Do these pimple patches really work?

Pimples can be a nuisance at times. Not only do they affect the appearance of the face, but may also shatter confidence and self-esteem. Pimple patches, also called acne patches, are yet another development by the cosmetic industry in addition to myriads of creams, lotions, and soaps for improving the appearance and preventing further damage to the skin. In this article, we’ll explore how pimple patches work and what is the correct way of using them.

acne patches

How do pimple patches work?

The application of pimple patches on the face prevents people from picking at their pimples, which is the cardinal rule in dermatology for acne. Picking at pimples leads to drainage of blood, fluid, and pus from the open wound, which may further exacerbate the situation. Pimple patches or stickers work by absorbing the drainage and concealing the wound to prevent further trauma.

Expert’s opinion: What to look for in pimple patches?

According to the experts, the size and ingredients of pimple patches are important factors when choosing the appropriate pimple patches for your skin. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people tend to wear masks for reducing the transmission of the virus. While masks provide protection, they tend to cause skin irritation from friction against the skin surface. When you breathe underneath the mask, humidity, and bacteria in the breath also leads to pimples on the cheek and chin areas. To reduce skin irritation related to pimples, experts suggest applying the pimple patches in the early phases. Using pimple patches underneath the mask can minimize skin irritation and protect the skin from bacteria and humidity, thus, acting as a protective barrier.

According to experts, the size of a pimple patch must correspond to the size of the pimple. Pimple stickers larger than the pimple size may irritate the normal healthy skin. Ingredients such as hydrocolloid, calendula, hyaluronic acid, and tea tree are soothing, breathable, and tolerable ingredients used in the pimple patch. These ingredients form a protective barrier over the pimple, reduce redness, promote healing, and improve the appearance of the pimples. The experts also emphasize the fact that pimple patches do not prevent acne, rather, they help treat acne. One must follow an effective skincare regimen for preventing the onset of acne.

The 3 types of pimple patches

Primarily, the pimple patches are divided on the basis of ingredients – hydrocolloid and non-hydrocolloid. Hydrocolloid pimple patches drain the fluid and debris from acne wounds and promote accelerated healing of the pimples. On the contrary, non-hydrocolloid pimple patches do not drain fluid and debris from the acne wounds. Rather, these pimple patches deliver Different types of pimple patches that are available for different types of pimples and skin blemishes.

  1. Pimple Patches for Cystic Acne

The anti-inflammatory ingredients are important for controlling cystic acne which is an aggressive form of acne. The pimple patches comprise ingredients such as salicylic acid, vitamin E, niacinamide, and green tea. These ingredients penetrate the pimple pores and soothe redness and inflammation of the skin. The salicylic acid in these pimple patches unclogs the pores. The pimple patches use a microdart delivery system that involves dissolvable microneedles. This helps penetrate the pimple and deliver the patch ingredients to the skin.

  1. Pimple Patches for Hormonal Acne

Although systemic treatment is the standard and most effective way of treating hormonal acne, pimple patches may also soothe hormonal acne. The pimple patches comprise calendula oil, hydrocolloid, and tea tree oil for reducing skin irritation and taming cystic lesions.

  1. Pimple Patches for Blackheads

Blackheads are composed of dead skin cells and sebum present in the skin pores. The pimple patches contain all the essential ingredients required for dissolving and removing the blackheads. The pimple patch comprises vitamin A that regulates oil production and prevents the dead skin cells from clogging the pores. Salicylic acid treats blackheads by penetrating the sebum-producing glands and hair follicles. The pimple patch also contains aloe vera which soothes irritated skin.

How to use acne patches?

Following the steps mentioned below when using pimple patches on your skin.

  1. The skin shall be completely dry before applying the pimple patches since the patches do not stick to wet skin. If the pimple is oozing or leaking, the freshly picked pimple must be cleaned properly before applying the pimple patch.
  2. The next step is to apply the pimple patch onto the skin. The size of the pimple patch shall not exceed the size of the pimple, so as to avoid irritation of normal and healthy skin.
  3. The pimple patches are usually applied for a few hours for the ingredients to absorb into the skin and work effectively. Some pimple patches are less prominent and can be applied in the daytime. One shall keep the patch on for the duration mentioned in the product description.
  4. The pimple patches only work on the open pimples owing to effective penetration of ingredients and drainage of fluid, debris, pus, and blood.
  5. Before removing the pimple patch. You shall wait for the recommended time or until the patch turns opaque from the debris.

What are the benefits of acne patches?

The acne patches have twofold benefits. Firstly, the pimple patches conceal the pimple and form a protective barrier that prevents one from picking, touching, and infecting the pimple. Touching or picking the pimple may further exacerbate the trauma to the wound and aggravate inflammation at the wound site. This slows down the process of healing and increases the likelihood of discoloration, scar, or mark at the pimple site. Touching and picking the pimple also pushes the pus deep into the skin which causes the pimple to stay for long. Therefore, using a pimple patch reduces the onset of pimple marks or scars as well as promotes faster healing of the wound.

The pimple patches work as a vacuum, absorbing dirt, cellular debris, and excess fluid out of the pimple pore. These contents convert into a gel-like substance that adheres to the pimple patch and seals these contents away from the skin. Since pimple patches conceal the open wounds and prevent the bacteria from entering these open wounds and worsening inflammation. The vacuum-like effect of pimple patches is attributed to the hydrocolloid ingredient in these patches. In addition to absorbing fluid and debris, the pimple patches also soothe the irritated skin. This effect is attributed to vitamin A and aloe vera.

How to use acne patches correctly?

Appropriate use of pimple patches can effectively treat the pimples and soothe the skin’s blemishes. Following are some measures that can help you use pimple patches correctly for different skin problems.

  1. If you are suffering from active acne, you may use different skincare products before putting on the pimple patch. However, you must ensure that the active ingredients of the pimple patch (tea tree oil and salicylic acid) are able to penetrate the skin effectively. The patch must be worn before applying an occlusive moisturizer to the skin.
  2. Healing acne is characterized by the presence of yellow or whiteheads on the pimple. Non-medicated or hydrocolloid patches are applied to the skin for healing acne. However, the patches shall be applied before using a serum, toner, or essence to the skin as these products may reduce the efficacy of these products and the pimple patches.

Microneedle pimple patches work best for treating cystic acne. Similar to other pimple patches, these patches shall be used in the initial steps of the skincare regimen so that the patches and other skincare products can work effectively. Refrain from touching the microneedle side of the pimple patch as this may infect the patch and enable the bacteria to penetrate the wound.

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