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8 Reasons Kenalog Injection for Acne Is a Bad Idea

Acne can be an overwhelming problem, affecting appearance and impacting self-confidence. Many treatment options are available, ranging from topical applications to surgical interventions. 

One option that has gained popularity is the Kenalog injection for acne. This treatment involves injecting a steroid directly into an acne cyst or nodule, intending to reduce inflammation and shrink large cysts.

While this method might seem promising, it is essential to understand its drawbacks. This comprehensive guide will explore 8 reasons why kenalog injections for acne might not be ideal.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Kenalog injections for acne are a treatment option that can reduce inflammation and shrink cysts, but they are not meant for everyone and typically contain a small amount of steroid, leading to potential risks and side effects.
  • The injections can provide short-term relief but might not completely eliminate cysts or prevent future acne breakouts, leading to questions about their long-term efficacy.
  • Weighing the benefits and risks of kenalog injections and considering individual skin needs is vital for making an informed decision about this treatment.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers an alternative and comprehensive approach to managing acne, focusing on overall skin health, reducing inflammation, and treating various types of acne without the need for steroid injections.

Woman getting Kenalog injection

8 Reasons Not to Use Kenalog Injection for Acne

1. Risk of Skin Atrophy and Hypopigmentation

Skin atrophy and hypopigmentation are potential side effects of Kenalog injections.

Skin Atrophy

Skin atrophy refers to the thinning of the skin in the injected area. Since kenalog is injected into acne, the steroid component can cause the skin to thin and weaken. This can lead to a noticeable difference in skin texture, making it fragile and more prone to damage.


Hypopigmentation, or the lightening of the skin, is another risk associated with these injections. The powerful anti-inflammatory property of kenalog injections might cause a loss of pigment, leading to uneven skin tone.

2. Potential Allergy to Triamcinolone

Triamcinolone is the active ingredient in kenalog injections, and patients can receive these injections without being aware of a potential allergy to this substance.

Injecting this directly into an acne cyst without prior knowledge of an allergy can cause severe reactions. The symptoms might range from redness and inflammation to more serious health implications. Therefore, proper allergy screening is vital, but it might be overlooked in some cases.

3. Limited to Short-Term Relief

Kenalog injections for acne are primarily used for short-term inflammation relief and to shrink large cysts.

Not a Permanent Solution

While these injections can manage and treat acne cysts without damaging the skin, they do not address the underlying causes of acne breakouts. The relief might be temporary, and acne can reappear without a comprehensive treatment plan.

Woman looking at her skin worringly

Frequent Sessions Required

Since the effects of kenalog injections are temporary, repeated sessions might be required to maintain the results. This could be inconvenient and affect your self-confidence, knowing that the solution is not long-lasting.

4. Risk of Infection

Kenalog injections must be administered with utmost care to avoid complications like skin infections.

Prone to Active Skin Infection

Patients with an active skin infection should not receive kenalog injections. If not detected, injecting steroids into an infected area can exacerbate the problem and spread the infection further.

Cleanliness Concerns

Ensuring that the injection site is thoroughly cleaned and that the injections are administered in a sterile environment is paramount. Any negligence in this regard can lead to severe skin infections.

5. Potential Impact on Mental Well-Being

The skin has a powerful impact on your mental well-being, and knowing that kenalog injections are only a temporary solution might further affect your self-confidence.

Woman being anxioud about injection

Self-Confidence Issues

Understanding that this treatment might require regular follow-ups without a permanent solution can be frustrating. This realization might negatively impact your mental well-being and self-confidence.

Anxiety over Repeated Treatments

The need for multiple treatments might also lead to anxiety and apprehension, as the session takes time, and the expectation for cysts to heal instantly might not be met.

6. May Cause Discomfort and Downtime

Though minimal discomfort is expected, kenalog injections might still cause discomfort during and after the procedure.

During the Injection

Even with topical numbing cream to ensure optimal comfort, the injection process might cause discomfort to some patients.

Post-Injection Downtime

Redness and inflammation may occur at the injection site, requiring downtime for healing. This could interfere with daily activities and plans.

