The Science Behind Pimple Patches

Have you ever wondered how pimple patches work? I certainly have! These k-beauty staples have become a life-saver for those with acne prone skin. Lots of people have great results – but others not so much – so Picky Expert Dr. Nikki is here to tell us everything we need to know about the good, the bad and the gross of pimple patches!

The Origin of Pimple Patches

Pimple patches we know today stem from hydrocolloid dressings used in the medical field. These dressings were typically used for active wound care for injuries such as burns, ulcers and surgical wounds. They were patented n 1967 and contain gel-forming agents like gelatin or pectin. They work by absorbing fluid from the wound to form a jelly-like, white mass.

Miniature versions of these dressings were developed as pimple patches and were popularized by K-beauty brands. They come in different sizes, shapes and forms including medicated and non-medicated. You apply them to clean, dry skin at the beginning of either your daytime or night time routine. The white mass collected consists of fluids, oils and pus from the pimple.

Advantages of Pimple Patches

  • As pimples are like wounds on your face, the patches prevent water and bacteria from getting into the wound.
  • They also create a moist environment to help speed up healing.
  • They prevent UV rays from getting to the acne, which prevents or lessens hyperpigmentation.
  • The possibility of scarring is reduced.
  • They deter picking or scratching.
  • Some patches contain active ingredients to help with inflammation.

Disadvantages of Pimple Patches

  • Most patches only work on superficial acne.
  • The adhesive or active ingredients can be irritating to sensitive skin.
  • Regular, unmedicated patches need an open wound to work on, therefore, only work on a popped or pricked pimple.
  • They do not work on blackheads or whiteheads.

Things to remember…

Pimple patches are not the ultimate fix for acne. They are a quick fix to calm down or hide a pimple. The best treatment for acne are still the first-line medication, such as, benzoyl peroxide and retinols. It is always best to consult a board-certified dermatologist for the proper treatment and prevention of acne.

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Created With


Dr. Nikki
Dermatologist
@dermbehind_glasses

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