Living in a world where multitasking is essential, we try to the best of our ability to find a product that addresses several skincare concerns at once, and ideally, this also doesn’t take weeks to show results.
Therefore, when acne patches popped up on the market, skincare fans lost their mind due to the simple reason that these pimple patches help with acne, are easy to apply, and have virtually no side effects.
The tiny stickers suck the gunk out of pores like a vacuum and what was going to be a pimple in a few days is long gone overnight, so naturally, people started getting more and more curious about them.
Let’s take a look at the several things you need to know about pimple patches as well as give an informative answer to the question:
TDLR: Do Acne Patches Help With Acne?
What Are Acne Patches?
Acne patches are essentially little stickers that you place on the skin and they are made of hydrocolloid, which is a squishy material that’s mostly used in wound healing bandages in hospitals.
So, they have been around for quite a while and besides being used for wound healing in hospitals since the 80s, you may also recognize hydrocolloid patches from those blister pads you buy at the pharmacy.
Do Pimple Patches Really Work?
Yes! Pimple patches work almost miraculously as hydrocolloid absorbs fluid from a wound, forming a gel that gets trapped in the bandage and can help speed healing by keeping the underlying area moist.
Additionally, it will surely prevent you from picking your acne as the patches are typically white-ish, so that practice also helps because as we all know, picking our pimples will never do us any favor.
Do Acne Patches Work On Cystic Acne?
No, acne patches don’t work on cystic acne because, in order to work, hydrocolloid patches require an open, oozing pimple, like the pesky little pustules you get on your skin that have a white head and are begging to be popped.
Cystic acne is one of the most serious types of acne and these painful bumps typically develop when there is a severe pore-clogging in the area due to excess sebum, dead skin cells, and white blood cells.
The pore then becomes a perfect, airless environment for bacteria to thrive, which results in a severe swelling that manifests itself in the form of a purple or red, big, inflamed, and painful bump on the skin.
Cystic acne can still be treated (you can see how I treated mine in 5 days here) but hydrocolloid patches are too mild of treatment for these.
Therefore, you may be needing something like:
to help you treat cystic acne.
Furthermore, hydrocolloid patches, as we said above, can only help you if your pimple has that pus on the top and is ready to pop at any second.
Additionally, pimple patches are more of an “emergency” type of product that will help you get rid of a pimple that appeared a day before an important event, a job interview, or a party.
Cystic acne usually and unfortunately come in batches, which means that if you are suffering from cystic breakouts, you don’t have one cyst where you can apply a hydrocolloid patch.
This brings me back to the fact that opting for a more serious treatment like some of the ones I mentioned above will work more efficiently for you and will also save you money.
Do Pimple Patches Work On Blind Pimples?
No, pimple patches don’t work on blind pimples either, because blind pimples are essentially cystic acne in a milder form.
We have another term for blind pimples in the aesthetician field and we call these “papules”, which technically describes a cyst that is not so severely inflamed to the point where it becomes purple, swollen, and very obvious to the eye.
To work, hydrocolloid patches require an open, oozing pimple, such as the pesky little pustules that have a white tip ready to pop at any moment.
Papules form due to the same reason every type of acne forms – when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells, excess oil, and white blood cells, which then creates that tight and airless environment for bacteria to thrive.
However, papules typically occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle and this is due to the reason that these types of pimples are often triggered by a surge of hormones that have a direct effect on the oil-producing glands.
Papules also tend to sit flat on the surface and unlike cysts, they are not deep under the skin, however, the bump can still be visible and sometimes even painful.
Papules also tend to go away on their own in most cases, especially the ones that appear during a woman’s period, however, a papule has the potential to become more inflamed when you try to pick it, so keeping your hands away from it is always the best idea.
Additionally, if you have been dealing with a papule for a long time, don’t just wait for it to go away. Although it eventually will, it has the potential to leave an atrophic scar the longer it stays.
Atrophic scars or ice-pick scars are nearly impossible to treat without a professional procedure like laser or microneedling taking place, so it’s always best to get rid of it quickly and efficiently and don’t let it stay around for long.
Papules also react to salicylic acid treatment, however, the best possible treatment for these pesky little bumps is definitely something stronger such as benzoyl peroxide or a Retin-A gel or cream.
How Long Do You Leave Pimple Patches On?
Like all acne treatments, you need to leave pimple patches on overnight in order to give them the time to do what they are supposed to do and suck out all the gunk from your pustule so you can wake up with a smoother skin on that particular area.
Using them overnight is also efficient because if you are like me, you will probably notice them by staring in the mirror and while a lot of people don’t have any issues and you really can’t feel them, for me knowing that they are there is enough to keep me mildly anxious.
I don’t know why it’s just how I am, so I’ve found attaching them to the skin right before I go to bed much more efficient as I don’t think about them when I sleep and they work fine for me.
Additionally, before applying a pimple patch on the skin, make sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly and apply an exfoliating serum that is water-based.
So think of something like the Alpha Hydroxy Acid from the Inkey List. I’ve tried using them with the BHA Liquid Exfoliant by Paula’s Choice but since this one has a slightly oily texture, the patches tend to come off right after I’ve applied them.
Also, once you apply the patch, try not to go over it with a moisturizer and gently work around it as this may also cause the patch to come off easily.
The 3 Best Pimple Patches (If You Want To Try Them)
Here are the three best pimple patches I’ve tried and loved:
COSRX – Acne Pimple Master Patch
These were the first pimple patches I’ve tried and I found them quite good and super affordable. I already trust COSRX since I have been using their products for a while and did a review on some of them.
However, the patches don’t fall off and they come in three different sizes so you can pop them on whatever pimple decides to come out.
Mighty Patch – Micropoint for Blemishes
These were the ones I actually ordered by mistake as I was originally trying to find the Dots For Spots ones, but they have similar packaging so I just went with it not even realizing I’ve made a mistake.
But I quite liked them, tbh. There are 6 patches inside and they have tiny little “spikes” which obviously you won’t feel on the skin but they look kinda cool up close.
They contain salicylic acid which is my go-to ingredient for acne problems as well as tea-tree, which I rarely turn to after the horrible experience I’ve had with Body Shop’s Tea Tree line, but I didn’t have any side effects from these patches and they got the job done.
I bought these cause everyone and their grandma raved about them online and I am very gullible, so there’s that. Yeah, I liked them, they contain salicylic acid, niacinamide which is another favorite ingredient of mine, and hyaluronic acid.
They worked and got the job done, but I didn’t like how these come in so many packages and it was just too much plastic waste for a single patch.
I like them, but I will not be purchasing them again unless ZitSticka changes their packaging and minimizes the waste.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.