How Do Acne Patches Work?

If there is one thing you should not do when you have a pimple is to not pick at or pop them. But let’s face it, it’s very tempting to pop a pimple and you’ve probably done it once (or twice). Popping pimples can make it worse and you really don’t want that to happen.

Pimple patches are great if you have the habit of popping your pimples. They are basically stickers that you put over your pimple so you won’t pop them. Not only that, they contain active ingredients that help soothe your skin and heal mild acne.

However, not all acne can be treated by simply sticking a pimple patch on your face. If you are wondering how pimple patches work and if they are effective, read on!

What Is An Acne Patch?

Acne treatment patches, also called pimple patches, are essentially stickers that you put over your pimple. These patches have active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, hyaluronic acid, or niacinamide.

Acne patches are typically clear and feel like a band-aid when you put them on. A pimple patch is placed on top of a pimple and it helps soothe inflammation, reduce pain, and spot treat acne. Pimple patches can also help prevent you from picking or popping your pimple and they can also help keep acne medicine on your skin. Acne patches can be used on open whiteheads and pustules but they do not prevent breakouts and acne scars.

Pimple patches are typically made of hydrocolloid which is a substance that forms into a gel when mixed with water. Hydrocolloid becomes a wound dressing or a wound patch when it is applied to a material. Hydrocolloid acne patches are made of gel-forming agents and are typically used to treat wounds.

Pimple patches are available in different shapes and sizes but you will typically find transparent, circular ones that can be worn under makeup.

How Do Acne Patches Work?

Acne patches have active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, or salicylic acid that can help treat acne and heal your skin faster. Pimple patches work best on open pimples or whiteheads as they absorb excess oil and pus from your pimple.

If you use hydrocolloid patches, they can also draw out impurities from your pimple and help it heal faster. Pimple patches also act as a protective barrier and prevent pimple from getting infected. If you have a habit of picking or popping your pimple, these patches can help stop you from doing so.

There are also microneedling acne patches that have dissolving microneedles. These patches have fine, tiny needles that puncture your skin so that the ingredients can penetrate your skin better.

How Effective Are Pimple Patches?

Pimple patches have active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that help reduce acne-causing bacteria and unclog pores to treat acne. With hydrocolloid pimple patches, they can absorb excess fluid, pus, and oil from an open pimple. This turns the patch from clear to white.

If you have open whiteheads, acne patches can be effective in drying out your pimple. However, acne patches are not going to be effective if you have cystic acne as these have lesions that go deep in your skin. You can use microneedling patches but they won’t be as effective in treating cystic acne unlike undergoing professional treatment.

Pimple patches are effective to spot treat your acne-prone skin but only if your breakouts are mild.

Who Should Not Use Pimple Patches?

Who Should Not Use Pimple Patches

While acne patches can help keep mild acne at bay, not everyone can use an acne patch. These patches contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil, or benzoyl peroxide. These can help clean off dead skin cells, but if you have super sensitive skin these ingredients may irritate your skin and worsen your acne instead of healing it.

Since pimple patches are stickers, they have adhesives so you can stick them on your face. If you are allergic or sensitive to adhesive, you can develop itchy skin, blisters, rashes, or even flaky skin if you use a pimple patch.

People who have closed lesions, severe acne, or cystic acne won’t be able to get much benefit from acne patches. It is best to consult a doctor if you have a bad case of acne as you will be given treatment based on what your skin needs.

How To Use Pimple Patches

How To Use Pimple Patches

Pimple patches are easy to use. But, before sticking one to your face, make sure to wash and moisturize your face first to remove any dirt and excess oil on your pimple. Pat your face dry and apply a pimple patch on the affected area.

Make sure your hands are clean when peeling the patch off from its packaging so you don’t transfer any dirt to your pimple. Most acne patches are designed to last at least 4 to 6 hours. You can also apply a pimple patch before you go to bed and leave it on overnight. But, make sure to avoid leaving the acne patch longer than 8 to 10 hours as it can irritate your skin.

Alternative To Pimple Patches

If pimple patches do not work for you, you have several options to treat your acne.

Over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne medicines are easily available. OTC acne treatments are typically serums, creams, lotions, and gels. Make sure to get topical treatments that have ingredients such as salicylic acid, retinoid acid, tretinoin, azelaic acid, adapalene, and trifarotene.

These topical medicines will help reduce acne-causing bacteria, prevent flare-ups, and clear your clogged pores. There are also oral acne medicines but you have to consult your doctor as these medicines typically need a prescription before you buy them, especially if you need antibiotics to treat acne.

If you have severe acne, it is also best to consult a dermatologist so you can get the best treatment for your skin condition. Your doctor may recommend laser treatments, steroid shots (injections), or chemical peels. You may also need several sessions of these medical treatments depending on the severity of your acne.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Does A Pimple Patch Turn White?

A hydrocolloid pimple patch turns white as it absorbs pus, excess oil, dirt, and other impurities from your pimple. When the patch absorbs all these impurities, your pimple will shrink and become less inflamed.

Can Pimple Patches Make Acne Worse?

Acne patches should not make your acne worse. If you use an acne patch and it made your acne worse, it could be that you are allergic or sensitive to the ingredients found in the patches. It could also mean that you are allergic to adhesive which can cause skin irritation.

How Long Do You Have To Use Pimple Patches To Get Results?

Pimple patches should be worn for at least 4 to.6 hours to see results. Your pimples should be less inflamed or irritated and they should have shrunk in size. You can also put a pimple patch before bed and leave it on overnight to get the best results. However, make sure to not leave a pimple patch for 8 to 10 hours as your skin may get irritated.

Wrap Up

Pimple patches are effective if you have mild acne and if they are open whiteheads or pimples. These pimple stickers are also effective in preventing you from picking at or popping your pimples.

If you have cystic acne, a pimple patch won’t be effective. In this article, we talked about how pimple patches work and if you have cystic acne, we have included alternatives for pimple patches to help treat your skin. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website!