cortisone acne steroid injection

Cortisone Acne Steroid Injection

Get rapid relief of painful acne today! Targets cysts, nodules and keloids.

Intralesional steroid injections are effective to reduce pain and swelling in as fast as 3 days.

cortisone acne steroid injection
Cortisone shot for acne

Table of Contents

What is cortisone acne steroid injection?

The cortisone acne steroid injection or intralesional corticosteroid treatment is a potent anti-inflammatory treatment to reduce the symptoms of painful acne lesions. It is a supportive form of acne treatment that complements your existing acne management.

a close up of a acne cyst
Cheek nodulocystic acne


Cortisone shots for acne

Cortisone shots, also known as intralesional corticosteroid injections, are a highly effective treatment for severe or cystic acne. These injections can rapidly reduce inflammation, pain, and size of acne lesions, offering relief and promoting faster healing. Dr. Ng provides a patient-centric approach that is backed by the latest scientific evidence as well as his own wealth of experience to create a care plan for the best acne treatment that is unique to your skin type. Early intervention can help prevent acne scars, restore your skin and confidence.

How do Cortisone Injections work?

When injected directly into a acne cyst or nodule, cortisone helps to quickly reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness. This can lead to rapid improvement in the appearance of the acne lesion. Cortisone injections work by inhibiting the inflammatory response, reducing blood flow and reducing the activity of the immune system in the affected area.

a close up of a person's face with acne
Multiple acne cysts and nodules

What type of Acne is stuitable for steroid injections?

Acne vulgaris is a disease of the pilo-sebaceous unit. The complex interplay of overactive sebaceous activity, congested hair follicle, C.acnes bacterial colonisation and inflammation can take on a variety of acne appearances. The most common acne skin lesions are comedomes (whiteheads and blackheads), papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Due to the inflammatory component of some of these lesions, acne can often look red, feel swollen and painful. Cortisone acne steroid injection is suitable for the following:  

  • Large Acne Papules
  • Acne Cysts
  • Acne Nodules

Benefits of cortisone injections

Cortisone shots involve injecting a small amount of corticosteroid directly into the acne cyst or nodule. This procedure is typically performed by a trained healthcare professional and offers several key benefits:

  • Rapid Reduction of Inflammation: Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that quickly reduce swelling and redness associated with severe acne lesions.
  • Pain Relief: The injection alleviates discomfort and tenderness, providing immediate relief from painful cystic acne.
  • Accelerated Healing: Cortisone shots can significantly speed up the healing process, often shrinking lesions within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Minimized Scarring: By rapidly reducing the size and inflammation of acne cysts, these injections help prevent long-term skin damage and reduce the risk of scarring.

How is the cortisone acne steroid injection procedure done?

injection steroid for acne
Intralesional steroid of large acne papule

After a consultation and assessment of your skin condition, the various treatment options, potential risk and side effects of the procedure are explained to ensure that it is the right one for you. The procedure for cortisone injections for acne is relatively simple and typically performed in a doctor’s office. It involves the following steps:

  • Your skin is cleansed around the acne lesion.
  • A numbing cream may be applied to enhance your comfort.
  • A small amount of steroid is carefully injected into the inflammed acne. You may feel some discomfort from the injection but it gradually eases away. 
  • After the injection, a small bandage may be applied to the site.
Drawing of corticosteroid for injection

What are the side effects with injection steroids?

Steroid acne injections should be used carefully for patients who are at risk of acne scarring and/or for fast relief of inflammation and moderate to severe pain from their acne. 

From experience, Dr Ng believes that a low concentration-small volume of injection steroid that is skilfully delivered is all that is needed to relieve pain and to reduce the risk of adverse events.

Possible side effects include:

  • Inflammatory reaction (temporary)
  • Skin atrophy (skin thinning) – especially with repeated treatments
  • Fat atrophy
  • Hyperpigmentation or Hypopigmentation of the skin
  • Systemic absorption of steroids
  • Adrenal suppression

Which other conditions can be treated with cortisone injections?

Steroid injections have been found to be effective in a variety of inflammatory dermatological conditions other than acne. They have found to be beneficial at relieving the symptoms and appearances of conditions such as:

  • Keloids
  • Inflammed epidermal cyst
  • Granuloma annulare
  • Hiadrenitis Suppurativa
shoulder and back keloid scars
Back and shoulder keloids

Frequently Asked Questions About Cortisone Acne Steroid Injection

Many patients notice an improvement in the appearance of their acne cysts or nodules within 24 to 48 hours after receiving a cortisone injection. In some cases, it may take a few days for the full effects to become apparent.

The effects of cortisone acne shots can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the acne. In most cases, the improvement in the appearance of the acne can last several weeks to months. However, some individuals may require additional injections for persistent or recurrent lesions.

Cortisone acne shots are typically recommended for individuals with moderate to severe acne cysts or nodules that have not responded to other treatments. However, it’s essential to consult with a dermatologist to determine if cortisone injections are appropriate for your specific case.

It’s important to note that cortisone injections for acne is best performed by a qualified doctor or healthcare professional. Attempting to perform this procedure at home or by an untrained individual can lead to complications and may worsen the acne.

If the cyst has already started to fill with pus, it may have formed an abscess. In this case, we would perform an incision and drainage to clear the pus in order to achieve healing.

While cortisone injections can be highly effective for treating severe acne lesions, they are not suitable for everyone. Alternative treatments for severe acne may include oral medications like isotretinoin (Accutane), oral antibiotics, or other topical medications. Additionally, some individuals may benefit from procedures like laser therapy or chemical peels to help improve acne symptoms.

Cortisone injections are not a long-term solution for acne. They are typically used as a temporary measure to treat individual acne lesions as they arise. For long-term management of acne, other treatments such as topical medications, oral medications, or in-office procedures may be recommended.

The cost of cortisone acne shots can vary depending on factors such as the extent of your acne, expertise, and the number of injections needed. It’s best to consult with a dermatologist for specific pricing information.

Dr Moses Ng dermatologist

cortisone shot

Cortisone shots offer a rapid and effective solution for managing severe acne, providing immediate relief from inflammation and pain while promoting faster healing. As with any medical treatment, it is essential to consult with a qualified doctor to ensure the procedure is appropriate and to discuss any potential risks. For individuals struggling with stubborn, painful acne, cortisone shots can be a valuable addition to their skincare regimen, helping them achieve clearer, healthier skin.

Schedule a consultation for Cortisone acne steroid injection in singapore

We treat a range of acne and acne scars at both our clinics in Woodlands and Kovan. Cortisone steroid injections provide fast relief and reduces potential acne scarring. Dr. Ng makes it his mission to match each patient to the most effective acne treatment according to your lifestyle, skin condition and budget. Schedule a consultation with us today, so you can find out more.

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1.Levine RM, Rasmussen JE. Intralesional corticosteroids in the treatment of nodulocystic acne. Archives of dermatology. 1983 Jun 1;119(6):480-1.

2. Reynolds RV, Yeung H, Cheng CE, Cook-Bolden F, Desai SR, Druby K, Freeman EE, Keri JE, Gold LF, Tan JK, Tollefson MM. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2024 Jan 30.