As far as breakouts go, deep-rooted, painful-to-the-touch cystic flare-ups are mood ruining. Not only do they take up a ton of facial real estate, but they also are impossible to conceal and take a long time to heal. They’re considered to be the most severe of breakout types and require treatment beyond your normal creams and lotions—which explains why they’re most effectively treated in your dermatologist’s chair with a cortisone shot.

Ahead, everything you need to know about this acne treatment—from how the shot works to how often you can get one.

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