Do Pimple Patches Work? Dermatologists Weigh In


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Zit stickers, pimple patches, blemish dots: No matter you name them, simply know that these humble instruments are a severe game-changers with regards to tackling zits. If you happen to’re like me and routinely have a standing appointment with a chin zit, you understand how true that is. My skin-care routine isn’t full till I’ve coated each pimple and would-be blemish with a transparent, barely detectable patch. However regardless of how seemingly simple it’s to pile on sticker after sticker to magically zap my zits, I couldn’t shake the sensation of questioning whether or not they have been actually therapeutic my zits… or protecting me in a steady breakout cycle.

Being somebody with a vested curiosity, I needed to unravel precisely what pimple patches did post-application or if I ought to depend on conventional spot therapies as an alternative. So, I spoke to some real-deal zits and pores and skin specialists to interrupt all of it down. Do pimple patches work? Let’s discover out.

What are pimple patches?

These acne-fighting patches are small round hydrocolloid sheets that persist with the pores and skin. A hydrocolloid dressing is a sort of wound bandage that attracts out gunk inside pores with out irritating the encircling pores and skin. So when positioned on a zit, they’re much like a sponge. “They work by absorbing extra fluid, which pulls oil and dust away from the lesion,” says Hadley King, MD, FAAD, an NYC-based board licensed dermatologist. “Whereas caught to the pores and skin, zits patches even have the additional benefit of stopping you from choosing or attempting to pop the pimple, which decreases irritation and accelerates the therapeutic time.” When patches comprise energetic elements like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, aloe vera and different anti-inflammatory elements, they’re known as zit stickers. Each sorts of patches create a barrier between an energetic flare-up and your arms, so the pimple is much less prone to turn into additional infected, resulting in an an infection or scar.

When to make use of a pimple patch

Whether or not your sticker of alternative is star-shaped or clear, to actually profit from it, it is advisable to apply it to the appropriate kind of breakout. Zits patches are only for treating open lesions, which give a simple pathway for the gunk to ooze out. They’re additionally good for superficial, surface-level breakouts comparable to small whiteheads and pustules, says Michael Garner, MD, a dermatologist on the board of advisors at Matter of Reality. “All these breakouts have a visual white or yellowish head and are brought on by clogged pores.”

You may apply a zit sticker any time of day, however inserting them on earlier than mattress works greatest to make sure you get a great eight hours of damage. If you happen to don’t like sleeping with them on (as a result of half the time, they find yourself in your sheets) a great rule for daytime removing is to see if the patch has turned white. That is a visible sign it’s achieved its job and pulled out the surplus fluids. “You might discover your sticker turns white even when your pimple didn’t pop as a result of it’s actively working to take care of the moist surroundings and defend the wound or blemish,” Dr. Garner says.

When *not* to make use of a pimple patch

Zit stickers ought to actually be solely used for minor flare-ups that produce 5 or fewer spots. If a breakout is extra widespread and consists of deep and cussed cystic pimples, you want a standard formulated spot therapy.  “[Look for] stronger concentrations of energetic elements, comparable to benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids which work to clear the pores and cut back the swelling,” explains David Petrillo, a Nevada beauty magnificence chemist and the founding father of Excellent Picture. All these breakouts want robust actives to penetrate the pores and skin and work beneath the floor to deal with underlying points, which is inconceivable to do with patches. (Dr. Garner does agree {that a} zit sticker layered over a spot therapy can present further safety and absorption “by serving to the components to remain in place and stop them from being inadvertently wiped or washed away.”)

Substances to contemplate when searching for pimple patches

Folks with delicate pores and skin and delicate breakouts ought to go for hydrocolloid patches with out actives that may exacerbate their zits. In case your pores and skin can tolerate using potent elements, attain for these actives, says Dr. King: “Salicylic acid and tea tree oil to kill micro organism for early stage zits and cysts; and niacinamide or kojic acid for post-cystic darkish spots as a result of it’ll fight hyperpigmentation, restore your lipid barrier, and sluggish melanin manufacturing.”

The underside line

Zits varies a lot from individual to individual that it’s inconceivable to use a one-size-fits all strategy to treating it. Dr. Garner says it’s nothing to emphasize about, however slightly a trial-and-error course of to find out what works to your pores and skin. If you happen to’re utilizing patches and see no change, they’re in all probability ineffective to your pores and skin as a consequence of them as a consequence of their occlusive nature. “They create a bodily barrier and any substance that creates occlusion is known as being comedogenic—which means that it has the potential to clog or block pores, resulting in the formation of comedones, that are non-inflammatory zits lesions comparable to blackheads and whiteheads,” he says.

As an alternative, it’s best to take a extra complete strategy and depend on spot therapies that get rid of the basis trigger underneath the pores and skin’s floor. But when bodily manipulation is a nasty behavior of yours, from choosing to popping, zit stickers are an amazing clear up as they function a reminder to not contact the energetic breakouts, which permits them to heal and keep away from scarring. Now you understand.


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