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Steroid Injections


To rapidly reduce inflammation in an acne lesion

Side Effects

Skin discolouration, infection and skin thinning (atrophy). Speak to your healthcare provider for full details


Does not treat the causes of acne. Speak to your healthcare provider for full details and warnings

The information on this website is intended for general educational purposes. You should talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist before you start using any kind of treatment.


What are steroid injections?

Steroid injections are a form of acne treatment that are available in private clinics. Steroids, from a group known as corticosteroids, can be injected directly into an inflamed acne lesion to quickly reduce its size.

How do steroid injections work?

Steroid injections work by rapidly fighting inflammation within an acne lesion. In doing so, they reduce the number of chemical messengers within a lesion that are sending signals to white blood cells to rush in and fight the bacteria that are present. As a result, fewer white blood cells enter the lesion and less, if any, pus forms.

What are some of the side effects of steroid injections?

Possible side effects of steroid injections for acne include skin discolouration, infection and the thinning of skin tissue (atrophy). The risk of side effects increases significantly if steroid injections are used to treat smaller acne lesions. Steroid injections for acne must be carried out by a Consultant Dermatologist.

General guidance on steroid injections

Steroid injections for the treatment of acne are fast acting and often significantly reduce the size of large acne lesions, such as cysts and nodules, within 24-72 hours.

Example of an acne treatment regime

Steroid injections can be used as part of a wider acne treatment regime. These regimes involve using acne treatments and sometimes other products in an organised way with the aim of maximising the treatment’s effectiveness. It is important to remember that not all acne treatments can be used safely together and that you should seek the advice of your pharmacist or healthcare provider before starting or combining any treatments. Click here for an example of an acne treatment regime.

Please note that steroid injections are not an appropriate long-term treatment for an ongoing acne problem and do nothing to treat the cause of acne itself.