Cortisone injections are the most effective “spot treatment” that exists for getting rid of inflammatory acne lesions quickly. A small amount of an anti-inflammatory medication, called triamcinolone, is injection directly into the pimple. Since pimples are essentially inflammatory reactions to the p. acnes bacteria, the anti-inflammatory properties of the injection reduce the appearance of the pimple quickly. It usually takes 24-48 hours for the full effect of the cortisone shot to be realized, but most patients see some improvement by the 24 hour mark.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Steroid injections, commonly referred to as cortisone injections, are the best method of reducing the appearance of an inflammatory acne lesion quickly. However, there is a small risk of atrophy with each injection. At the Clear Clinic and Schweiger Dermatology, we use a very dilute concentration of triamcinolone, in order to reduce the risk as much as possible. This is not something that we see often, but the risk does exist. When performed by a dermatologist or dermatology PA who specializes in acne, this risk of steroid atrophy is extremely low. Cortisone injections remain the best method of reducing the appearance of an acne lesion quickly.”