If you find yourself facing a huge zit right before an important event, waiting for the plump pimple to subside just won't do. Popping it is also a big no-no. So what are you left to do? We talk to board-certified dermatologist and a member of the Philippine Dermatological Society Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino and Dr. Suzette Sagun-Ronquillo of The Aivee Institute to learn more about getting pimple injections, which is a sure-fire way to get rid of that pesky zit. Scroll down and read everything you need to know.
1. What are pimple injections?
"Pimple injections, also known as intralesional steroid injections, are low dose diluted steroid preparations injected superficially on inflamed acne." Dr. Anna adds, that these shots "help reduce the swelling of the pimple almost instantly but it does not eliminate the bacteria that cause acne."
2. Please walk us through the procedure.
According to Dr. Anna, "the dermatologist will asses the type of pimple you have, it can be a pustule, a nodule or a cyst. The area will be cleaned with alcohol or an antiseptic and then a very minimal amount of steroid will be injected using a very small needle on the lesions. There are proper techniques in doing this, the right depth and proper dilution is very important. The area will again be cleaned. It can be painful but then the pain should resolve after the procedure is over."
3. What kind of acne qualifies for a shot?
"Inflamed, medium-large sized acne are good sites for this procedure," says Dr. Suzette.
4. How many pimple at a time can one avail of the said treatment? How often can one get the shot?
Dr. Suzette says that "there is no hard and fast rule as to the number of pimples that can be injected. However, as mentioned, only inflamed, medium-large sized acne are good sites for injections. There is also no hard and fast rule as to the frequency of injections, as acne or pimples usually occur in different stages (polymorphic). The formulation of the pimple injection is composed of very low dose, or verydiluted steroid injections making it relatively safe to be administered for numerous sites during a single consult."
Additionally, Dr. Anna warns, "Patients should not get used to having pimples injected every time they have one. If a pimple keeps recurring on the same spot, the dermatologist will recommend topical or oral medications for acne. It is really up to the dermatologist to decide how often and which lesions may or may not be injected. The best way is still to prevent the appearance of new pimples by sticking to a regimen and targeting all the causes of acne- bacteria, increased oiliness and hormonal change."
5. What are the benefits of getting one?
"The inflamed pimples are observed to resolve faster when pimple injections are done. Furthermore, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the injection, the procedure also helps with pain associated with inflamed pimple," shares Dr. Suzette.
6. How about the risks?
Dr. Suzette says, "Due to the very low dose, or very diluted formulation of the product, and the superficial administration of the injection, the risks are minimal. The risks include pain on the site of the injection, and atrophy of the site. Atrophy happens when too much injection is administered."
Moreover, Dr. Anna reminds that "There are risks of getting an indentation on your skin (pseudoatrophy) if too much medicine was injected or if it was done too often. This eventually resolves but it may take time."
7. What are the after-care procedures? Do you have recommended products?
Dr. Suzette lists the post-procedure management below:
a. applying cotton on the site to stop the pinpoint bleeding following injection;
b. prophylactic topical antibiotic application (optional and depends on the assessment of the dermatologist), and;
c. yellow or red LED light application (this works together with the injection to target the inflammation and assist in wound healing. Patients are also advised to avoid washing the area for a few hours to avoid contaminating the open wound from the injection.
8. What should one do when the procedure goes bad?
"It is best to seek professional help with the dermatologist as soon as possible," Dr. Suzette says.