Acne patches are a great way to reduce your acne in a very short time. These are thin patches of sticker-like materials that have to be applied to the acne. Most of these are used overnight, and the results can be seen in the morning. These are included in the spot treatment category of acne treatment and are one of the most effective methods to do so.
Acne patches were first seen in the Korean and Asian beauty trends, and are now becoming more popular in the western beauty industry. They are made of organic material known as polyurethane which is inert and does not irritate the skin. The patches come in two types, i.e medicated and non-medicated.
As the name suggests, medicated patches have a layer of a drug inside the patch, which when applied on the skin reduces the acne. The most common medicated patches used are those that contain tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.
Tea tree oil
It is a natural compound extracted from tea leaves, which has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. When applied to acne, it reduces the redness and inflammation around the pimple, while also killing any bacteria that may be accumulated in it.
It has an antimicrobial effect similar to that of tea tree oil but it doesn’t reduce inflammation and redness. These patches are mostly used in cases where the acne is severe and is known to be caused by microbes, such as in the case of cystic acne.
On the other hand, non medicated patches are exactly that. They don’t have any medication lined on the inside of the patch. However, they work by pulling the moisture out of the pimple. This reduces the swelling of the pimple and allows it to heal. These patches are made of hydrocolloid material which is hygroscopic, i.e, it absorbs water very easily.
When to use medicated and Non medicated Patches?
Medicated patches are advised when the pimple is red and inflamed but doesn’t have any pus or whitish color on top. This is easy to clear and after the use of the patches, it will almost disappear, if not completely. Non medicated patches are advised to be used on pus-filled pimples that are painful to touch or are oozing out. These patches keep the pus in one place while also allowing the acne to heal.
Advantages of acne patches –
They prevent us from popping acne
Acne patches essentially cover up the pimple, which prevents us from touching it or popping it. Most of us pop a pimple as soon as it appears on our face in an attempt to make it go away. This is the worst thing you could do to your skin, as popping a pimple will only spread the acne-causing bacteria all over the face. This will eventually lead to more pimples.
Also, we subconsciously touch our face or our pimples a lot of times without even realizing. What this does is, it transfers all the microbes and oil and dirt from our hand directly onto the pimple, causing it to worsen. A pimple is an inflammation caused by either a clogged pore or oily skin or bacteria, and constantly touching it will only make it worse.
So these patches cover up the pimple and prevent us from touching it. An added advantage is that most of these patches are waterproof, so you can wash your face after applying them.
They help in healing the root cause of the pimple
Medicated patches when applied on pimples reduce the pimple by directly addressing the cause. If it is a clogged pore or oil buildup, salicylic acid or tea tree oil patches work best as they help in reducing oil from the skin. If it is simply hormonal or an allergic reaction to something, medicated patches are the best route to take.
In case of other acne, non medicated work best. Since they suck out the pus and moisture from the pimple, the pimple reduces in size after a few hours. Also, since these patches do not allow the pimple to be exposed to air, they allow the skin tissues to heal completely without drying up too fast.
They help to treat only the pimple
This is one of the best parts of using an acne patch. For normal acne treatments, the entire face is treated with chemicals including the normal skin. This causes the healthy, normal skin to become irritated and dry which may lead to more pimples, thus defeating the whole purpose of acne treatment. Acne patches only target the pimples and not normal skin so that in the end, your skin looks much healthier on the whole. You can continue your normal skincare routine after applying the acne patch.
A lot of people use it as a part of their nighttime routine, but nowadays people are using it during the day as well. They simply cover it with makeup to make it look like a part of the skin.
Even though these patches work well, they have some negative aspects as well –
They might cause allergic reactions
The adhesives used on these patches may not suit sensitive skin and may cause rashes and inflammation when removed.
They might be expensive
Acne patches are not exactly the kind of product that fits into everyone’s budget. Most brands that sell cheap patches dupe you into buying them. These cheap patches won’t show any effect and might even worsen your acne.
The patches that do show effects are on the costlier side and may not be affordable by everyone. Especially non medicated patches, as they are generally in a higher price range than the medicated ones.
If the above two points do not apply to you, or you can easily afford acne patches, then go for it. They are undoubtedly the easiest way to tackle acne without using different creams, serums, or even complicated DIY treatments. The benefits of these patches easily outweigh the cons and I would recommend using them.