main cause of the swelling, redness, pain and unsightly cysts that are associated with acne lesions. By targeting acne inflammation, cortisone shots rapidly eliminates these symptoms and clears out the swelling and redness – leaving your skin smooth and significantly reducing the chances of acne scarring.
How Does Cortisone Shot Acne Treatment Work?
One of the best things about cortisone shot acne treatment is how quickly it produces the desired effect of clearing out acne nodules and cysts, along with the associated swellings, redness and pain. The mechanism of action of cortisone shot acne treatment begins with identifying the main trouble spots (on the face, neck, shoulders or back) and isolating them for targeted cortisone injections.
Cortisone shot acne treatments are generally administered as an outpatient procedure by dermatologists or doctors who specialize in this procedure. The specialist usually numbs the area to the treated before applying the injections directly into the pimples and draining sebum from the acne swellings.
While this may seem like an awfully painful procedure, it generally isn’t. The cortisone injection is performed with a micro fine needle and each shot is typically done in no more than one or two seconds. Also, the injections do not cause bleeding or bruising
Having numbed the cystic areas to be treated, the injections are painless and in most cases you might only feel a little tingly prick with no real pain at all. The whole cortisone shot acne procedure usually lasts less than 1 minute. After the injections, the specialist will plaster the areas of the injection which you would remove in the morning – to behold a delightful acne-free skin.
With cystic acne lesions, the results from a cortisone injection usually begins almost immediately. Acne cysts typically disappear as quickly as 4 to 6 hours after a cortisone shot acne treatment is administered and will continually improve over the subsequent days. In addition, the cystic swelling and pain associated with the acne will reduce significantly within 24 to 48 hours.
Should Cortisone Shots be Combined With Other Acne Breakout Medications and Treatments?
The thing about cortisone shot acne treatment is that it is generally not a recommended first-line solution for acne. In many cases, proper cleansing of the affected areas and application of simple preventive measures can effectively take care of mild to moderate acne breakouts. It will be needless to consider cortisone shots in such cases.
However, when you have tried many other acne breakout treatments without success, or if your acne breakout is particularly severe, then a cortisone shot may be the most effective way to address the problem. Cortisone shot acne treatment is also great if you have a social event (such as prom, a party, romantic meet up or an important meeting) coming up in a few days. If you’re desperate to clear out your acne before the fast approaching D-Day, then cortisone shot acne treatment is perhaps your surest bet.
However, it is important to note that a cortisone shot is not a complete and long term acne solution by itself, which means that you should not discard all other medications and remedies prescribed for acne management. This is particularly because cortisone is not an antibiotic and does not have the ability to eliminate bacteria.
It is perfectly safe and even advisable to combine cortisone acne treatment with antibacterial acne medications, since bacteria are the leading cause of acne breakouts and multiplication in affected parts of the body.
Potential Side Effects of Cortisone Shot Acne Treatment
When performed correctly, using cortisone acne treatment should typically have no serious side effects other than minimal pain following the injections and a slight depression in your skin which resolves on its own in a couple of weeks after treatment.
Indeed, the possibility of having a small post-injection depression (otherwise known as pit or divot) on the exact area where the pimple used to be is perhaps the main side effect of cortisone shot treatments for acne breakout.
However, this side effect can be avoided with sufficient precaution on your part and on the part of the dermatologist or doctor responsible for the procedure. The chances of experiencing this side effect (dents on your skin) will be higher if you frequently undergo cortisone shot acne procedures or the specialist uses a concentration of cortisone that is too high.
This means that you would use cortisone shots sparingly – only occasionally for special occasions or when your acne has become severe. You should also make sure that the specialist you consult for the cortisone acne solution is sufficiently skilled and experienced in the procedure. In this way, you are less likely to suffer any real side effects from undergoing cortisone injection acne treatment.
What If You Don’t Like the Idea of Injections to Treat Acne Breakout?
It is understandable that some people may be squeamish about injections and may therefore be uncomfortable with cortisone shots for acne – especially on the face.
Thankfully, you can reap some of the acne healing benefits of cortisone, albeit without injections. The way to do this is to consider using a cortisone cream, especially formulations enriched with aloe and vitamins A and E.
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While cortisone creams may not eliminate acne as quickly as cortisone shots, they are also quite effective at tackling acne inflammation and the associated redness, swelling and itching.
Well formulated cortisone creams are also effective for related skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne, and can produce results within a week of daily use. You may try a cortisone cream to see if it works for your acne breakout, but don’t expect it to produce the same miraculous effect that is common with cortisone injection acne treatments.