Huge, painful zits are impossible to camouflage, even with the most skilful use of makeup. So if you have to look your best for an important occasion (like your wedding), an intralesional corticosteroid injection (commonly known as cortisone injection) would be a quick fix you can opt for.
People who are taking a blood thinner, have infections of the skin overlying the injection site, or have had an allergic reaction to a cortisone shot in the past should not go for this treatment.
Cortisone is a natural chemical released by our body to fight inflammation. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed for the treatment of various conditions. They are mainly used to relieve inflammation, which occurs when the body’s immune system fights infection or illness, and cause the affected part to become swollen, red and filled with pus. They are also used to shrink hypertrophic and keloid scars.
Corticosteroids are an effective alternative for the treatment for deep papules, nodules or cysts that are deeply rooted within the skin layers with minimal side effects. Such zits are difficult to eradicate with topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin, and can take weeks or months to heal, and leave scars.
When injected into an inflamed pustule, it helps to speed up healing and significantly reduce inflammation and relieve pain, as well as reduce the chances of scar development. The zit will usually soften and flatten over the next 72 hours and heal within a week after treatment.
During treatment consultation, provide your doctor with any pertinent information on your medical history, pre-existing medical and health conditions, drug allergies, and medication and/or supplements you are currently taking.
Our doctor will discuss the options available to you, and design a personalised course of treatment for optimal results.
During the procedure, a topical anaesthetic will be applied to the treatment area to minimise pain and discomfort. The doctor will lop off the top of the zit and extract its contents (pus and sebum) before injecting the spot with a corticosteroid. This is followed by the application of an ice pad to soothe it. The procedure will be over in a matter of 10 to 20 seconds.
The pimple or acne bump will be much less obvious and any pain will be relieved. The lesion should disappear a day later, with no or minimal scarring.
Short-term side complications are uncommon, but include shrinkage (atrophy) and lightening, soreness and redness at the injection site if they do occur.
As corticosteroids are hormones, the risk of side effects increases when they are administered in higher dosages or frequency.