Pimple Patches: Do They Work Wonders for Your Skin?

Pimples always appear when they are least expected or desired. It's often frustrating and can lower your self-esteem. In the search for a fast and easy solution, the spotlight usually falls on a tiny, seemingly magical product a pimple patch. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of pimple patches and how they work.

Key takeaways:

What are pimple patches?

These popular patches are tiny, thin stickers made of hydrocolloids. They're also known as zit stickers or acne patches. The hydrocolloid usually creates a moist environment, which helps heal your pimple.

Hydrocolloid was originally used for wound care. Experts found that hydrocolloids often worked better than traditional coverings.

How do pimple patches work?

Pimple patches work by absorbing pus and excess oil from your skin. They essentially shrink the zits and lessen inflammation. Pimple patches are usually made of hydrocolloid, a gel-forming material. Hydrocolloids help remove impurities from pimples while also creating a moist environment to help pimple spots heal quickly.

More than that, a pimple patch can also reduce the risk of your acne getting infected. This is because it creates a protective barrier between the pimples and the outside world. Additionally, if you have an acne patch on, you’re less likely to pop and pick at the area.

Some acne patches also contain medicated acne-fighting ingredients. The ingredients include salicylic acid, tea tree oil, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and benzoyl peroxide.

Benefits of pimple patches

Don’t let pimple breakouts wear you down. With pimple patches, you can beat those pimples. Here are some of the amazing benefits pimple patches have to offer:

  • Speed up healing. Pimple patches, particularly medicated ones, shrink the pimples quickly. They draw out all the gunk and pus from your pimples. This ensures they can heal faster.
  • Protect pimples from bacteria and dirt. Pimple patches provide a protective barrier. Patches help keep your hands away from the pimple to minimize bacteria spread.
  • Conceal pimples. Some pimple patches are translucent. They can help to conceal the appearance of pimples.
  • Safe and easy to use. Pimple patches are commonly made from hypoallergenic materials. This means they're safe for most skin types. They're also pretty easy to use.

How to use pimple patches

Using a pimple patch is very easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Wash and dry your face.
  2. Select the right patch size.
  3. Apply the patch directly to the pimple.
  4. Leave the patch in place for the recommended time.
  5. Peel off the pimple patch and discard.
  6. Use patches as often as needed.

Who should not use pimple patches?

Pimple patches are not for everyone. If your skin is sensitive, you may want to skip the pimple patch. You should also avoid them if you’re allergic to adhesive or any acne ingredient found in the pimple patch. Allergic reactions can cause your skin to become red or itchy. Talk to your dermatologist to come up with other treatment options for pimples.

Pimple patches are not recommended for severe acne. Over-the-counter or prescription treatments can help clear up your skin faster and more effectively.

What does science say?

Pimple patches are more than just a skincare trend. They are also a science-backed acne treatment. A small study found that hydrocolloid patches effectively reduced dark spots, redness, and oily secretion in people with mild acne. The study also found that acne dressings can block UVB light from reaching the skin’s surface. This improved the appearance of mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris.

Another study showed that people with face acne had less dark pigmentation and acne after using dissolving microneedle pimple patches for 28 days. It's important to keep in mind that these were very small trials. More research is needed to confirm their effectiveness.

Other alternatives for pimple treatment

If pimple patches aren't for you, here are some ways to manage your pimples:

  • Cleansers. A cleanser is a must in any skincare routine. You can try using foaming cleansers for your face. They are commonly known to help clear up acne. You should also opt for non-comedogenic skin care products. They won’t clog pores.
  • Topical medicines. These are products you can apply directly to the pimple or your entire face. They can be prescription or over-the-counter lotions and creams. Always look for the ones that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, adapalene, azelaic acid, retinoic acid, trifarotene, and tretinoin.
  • Oral medications. Oral medicines include antibiotics or isotretinoin. Your dermatologist can prescribe them to help clear up severe acne. Birth control pills and spironolactone are also treatment options that require a prescription.
  • Injections. Cortisone injections are popular treatments for cystic acne. Your doctor can inject a steroid medication directly into your acne. It helps to reduce inflammation and shrink the acne.

Acne patches are worthwhile treatment for certain minor skin concerns. But don’t expect patches to be a cure-all for your skin problems. They can help to speed up healing and reduce inflammation. When looking for an acne patch, ensure you read the ingredients and follow all the instructions carefully. If you're not sure which pimple patch is right for you, talk to your dermatologist.


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