(This post was updated on 02/17/2023)
Since you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you’re looking for answers to your acne problems.
You may already have tried a cortisone shot, but this is only a short-term solution. So, read on if you’re looking for longer-term alternatives to cortisone shots.
Cortisone is a synthetic corticosteroid, and it’s been available for quite some time. It’s been very effective in treating joint pain, including osteoarthritis, but it’s also had great success in relieving acne. Another important application for a cortisone shot is to treat ingrown hair.
It’s also true that there are unwelcome side effects with these shots. You should never rely exclusively on cortisone shots and seek good alternatives and treatments.
CORTISONE SHOT SIDE EFFECTS
Cortisone injections relieve skin inflammation and can even diminish large, blind pimples. But there are reasons why a cortisone shot shouldn’t be used too often. Let’s look at some of the side effects and drawbacks of using cortisone shots:
The cortisone injection process isn’t always without risks. If, for instance, too much cortisone is injected, skin atrophy can sometimes occur. This results in pockmarking—small pits in the skin. Sometimes the condition resolves, with the pits gradually disappearing, but at other times it can be permanent.
For those with darker complexions, cortisone shots can leave behind light spots.
A financial drawback to cortisone shots may be the cost. The expense of multiple injections over time can add up. While they’re great for emergency relief, cortisone shots aren’t a cost-effective, long-range solution to acne problems.
ALTERNATIVES TO CORTISONE SHOTS FOR ACNE
In recent years, several cortisone alternatives have appeared. It’s up to your dermatologist to decide if these might be a good option.
Let’s look at what they are.
ACNE LASER TREATMENT
Lasers such as ADVA TX are quite popular for superficially treating affected areas of skin. Such laser procedures stimulate the skin to produce more collagen, strengthening blood vessels and healing the skin over time.
The laser light also works to destroy the acne-causing bacteria in the skin.
MICRONEEDLING FOR ACNE
Microneedling is another treatment option to help patients suffering from acne scars. The process works by pricking the affected skin with tiny needles, which stimulate the skin to produce natural collagen. This is similar to the effects of acne laser treatments.
Microneedling, whether it’s accompanied by radiofrequency or not, can also be combined with the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). This can improve the healing of the skin and reduce redness and inflammation.
A good chemical peel is still a great and convenient option to reduce acne and mild acne scars.
Salicylic acid peels can saturate your skin to unclog pores and cleanse away blackheads. The salicylic acid also remains in the pores, helping to keep them clean and clear.
ALTERNATIVES TO CORTISONE SHOT NEAR YOU
Cortisone shots are useful for the immediate treatment of acne, but it’s only recommended for temporary relief and emergencies. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to cortisone shots, so you have no shortage of options. If you are looking for good alternatives, talk to your dermatologist or visit a medical spa or facility you trust, and ask them about FDA-approved options that work best for your skin type.
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