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Are Pimple Patches Effective In Treating Our Zits?

They are convenient, easy-to-use and most importantly, help treat your pimples.

What exactly are they?

Dr YX Lum of IDS Clinic explains that most pimple patches are made of hydrocolloid sheets, which may or may not be pre-treated with medication. These sheets provide a vacuum-like effect to suck away excess dirt and sebum.

However, Dr Melvin Tan of Epion Clinic notes that while such stick-on patches might be useful for small pimples, blackheads and whiteheads, they are unlikely to benefit deeper pustules and definitely not meant for cystic acne. He adds that he always had concerns with the occlusive nature of such patches and their tendency to irritate the skin in combination with the active ingredients. 

How effective are they?

Dr Lum and Dr Tan both shared that the microstructures found on such patches help to deliver active ingredients into the acne and work as a delivery system to allow the medications to penetrate deeper.  “One way to treat it is by using the IDS’ Probiotic Mask on big papule and leave it on overnight,” Dr Lum recommends. Occasionally, he also applies a small plaster over to prevent the product from getting rubbed off.

For large cysts, Dr Tan advises visiting a doctor for an intralesional steroid injection, which calms the pimple and affected area for a better appearance within a few hours. If the pimple is really prominent, he recommends expressing it gently after a hot shower and applying some antibiotic gel on it afterwards.

For those who still want to stock up on pimple patches, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites to get on the market above.

ZitSticka Killa Kit, $41.31,
This comes with a Microdart Technology, which specifically treats deep, early-stage acne. It does so thanks to micro darts, which are made with a cocktail of ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, oligopeptide -76, salicylic acid and niacinamide. These micro darts are attached to each zit sticker and dissolves into the affected area upon application. The kit also comes with Cleana swabs, which are used to prep the skin prior to the sticker application. It is formulated with salicylic acid and tea tree oil, which are superior ingredients at fighting acne and are also boosted with antibacterial properties. Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots, $56,
Each pimple patch is made with three key ingredients. Salicylic acid works to get rid of excess sebum and dissolves acne-causing debris while tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to inhibit the spread of bacteria. Hyaluronic acid then helps treat excessive drying and irritation.  Rael Microneedle Acne Healing Patch, $17,
These patches are made with high-grade hydrocolloid, which aids in removing impurities and acne-causing dirt and grime. Tea tree oil works to prevent excess oil buildup to prevent the formation of acne in future. Plus, it is also formulated with totarol, which helps to fade away existing scars and prevent new ones from developing. Cosrx Fit Master Patch, $5.50,
This is ideal for day time use and can even be applied under makeup since it is ultra thin and transparent, making it barely noticeable. The hydrocolloid material of these patches extract impurities to create an optimal environment for healing. It also reduces inflammation and acts as a barrier against external bacteria that may lead to secondary infections. Medicube Red Spot Solution Needle Patch, US$9 (approx S$12),
The needle-like structures on each patch is made out of hyaluronic acid, madecassoside and tea tree leaf extracts. Once applied onto the affected area, these “micro needles” dissolve into the skin to release the active ingredients, which are known for its soothing and healing properties. It neutralises redness, treats inflammation and delivers moisture. The hydrocolloid bandage then protects the skin from external bacteria that may further aggravate the acne. Peace Out Acne Healing Dots, US$32 (approx S$44),
This is made with a Hydrocolloid Polymer Technology, which extracts and removes impurities while creating a protective barrier that guards against external irritants. Salicylic acid then works to penetrate deep within the pores to remove gunk and acne-causing bacteria. Aloe vera soothes irritation and sensitivity. Olive Young Care Plus Scar Cover Spot Patch, $6.50,
A transparent patch that features thin edges for better adhesion and comfortable wear, this is perfect to be used under makeup without being noticeable at all. Once applied to the affected area, it expands slightly and turns white as it absorbs the exudates (the pus-like fluid that filters to lesions or areas of inflammation). Once removed, redness and inflammation are visibly reduced. Derma Angel Acne Patch Day, $7.50,
On top of treating existing acne thanks to a medical-grade hydrocolloid material that promotes acne pus absorption, this also helps to protect the area against UV damage and prevents potential acne pigmentation. It also heals acne without leaving any scars.