Do Hydrocolloid Patches Work to Reduce Acne?

Are you currently struggling with acne? Like most people you’ve probably used a wide array of anti-acne products, so you’ve most likely heard of the new popular over-the-counter treatment for acne known as hydrocolloid patches (or more popularly as pimple patches).

However, are you familiar with how they work? Have you used one before? And most importantly, have they been proven to be effective for combating acne? We know that acne is a serious cosmetic issue and can be seriously damaging to both your confidence and your comfort.

That’s why we crafted this article to tell you all about hydrocolloid acne patches and how they can help you fight acne and get clear smooth skin.

What Exactly are Hydrocolloid Patches?

Hydrocolloid patches (pimple patches) absorb fluids and moisture.
Hydrocolloid patches (pimple patches) absorb fluids and moisture.

While quite common in the medical world, hydrocolloid patches are relatively less well-known in the world of skincare and are certainly not well understood by most people. A hydrocolloid patch (or pimple patch) is simply a moisture-absorbing material made out of a special blend of substances known as hydrocolloid.

This material provides the optimal healing environment for damaged skin, therefore speeding up the healing process and reducing the risk or severity of scars.

It also helps draw out fluid and pus from inside the pimple, therefore helping to shrink pimples more quickly. This is what makes hydrocolloid acne patches so effective for dealing with acne and other skin conditions.

How Do They Work?

Now let’s take a closer look at exactly how pimple patches work, what they contain, and what properties make them so effective for combating acne.

Firstly, as we mentioned above, hydrocolloid pimple patches work by providing the skin with a moist, favorable environment to promote proper wound healing.

This is made possible by the fact that hydrocolloid patches are typically made from a mixture of either pectin, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, sodium alginate, or gelatin. These materials contain several important properties which are discussed below.

The materials mentioned above are collectively referred to as gel-forming agents. This means that when they are exposed to moisture they form protective gels, which provide a moist environment for wound healing while also drawing out the pus and oil from within the pimple.

Pimple patches promote wound healing, reduce inflammation and prevent scar formation.
Pimple patches promote wound healing, reduce inflammation and prevent scar formation.

This is important because current medical studies support the theory that wounds heal faster, cleaner, and with significantly less scarring and inflammation when allowed to heal in a moist environment.

A study showed that such conditions promote collagen synthesis, promote the formation of new blood vessels and prevent dehydration. All these work together to improve the aesthetic outcome of the blemish, all while preventing infections and reducing pain. 

Another useful feature of hydrocolloid patches is that they form a barrier against bacteria. This helps prevent a pimple from becoming infected, especially after it has ruptured. It also prevents you from touching or picking at the pimple, which as we can all agree only makes the situation worse.

An interesting, but commonly misunderstood feature of acne patches is the white gel that is found on the patch after use. Most people erroneously believe that this white material is pus from within the pimple. As believable as this sounds, unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

This gel is formed by the components of the hydrocolloid absorbing moisture and forming a gelatinous mixture. So while this may not necessarily mean that the patch is draining out pus from within the pimple, it certainly shows that the product is working.

How to Use Hydrocolloid Patches for Best Results

Ensure you apply the pimple patch for at least six hours before discarding it.
Ensure you apply the pimple patch for at least six hours before discarding it.

So far in this article, we’ve discussed what hydrocolloid pimple patches are, what they are made of and how they work. In this next section, we are going to take a look at how you should use acne patches to ensure that you get the best results from the product as quickly as possible.

The first item we’ll tackle is the best time to use pimple patches. Although they can be used effectively at virtually any time of day most people prefer to use them during the night, either shortly before bed or even leave them on throughout the night.

This does not mean that using them during the day is any less effective, it is simply a matter of convenience. The key thing is to ensure you apply the pimple patch for at least six hours before discarding it.

Another important thing to consider is at what part of your skincare routine they should be used. The general rule is to apply acne patches after washing your face but before using your toner, serum, or essences. Using any of these products before applying the patch may reduce the effectiveness of the acne patch.

You’ll also need to consider the effectiveness of the patch against your particular type of acne. Acne patches produce better results when used on open, draining, or healing acne. This of course does not mean that you should pop a zit and then use a patch to make it disappear more quickly. This will certainly cause more issues than it will solve.

Mild breakouts respond better to acne patches compared to cystic acne.
Mild breakouts respond better to acne patches compared to cystic acne.

They also work quite well for whiteheads, but their effectiveness against blackheads is still questionable. Mild breakouts respond better to acne patches and they are less likely to be helpful when used for deeper, cystic forms of acne. 

While pimple patches are certainly great for treating different types of acne, they are most effective when combined with other great acne-fighting products such as topical lotions, cleansers, masks, and so on. Also, rest assured that pimple patches are safe and effective for virtually all skin types.

However, remember to contact a dermatologist if you notice the acne worsening after using the patch or you suspect that you’re having some form of allergic reaction to any of the components of the product.

But Are There Any Risks Involved?

While pimple patches are generally considered safe for most skin types, some individuals may find the adhesive or the hydrocolloid material irritating. This may lead to redness, scarring, or even worsening of the acne. If you notice any of these symptoms do not hesitate to contact your dermatologist.

