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Should You Get a Steroid Shot for Cystic Acne?  

Are you a wait and see kind of person? Or are you all about immediate gratification? If you answered immediate gratification, then this method of acne management is something you may want to have in your bag of tricks.


If you have red, raised, painful bumps or cysts and you to make them disappear quickly,  if you want to avoid scarring, or if you have a big event coming up and you just cannot wait a week or two for your face to clear, a steroid shot could be your magic bullet.


It’s done by a dermatologist or a nurse practitioner in a medical office. It’s practically painless—just a little pinch—and a few hours later, the cyst will begin to go down. Within a couple of days, you’ll hardly know it was there.


What exactly is a steroid shot? Steroids (short for corticosteroids) are synthetic drugs that mimic the body’s naturally produced cortisol hormone. Steroids decrease inflammation. To quickly reduce red, painful acne lesions, your dermatologist can inject the steroid—typically Cortisone or Aristospan 2 ½%—directly into the lesion.


Why not just do this on the regular instead of stressing over cystic acne? Too high or too frequent a steroid dosage can cause small depressions after the cyst disappears. Those depressions can last a few weeks to forever. So this is definitely not something to do for every eruption. Save this weapon for the really big invaders, the ones that might lead to scars if allowed to fester. The faster the inflammation is reduced, the less chance for scarring. Extremely large cysts may need to be opened and drained first.


Will it help with existing scars? Yes. A steroid injection into an existing raised scar can have the effect of flattening the scar.


How about whiteheads or run of the mill pimples? Nope. It’s overkill for smaller eruptions and would likely result in the kind of sunken depression mentioned earlier.


Steroid shots are best for quickly reducing inflammation and decreasing the chances of scarring. Think of them as what’s behind the glass panel that says, “Break in case of emergency.” The rest of the time, stick to 10% BP Gel medication and Exfol-A Forté or 15% Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Serum



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