Kenalog is an anti-inflammatory injectable with a wide variety of applications, used to treat everything from arthritis to allergies. It is particularly useful for skin conditions, which can be treated directly at the site with results that present almost immediately. At Launa Stone in Calabasas, CA, we use this amazing treatment to relieve painful cystic acne that can be very difficult to treat with topical medications.
What Is Kenalog Used for? How Triamcinolone Works
Triamcinolone is the active ingredient in a Kenalog injection. When used to treat cystic acne, it reduces the pain, swelling, and redness associated with this common skin condition. Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it allows the cysts to heal much more quickly than they would be able to on their own.
Why Does It Need To Be Injected?
Kenalog actually comes in a variety of applications, from sprays to creams, but its injectable version is a much more effective way to treat skin conditions that are in the deeper layers of skin. Cystic acne develops deep in the epidermis which makes it much harder to treat with topicals. An injection allows the medication to go straight to the root of the problem and start working right away.
A Targeted and Precise Treatment
Some acne-sufferers have cysts erupting in multiple places, while other patients simply want to address one cyst that is particularly painful or in a very visible location. The great thing about these injections is that they can be used to target a precise area. Whether you have one cyst or many, you will be getting the exact amount of triamcinolone that you need to resolve the issue.
What Results Can You Expect?
Patients typically notice a reduction in swelling almost right away, with a complete healing of the treated area occurring within 2-3 days. These are amazing results, considering that cystic acne can take months to heal when left untreated. Triamcinolone not only treats existing acne, but also reduces the chance of a new breakout in the same treatment location. The anti-inflammatory effects remain active in the skin for up to 6 weeks.
While patients can expect these results to last for several weeks, we can’t guarantee that new cysts will not pop up in other areas that were not treated. For patients with chronic cystic acne, it is recommended that they adhere to a more regular treatment schedule to keep on top of breakouts. They may require follow-up sessions spaced about 4-6 weeks apart.
Deciding if Kenalog Treatment Is Right for You
Since triamcinolone is a targeted injectable that goes straight to the site of inflammation, it is generally safer than oral acne medications that need to be taken daily on a long-term basis. This treatment option is considered safe for most people and has very low risk of side effects. At your consultation, you will be asked several questions about your medical history and any medications you are taking so that we can sure this will be a suitable treatment for you.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Anyone who needs to treat a specific area of cystic acne on the face or body should be a good candidate for this treatment. Many patients who request this type of injection have already tried other acne treatments with poor results, or are unable to take oral acne medications due to adverse side effects.
Who Should Not Use Triamcinolone
There are rare cases where we advise against using this treatment. Patients who have an active infection, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a nerve-muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis will not benefit from this treatment. If you are allergic to triamcinolone, Kenalog will obviously not be for you. This injectable might potentially interact with certain medications, so we would need a list of any prescriptions you are currently taking.
While triamcinolone is an excellent treatment for cystic acne, it is not the best choice for more superficial forms of acne at the skin’s surface. If you have regular acne, or whiteheads and blackheads, these conditions are more likely to respond to topical medications. Having said this, most acne sufferers have a combination of lesion-types including cysts.
How Many Treatments are Needed for Cystic Acne?
This depends on the patient. If you rarely get acne but want to get rid of one or two cysts before a big event, one treatment is probably all you need. If you have chronic acne, multiple sessions will be required. While an injection will treat one area right away and prevent new acne from erupting in the same spot for several weeks, the effect will eventually wear off completely.
If acne remains a problem, patients will need to return approximately every six weeks to keep their skin under control. Our skin care specialists will work with you to determine the best treatment schedule for your condition.
How Many Injections Can You Get Per Visit?
Having multiple injections in one session is not a problem, but once an area has been treated, patients should not receive an injection again in that same spot for at least 5-6 weeks. There should not be a need for re-injection anyhow, since the results are very long-lasting. Only a very small amount of active ingredient is in each injection, so covering larger areas in a single appointment will not be problematic.
What To Expect at Your Appointment
Once we have determined that Kenalog is a good treatment option for you, we will schedule a short appointment for your injections. Sessions are brief and can be scheduled over a lunch break if needed. The treatment itself is quick and painless. The needles used for this type of injection are very fine and can barely be felt, although you can request a numbing cream if you are worried about a pin-prick sensation.
What To Expect After Your Appointment
As soon as you leave the clinic, you will already notice a difference in your skin. Lesions begin to shrink very soon after an injection, with results that continue to improve over the next two days. By day 2 or 3, treated cysts will have disappeared completely, and any acne-related redness will also have dissipated.
Knowing When It’s Time for Your Next Session
When cysts start to creep back in, it is time to book another appointment. It is always better to treat cystic acne when it is in its earliest stages, because the longer a cyst is in place, the more likely it will be to leave scarring. At the first sign of pain and inflammation, an injection can quickly stop a developing cyst in its tracks and prevent it from recurring for several weeks.
Understanding Cystic Acne
This is the most severe type of acne and the hardest to treat, as it occurs so deep in the skin that it does not respond well to topical treatments. Since cystic acne is typically caused by hormones as opposed to lifestyle factors, it is also very difficult to prevent through good diet and meticulous skin care habits alone. Using the right skin care products will definitely be helpful, but will not fully address the problem.
The painful, fluid-filled legions that develop with cystic acne can leave permanent scarring behind, particularly when people give in to the temptation of picking at them. This is why early treatment is best, but Kenalog can also be very effective for addressing acne that has been allowed to progress. It is never too late to seek treatment.
A Safe Alternative to Prescription Medication
If you have cystic acne, you have probably already done some research on treatment options and know that resuts can vary greatly. There are pills and creams, of course, but they can cause tremendous skin irritation and other side effects. An injectable like triamcinolone is the best alternative to precription medication because it goes directly to the source of the problem, unlike oral medications that can affect the entire body. There is also no risk of skin irritation.
Find a Cystic Acne Treatment That Really Works!
If you are tired of trying one treatment after another that has done nothing to cure your acne, it is time to explore an injection that can really make a difference. Contact us today at Launa Stone in Calabasas, CA, so that we can set up a consultation and treatment plan. Laura Stone, RN is a highly trained medical injector whose clinic is at the forefront of non-invasive aesthetic technology.