Cortisone Acne Injections

a women touching her face

Cortisone acne injection is an effective, hassle-free way to reduce cystic inflamed acne and minimise acne scarring!

Read on further for what you need to know about cortisone acne injections.

What is a Cortisone Acne Injection?

Cortisone acne injections contain a key active ingredient called cortisone. It is a form of steroid hormone that is also produced by the body’s adrenal gland in response to stress.

Medically, the treatment’s term is an intralesional corticosteroid injection. It is also commonly known as cortisone acne injections, acne steroid shots, cystic acne injections in Singapore.

How Do Cortisone Injections Treat Acne?

Injected directly into large cystic acne, cortisone reduces the inflammation of the acne. This reduces the swelling and redness, and flattens your acne breakout sometimes within a few hours after treatment or 1 to 2 days at most.

How Are Cortisone Acne Injections Performed?

The doctor prepares a diluted corticosteroid and then injects it directly into your cystic acne/pimple. The doctor may choose to drain your acne before this.

The cortisone’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the swelling of the cystic acne walls.

As intralesional corticosteroid injections are typically used to treat deep, large, inflamed nodules, pimples or cysts in Singapore, our doctor will first determine if your acne belongs to this category during the consultation.

How Soon Can I See The Results?

Once injected, the cortisone immediately starts working on your acne, reducing inflammation over the next 12-24 hours.

During this time, your acne starts to soften, shrink, flatten, and look less red than before.

The acne will become noticeably smaller and less painful.

The acne should heal within a week after treatment.


Are Cortisone Injections Painful?

A very fine micro-needle is used in intralesional cortisone injections.

The whole procedure is very tolerable and can be completed in seconds. Most patients describe it as an ant bite.

For your added comfort, the area may be numbed before treatment. This is typically done for very severe or large cystic acne, or if the acne is in a very sensitive location.

a women reading a book

What Cortisone Acne Injections Can & Cannot Do?

Cortisone shots, by nature, reduce inflammation. This is why they only work on cystic acne and other inflammatory blemishes.

Cortisone shots can be used to treat cystic acne on the face and body.

Cortisone injections do not work on non-cystic acne such as pimples, papules, and comedones.

Cortisone reduces the inflammation of your acne but does not remove the pus. This is why the doctor may drain the pus from your acne before a cortisone acne injection.

Cortisone injections also cannot PREVENT new acne from forming. It is not meant as a regular acne treatment, but rather, should be used to shrink large zits fast in an “emergency”. To prevent further acne from forming, an effective acne prevention and treatment plan should be prescribed by the doctor during a consultation. This may include a combination of diet and lifestyle changes, topical retinoids, chemical peels, lasers, and even medications.

When Should I Get Cortisone Injection for Acne?

The sooner the better, typically within the first 3 days of the cystic acne forming. This helps stop the acne from growing bigger from inflammation, which decreases the chances of acne scarring.

With that said, however, cortisone injections are still effective for cystic acne that has persisted for longer than 3 days, though it may take longer for its effectiveness to be visible.

What Is The Benefit of Cortisone Acne Injections Over Other Acne Treatments?

Cortisone acne injections work well for treating large cystic acne. This is also the reason why patients have acne injections for acne that appear suddenly and inconveniently timed before an important social event. There is also often pain and discomfort associated with such acne which cortisone injections can effectively relieve.

Plus, cortisone acne injections also reduce the chance of acne scarring. This is beneficial for anyone and especially valuable for patients prone to scarring or forming unwanted hyperpigmentation.

What are the side effects and risks of cortisone acne injections?

The side effects specific to acne injections with cortisone that occur are:

  1. Skin Depressions/Atrophy

When a high dosage of cortisone is used, it can result in the skin atrophy around the area, leaving a depression. However, a depression/scar can also be caused by the acne itself.

Cortisone-related depressions usually take up to 6 months to disappear, while atrophic depressed scars caused by the acne itself may become permanent.

  1. Localised Skin Lightening

Also known as hypopigmentation, cortisone shots can sometimes leave a lighter area of skin, especially for patients with darker complexions. This is usually temporary.

As the dosage of cortisone in an acne injection is relatively low, it is very rare for side effects typically associated with high-dosage cortisone injections to occur. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience anaphylaxis or have an allergic reaction (i.e., hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat).

Who Is Suitable or Unsuitable for Cortisone Acne Injections?

We recommend getting a cortisone shot early on once you start noticing the formation of a deep, painful pimple. The earlier the injection, the more effective it will be in reducing cystic acne.

However, if a cortisone acne injection may be the only solution to relieve the discomfort and physical appearance of your cystic acne, speak to our doctor to learn more.

Bear in mind that a cortisone injection treats cystic acne. If you do not have one, the injection will not benefit you. If you’re unsure, speak to our doctor to know more.

What Is The Price of Cortisone Acne Injections in Singapore?

The price/cost of cortisone injections starts from $100 per treatment at SL Aesthetic Clinic in Singapore.

[11 Jun 2020] Written by Dr. Ashley Yuen

Dr. Ashley Yuen – The Athlete
MBBS, London

Dr Ashley Yuen obtained his medical degree from King’s College, London. He returned to Singapore where he honed his medical and surgical skills across various specialities and disciplines, before focusing on accident & emergency medicine and aesthetic medicine.

Ashley’s passion for aesthetic medicine stems from a desire to enhance one’s physiological wellness and esteem, and boost one’s self-confidence and quality of life. He sees a strong link between good emotional and physical well-being and is committed to helping patients look better and feel better.

With Ashley’s experience in patient care and aesthetics, he has an interest in using traditional aesthetic treatments to solve lifestyle and health ailments such as bruxism, skin tag, lumps and mole removal, skin pigmentation as well as in improving aesthetics using injectables like fillers.

A national rugby player and a model in his youth, Ashley can be found at the gym pumping iron. Happily married, he is a proud fur-father of two schnauzers.

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