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Admin DXD
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from Singapore asked a question

Are there any side effects to regular Kenalog Shots for acne?

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Dr Shane Abucewicz Tan
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Acne & Scars

Hi! Whenever I have a pimple, I will head to my dermatologist for a kenalog shot. I know it is not a solution to my acne problem, but it provides me with utmost satisfaction when I see how fast the ugly red bump subsides. I did read online that these shots are meant for deep cystic acne that take ages to form a head. However, my dermatologist told me that as long as there is a bump, it can be injected. As a result, I am hooked on these shots and I find myself heading to the dermatologist for a shot every time a pimple comes about. At times, it is not even a big pimple. As long as it is red with a small bump, I rush to the dermatologist. My friends and family have been dissuading me. Price factor and the inconvenience are definitely some of the reasons. Sometimes, I secretly wish that my dermatologist would stop me when I keep turning up at her clinic. In fact, it was her nurse who stopped me.

Apart from divots, are there any other side effects to such shots if taken frequently? Is it alright to take a shot whenever a small red bump occurs? I need some normalcy in my life… 🙁

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Dear Gal,

I agree with the answers by Dr Winston and Dr Israr. Intralesional injections are mainly recommended for acne cyst.  As previously mentioned, frequent steroid injections can caused skin thinning and atrophy and if this happens it may be irreversible!

There are many other effective treatments to get the acne under control like oral antibiotics and isotretinoin. So speak to your dermatologist and tell her your concerns and discuss if these other options are suitable for you.

1 670 views 0 Doctors agree Wed Jan 24 2018 05:15:14 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Dear Gal,

The side effect that is most of concern is that there may be skin thinning and skin dystrophy if the jabs are performed too frequently over the same area.

There are other treatments available for small bumps, and you should consider them. This includes topical applications.

There are also other more permanent solutions such as oral Accutane.

Bearing in mind of course that each of these can also come with their own side effects, and you should weigh this up with the doctor treating you!

1 666 views 0 Doctors agree Wed Jan 24 2018 05:44:11 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Gal,

The dosage of injection of steroids is very low.

However, if you keep having shots very often , there will be issues like skin atrophy (dents, loss of skin color) and skin thinning.

Please re-evaluate your whole acne treatment regime to reduce such occurrences!

Here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Do you get big cystic ones just before periods? If so, a daily contraceptive pill to regulate your hormones will be good.
  2. Are your nails long and do you like to pick at your face? Lots of bacteria are hiding underneath your nails.
  3. Do you have lots of body hair? Irregular menses? These are signs of Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome.
  4. Do you lack good acne treatment cleansers, serums? Do consider getting one that suits your skin.

I’d suggest speaking to your doctor, or getting a second opinion if you are unsure about your other treatment options.

1 669 views 0 Doctors agree Wed Jan 24 2018 05:24:13 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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