Nobody ever lays out the welcome mat for pimples, but nasty zits show up anyway. Try using pimple patches if you want them gone quickly. A pimple patch is like a band-aid for active acne, promising to dry out the blemish with minimal fuss.
What is a pimple patch?
A pimple patch is a sticky circular sheet that you can paste over a pimple for quick healing. The patch contains a hydrocolloid material (often in gel form) to draw out moisture, oil, dirt, pus, and other impurities from the pimple. Hydrocolloid substances are commonly used to speed up wound healing after surgery.
Some pimple patches feature additional active ingredients to enhance their effectiveness. These actives may include acne fighters like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, hyaluronic acid for hydration, retinol to improve skin texture, and aloe vera for its soothing effect.
Do you have lesions that are tough or deep-seated? Try shopping around for microneedle patches. They feature a series of tiny microneedles that deliver active ingredients deep into even the most hard-to-reach blemishes.
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How to use a pimple patch
Although sticking a pimple patch onto a zit sounds easy enough, there are some ground rules. If you are new to acne patches, follow this pimple patch application guide.
- Cleanse your skin with a face wash or cleanser and pat dry.
- Once the skin is completely dry, stick the pimple patch onto an active pimple.
- Don’t use any serum, moisturizer, or makeup before applying the patch.
A pimple patch works best on an end-stage pimple, once the lesion is no longer inflamed and the pus has come to a head. Apply the patch now to prevent new infections if the pimple pops and the skin breaks.
How long do you leave a pimple patch on?
Keep the pimple patch on for at least six to eight hours. However, some acne patches may need to stay on for longer. Since the application time will vary from one product to another, make sure to check the package instructions beforehand.
If you need a clue as to whether the patch is ready to come off, check whether it has turned white or opaque. The acne patch turns white when it has absorbed pus, oil, and other impurities up to its capacity. Time to rip off the band-aid!
What should you do if the sheet has not turned white but your application time is up? Remove it. Leaving the patch on for too long could irritate your skin, leading to itchiness, rashes, and even new breakouts.
How to remove a pimple patch
When your application time is up, peel away the patch like a band-aid. Only make sure to wash your hands first or use a clean pair of tweezers. You don’t want to transfer bacteria to the lesion and risk reinfection after all this effort.
The pimple should appear smaller and less red when you peel off the patch. Typically, acne patches will not leave you with scars, but there may be some adhesive and debris from the pimple on your skin. Clean the area with a cleanser and then follow up with a moisturizer.
Pros of pimple patches
- Hands off: Popping and picking at pimples can hamper wound healing. An acne patch prevents you from constantly touching the zit.
- Convenient: Invisible patches are great for daywear. They are waterproof and you can even apply makeup over them. Alternatively, you could wear the patches while sleeping at night.
- Protection: If the skin breaks while the patch is on, your skin is protected from bacteria and impurities that might otherwise cause an infection.
Cons of pimple patches
- Limited impact: Pimple patches won’t clear clogged pores and blackheads. If you have severe acne, ditch the patches and set up an appointment with a dermatologist. Severe acne needs special care.
- Irritation: Steer clear of pimple patches if you have sensitive skin. Common irritants include the adhesive as well as additional ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil.
Do pimple patches really work?
So long as you apply the patch onto clean, dry skin and target an end-stage pimple, you should see some improvement. If you see results but there is more fluid within the pimple, clean the area and use a new pimple patch. The zit should clear up soon enough.
Just remember that pimple patches won’t prevent new acne flares. To avoid new breakouts, commit to pimple care for the long haul. Turn to daily-use products like Clearica Anti-Acne Cream and a cleanser that tackle the entire acne ecosystem. Store away the pimple patches for your next acne emergency.
Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.