How Helpful Are Acne Pimple Patches

What Are Pimple Patches? 

Let's go over some history before we get into how acne patches work or “How Helpful Are Acne Pimple Patches?” According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study, hydrocolloid bandages have been used for decades — since the 1970s, to be exact. Their original intention, however, was not to treat acne.

As one of the first moist wound care options, hydrocolloid dressings were developed. These bandages are made up of two layers. According to another NCBI study, the inner layer contains a gel that hydrates and creates a moist environment to promote healing, while the outer layer seals and protects against external factors. Because the moist environment draws fluids from the wound, it heals more effectively.


Dermatologists weigh in on the value of zit stickers!


Enter pimple patches, also known as zit stickers, which may be able to soothe your skin in an emergency. Amy Kassouf, MD, a dermatologist, explains what these over-the-counter spot treatments can and cannot do for your skin problems.


What is the white stuff in Pimple patches?-Mediterranean Beauty
What is the white stuff in Pimple Patches?


How Do Pimple Patches Work?

When it comes to pimple patches, these small stickers, they're all designed to do the same thing: help your skin heal faster.

"Pimple patches work by absorbing any pimple drainage and covering the wound to prevent further trauma to the site, such as picking," explains Dr. Kassouf. "They work best on pustules, papules, and cysts that are open, draining, and healing."

Of course, you know you shouldn't pick at your skin or pop zits. However, if you've already committed this skincare sin, a pimple patch may be a useful healer.


How to Use Pimple Patches (If they're part of your skincare routine)

Most pimple patches need to be worn for a few hours before they work, so apply yours before going to bed. Some versions are also made to be unobtrusive enough to be worn during the day.

Find a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to use a hydrocolloid bandage, also known as a pimple patch, in your skin care routine below.


Step 1. Cleanse Your Skin

As with any skin care routine, start with clean skin. So, reach for a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type, then wash away. It is preferable to use a cream cleaner that is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, because these products gently cleanse without overdrying the skin.


Step 2. Pick Your Pimple Patch

It's critical to consider the size of your blemish when choosing the right patch for your acne. Make sure your patch is large enough to cover the entire breakout — don't worry, pimple patches come in a variety of shapes and sizes these days.

You can also purchase small circular patches that are slightly larger than your average pimple, or you can purchase larger hydrocolloid bandages and cut them to size.


Step 3. Cover Your Pimple

You know what to do: align the patch with your acne and stick it to your clean, dry skin. Check the product's directions to ensure you're using it correctly, as application methods may differ slightly depending on the stage of your breakout.


Step 4. Allow The Patch To Do The Healing

Leave your pimple patch alone — usually overnight — until you notice a white spot in the center (if it's clear) or it turns completely opaque. When this occurs, you'll know the patch has completed its task. It's a little disgusting, but the end result is well worth it.

Then, using clean hands, carefully remove and discard the patch before continuing with the rest of your skin care routine.


Can Pimple Patches Make Acne Worse?

For most people, pimple patches are simply ineffective — that is, they won't make your acne worse, but they also won't make it better. However, if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid pimple patches.

"They do use a bit of adhesive to stick to your skin," Dr. Kassouf explains. "If you're allergic or sensitive to adhesive, this may aggravate the skin surrounding the lesion."

Furthermore, some brands use ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil to dry out pimples, which can also dry out or irritate sensitive skin.


What Pimple Patches Can’t Do / How Do Pimple Patches Work For Acne?

While pimple patches can be very effective on existing lesions, they do have some significant limitations.

"Pimple patches do not work at all on closed lesions, deeper lesions, or even blackheads and whiteheads, which are known as comedones," explains Dr. Kassouf. "They are spot treatments for active bumps and have no ability to prevent acne from occurring," nor can they clear clogged pores or other acne precursors."

"Pimple patches will be most effective on active red painful pimples," says Dr. Sandra Lee (Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon). "They can also work on blackheads and whiteheads if they contain salicylic acid, because salicylic acid helps to eliminate dirt and debris from within your pores, which causes whiteheads and blackheads."


What to Try Instead of Pimple Patches

There's no real downside to using zit stickers, but they might not work, leaving you pimply and frustrated. "They're basically wound healing dressings for a very specific type of lesion," explains Dr. Kassouf. "They can be beneficial, but they are ineffective for overall acne treatment."

But don't worry. You do have options.

“There are a lot of great over-the-counter medications these days that do more for the money,” Dr. Kassouf says.

  • Adapalene: This vitamin A derivative, available in topical form, can help make skin cells less sticky so they don’t hang around and clog your pores, which can not only help prevent acne but can help heal it, too.
  • Salicylic acid: This beta hydroxy acid is available in cleansers and topical applications to help exfoliate and clean your skin, as well as decrease acne inflammation. 
  • Foaming cleansers: These face washes are great for removing dirt and pollutants that can increase inflammation and breakouts.
  • Emergency treatments: If you have a big event coming up and need to get rid of a major pimple in a hurry, talk to your dermatologist about quick-turnaround options, including cortisone and antibiotic injections.

If your breakouts are caused by an underlying issue, such as a hormonal imbalance, these treatments may not be sufficient. "If it's hormones," Dr. Kassouf says, "your dermatologist may have much better options for you."

What's the bottom line? Pimple patches can be beneficial for certain minor skin issues, but don't expect them to be a cure-all for your skin problems.



Our Spa’s Natural Treatments

Following the topic “How Helpful Are Acne Pimple Patches,” there are excellent solutions for your skin’s requirements available here.

The Mediterranean-Beauty Day Spa will greet you with a complimentary consultation and skin analysis system. Following the identification of your condition, you will be served with the best quality services suitable for your face skin. Some cases, however, require medical or dermatologist attention and are not our part of the role.

To know us better, kindly visit: Spa Columbus Ohio Organic Type



(614) 940-0886