When To Use An Acne Patch ?
The good news is that pretty much anyone can use an acne patch. “Who out there doesn’t get a blemish here and there,” asks dermatologist Elliot Weiss of Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. “Who doesn’t get stressed and break out?” But not all breakouts are created equal, so how effective an acne patch may be depends on a few factors.
Acne patches tend to work best on pimples that have already come to a (white)head—like the ones you would probably try to pop on your own in the mirror. “If you put one on before the pimple has popped and gotten infected by more bacteria, it will make the skin heal faster,” says Rabach. Think of these as wet pimples, echos Dr. Dhingra, because the fluid inside the zit is already almost ready to come out—the patch just helps that process along.
If you are prone to dry or sensitive skin, acne patches could be a good alternative to traditional spot treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. “Higher strength benzoyl peroxides, for instance, might dry out the pimple, but then the surrounding skin gets flaky and irritated,” says Dr. Rabach, “whereas these patches don’t usually cause any additional inflammation.” While some of the newer patches do contain some of these traditional ingredients, they’re still likely in a lower, “metered” dose than the classic spot treatment, which are tempting to overdo and can lead to more irritation, says Dr. Weiss.
The Band-Aid like protection of acne patches also makes them ideal if you are prone to picking, popping, or taking matters into your own hands. “I tell people to not pick or pop their pimples, but I’m realistic—I know people do it,” says Dr. Dhingra. “Putting on an acne patch right after a pimple has been popped is successful because it absorbs whatever is still draining. It’s not like after you pop a pimple, the wound closes immediately.” Using an acne patch right on top of a freshly-popped pimple will help it heal quicker and with less risk of scarring, as well as lower the possibility of it getting infected.