Note that some pimple patches contain ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree oil, which some individuals may be sensitive to. So always ensure you read the contents of the product carefully before you start using it.

Additionally, your dermatologist may arrange a skin patch allergy test to test for any possible allergies to the contents of the acne patch before you begin using it.

So, Are Hydrocolloid Patches Worth It?

Now it’s time for the million-dollar question, are hydrocolloid patches worth it? The answer is yes…but there are several things to consider. Firstly, you have to understand that hydrocolloid gels work best for mild forms of acne and may not be as effective against severe acne, cystic acne, and blackheads.

Also to get the best out of the product you have to ensure that they are being used correctly. That means using them after washing your face but before applying skincare products, as well as leaving the pimple patch on for at least six hours before discarding it.

Hydrocolloid patches are great additions to your existing skincare routine.
Hydrocolloid patches are great additions to your existing skincare routine.

For those who are not sure that hydrocolloid patches are the best option for them or who would like to combine the product with other forms of acne treatment, there are several other methods of acne treatment available. These include topical acne creams, cleansers, toners, and so on. Find the product or combination of products that best suit your needs and stick to a strict skincare routine to get the best results.

Best Hydrocolloid Acne Patches in Malaysia 

Now let’s take a look at some of the most effective hydrocolloid patches available on the market. They include:

1. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master

The Cosrx Acne Pimple Master comes in three convenient sizes.
The Cosrx Acne Pimple Master comes in three convenient sizes.

The Cosrx Acne Pimple Master is one of the best pimple patch products in the market. The product contains various materials which promote healing and soothe the skin such as snail secretion filtrate, sodium hyaluronate, arginine, allantoin, and hydrocolloid.

The product contains 24 patches that come in three different sizes which makes it great for acne ranging from small pimples to cystic acne. The adhesive is also quite strong and non-irritant. All these combine to give an amazing product that soothes inflammation, shrinks pimples, and is suitable for different types of pimples.

2. FOCALLURE® Waterproof Acne Patch

The FOCALLURE® Waterproof Acne Patch has a day patch and night patch.
The FOCALLURE® Waterproof Acne Patch has a day patch and night patch.

The FOCALLURE® Waterproof Acne Patch is a powerful product that comes with a triple action recipe. The first two ingredients are tea tree oil and salicylic acid which have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, prevent excess oil secretion, and speed up tissue repair. The last ingredient is Calendula essential oil which relieves pain, promotes blood circulation, and accelerates wound healing.

The product also comes in two forms, a day patch for use during the daytime and a nightly patch which is meant to be used overnight. Both patches have unique properties that make them suited for each purpose.

3. NEXCARE Acne Patch

The NEXCARE Acne Patch is great for those with sensitive skin.
The NEXCARE Acne Patch is great for those with sensitive skin.

The NEXCARE Acne Patch is a great option for individuals with sensitive skin. It has all the properties of a typical hydrocolloid patch, but it was made without any added ingredients, from non-latex rubber, and with a non-medicated cover. This makes it safer for individuals who are prone to allergies or who have sensitive skin.

All these add up to give an effective product that allows you to safely allow your skin to heal without having to worry about allergies, irritation, or any other serious side effects.

Conclusion

In summary, hydrocolloid patches are a great way to deal with breakouts, especially minor breakouts. They are safe, effective, and fast-acting. They create a moist environment that promotes wound healing, reduces pain and inflammation, prevents infection, and reduces the risk of scar formation.

Though hydrocolloid acne patches may not be very effective against more severe forms of acne such as cystic acne, they work best when combined with other anti-acne treatments and a strict skincare routine.

So we recommend these products to anyone battling with acne. We would also love to hear more from you concerning the topic, so be sure to leave your questions and feedback in the comment section. Hydrocolloid patches work great on acne and create the ideal environment for your skin to heal without blemishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long can you leave a hydrocolloid patch on?

Generally, hydrocolloid patches should be used for at least six hours to achieve optimal results. However, there is no danger in leaving the patch on your skin longer than six hours or even overnight as long as it is kept clean.

2. Does hydrocolloid work on blackheads?

Yes, but they are not very effective. While hydrocolloid patches may have some benefits when used to treat blackheads, they are generally not as effective against blackheads as they are against other forms of acne such as whiteheads or newly formed pustules.

3. Do hydrocolloid patches prevent scars?

Yes, hydrocolloid patches are great at preventing scar formation. The product creates conditions that promote collagen synthesis, promote the formation of new blood vessels, and prevent dehydration. All these work together to improve the aesthetic outcome of the blemish. The protective covering also prevents you from constantly touching and irritating the pimple, as well as reducing the chance of infection. All these work together to promote healing and prevent scar formation.

4. Can pimple patches make acne worse? 

While this is generally unlikely to happen, it may occur if the individual is allergic to any of the contents of the product. In such a situation please stop using the product immediately and consult with your dermatologist.

About The Author

Picture of Shervon

Shervon

What's a housewife without her cooking utensils and cleaning tools to keep the house in good order? Happily married with 2 cheeky kids, Mrs Housewife spends nearly 24/7 of her time around her trusty kitchen appliances or cleaning equipment well enough to know the ins and outs of those items (some say she's too obsessed with baking, cooking & cleaning for the family, and wonder if she's married to those appliances instead of her husband).

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