How To Banish A Pimple (In 24 Hours)


cortisone shot Source: Romariolen/Shutterstock

We recently wrote a post on celeb-approved methods of calming and treating acne-prone skin, and we discovered a whole list of celebs who use cortisone shots to banish a pimple in less than 24-hours! A-listers like Emma Stone and Olivia Munn both said it was their saving grace if a pimple cropped up the day before a shoot or red-carpet event. While we’re familiar with the treatment, we wanted to get a derm’s seal of approval, so we spoke to NY-based dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. Here’s all the info on using cortisone shots to get rid of pimples, fast!

What are Cortisone Shots? 

Dr. Day says that a cortisone shot “Is a type of medication, specifically a glucocorticoid corticosteroid. It is used to reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune response to it.” In basic terms, it’s a shot that’s injected into your pimple, cyst, or nodule by a professional. While it’s not a long term solution to acne, it’s a good option if you’ve had a cyst or nodule lingering for weeks or months or if you need to get rid of a pimple in less than 24 hours.

How Can Cortisone Shots Help Treat Acne?

Dr. Day told us “I use cortisone injections in different concentrations for different reasons. In the case of acne, I use a very low concentration to help reduce the redness and swelling of a pimple and to help it clear quicker. If a pimple is injected early, it can clear without growing and coming to a head and a cyst will also resolve faster.”

Are There Any Side Effects?

“If too much or too strong a concentration is used, it can cause a depression (medical term for this is atrophy). This is usually temporary but can be permanent depending on the concentration used. This is why you need to have a doctor, ideally a dermatologist, trained in injections taking care of you” explains Dr. Day.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lena Metcalfe, PA-C (@lenametderm) on

Is There Anything You Should Do Before or After? 

“The doctor will clean the skin prior to injections. You don’t need to stop any medications or change your skincare routine. You can continue your usual skincare routine after a cortisone injection,” Dr. Day told us.

How Often Can You Have a Cortisone Shot?

“New areas can be injected anytime but the same spot or pimple should not be injected more often than once or twice a week to avoid atrophy. It’s much better to see your dermatologist for a cortisone shot rather than picking at a pimple,” Dr. Day says. The main thing to remember is cortisone shots are not a long term solution to treating or preventing acne, but they are a good solution for an emergency situation or a cyst that just won’t quit.

How Much Do Cortisone Shots Cost?

The other thing to bear in mind is the cost! Ranging anywhere between $25 and $100, depending on where in the world and which clinic you visit, having a cortisone shot is definitely not the cheapest method of treating acne.

Check out our ultimate guide to treating and calming acne-prone skin here.

Have you guys ever had a cortisone shot? Let us know in the comments below.