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.