7. Inconsistent Results

Kenalog injections can offer inconsistent results, as the effectiveness can vary between individuals.

Variation in Response

Different individuals might respond differently to the injections, leading to outcome variation. Some might experience significant shrinkage of large cysts, while others might see minimal improvement over the next several days.

Potential Over or Under Treatment

The amount of steroid used to treat acne lesions must be carefully diluted to avoid over or under-treatment. An incorrect dosage might lead to inadequate treatment or excessive effects, causing further skin issues.

Woman with serious cystic acne

8. Alternative Treatment Options

There are many other ways to manage and treat acne, which might be more effective or suitable for different types of acne.

Topical Treatments

Topical steroids and other creams can be used on the face and the body to treat acne without the risks associated with Kenalog injections.

Other Injection Options

Intralesional corticosteroid injections, different from kenalog, might be more suitable for specific cases, offering more tailored treatment options.

The Advantages of Exposed Skin Care for Managing Acne

If Kenalog injections are not appealing or suitable for treating your acne, Exposed Skin Care offers an alternative approach to managing cystic acne, acne scars, and painful cystic acne lesions. Exposed Skin Care provides a comprehensive acne treatment approach.

 Exposed Skin Care Expnaded Kit

Here are the benefits of Exposed Skin Care:

  • Tackling Cystic Acne and Scars: Using a blend of scientific ingredients and natural extracts, Exposed Skin Care helps manage cystic acne and reduces the appearance of acne scars, including keloid scars.
  • Reduces Inflammation: The products aim to reduce redness and inflammation, allowing the skin to heal without resorting to a small amount of a steroid or intralesional steroid.
  • Enhances Skin's Appearance: The gentle yet effective formulation improves the skin's texture and appearance over the next several days, lessening inflamed pustules and flattening the lesions safely.
  • Avoids Injections: Unlike the painful process where injections are used and injected into acne scars, Exposed Skin Care offers a non-invasive approach that does not involve steroid injections.

If you want to receive this treatment that prioritizes the health of your skin without the complications of injections, it's an ideal time to schedule your consultation with a dermatologist well-versed in Exposed Skin Care.


In seeking clear and healthy skin, exploring various acne treatments is common. While kenalog injections have become an option, it's essential to recognize that it's not meant to be a universal solution for all types of acne.

The treatment typically contains a small amount of steroid targeted to reduce inflammation and shrink cysts, but it brings along potential side effects and limitations that cannot be overlooked.

The inconsistencies and temporary nature of the results and potential risks like skin atrophy, hypopigmentation, and allergic reactions make this treatment a complex decision. One must weigh these factors, knowing what to expect with cysts and the overall treatment process.

Alternative treatments, such as Exposed Skin Care, offer a broader perspective on managing acne without requiring injections. Focusing on overall skin health avoids the specific pitfalls associated with Kenalog injections.


Q1: What are kenalog injections, and how do they work for acne?

Kenalog injections are a type of steroid injection directly administered into an acne cyst or nodule. They reduce inflammation and redness, flatten the lesion, and shrink large cysts. However, it's not meant to be a cure-all solution and typically contains a small amount of a steroid.

Q2: Are there any side effects or risks associated with kenalog injections for acne?

There are potential side effects, including skin atrophy, hypopigmentation, and allergies to triamcinolone, the active ingredient in kenalog. Careful consideration and professional consultation are necessary to assess the suitability of this treatment.

Q3: Can I expect cysts to disappear completely after receiving kenalog injections?

Kenalog injections can shrink cysts and reduce inflammation but might not eradicate them. The results may vary, and it's typically used for short-term relief.

Q4: Are there any alternative treatments to kenalog injections?

Yes, alternative treatments like Exposed Skin Care focus on overall skin health and managing acne without injections. It emphasizes a comprehensive approach to treating various types of acne, including cystic acne.

Q5: Can Kenalog injections and other treatments like Exposed Skin Care simultaneously be used?

Depending on individual skin needs, it might be possible. Using a combination of treatments could offer a more tailored approach to managing acne, taking into account specific concerns and skin types.