What exactly do hydrocolloid patches do for acne?

Regardless of their size, pimples are often unwelcome. Whether you occasionally encounter blemishes or grapple with acne on a regular basis, pimple patches can offer a viable solution.

Among these patches is the hydrocolloid patch, available over the counter like other acne remedies.

What exactly is a hydrocolloid patch?

It’s a small piece of material designed for application solely on open pimples. Hydrocolloid, a polymer that forms a gel when mixed with water, constitutes the main component. When combined with a small piece of material, it forms a hydrocolloid patch that creates a moist environment, aiding in skin healing.

Originally utilized for general wound care such as leg ulcers or pressure sores, hydrocolloids have proven to be more effective than traditional coverings. Physicians also utilize them post-skin procedures, such as mole removal. Some hydrocolloids, like starch, have the capacity to thicken or gel in foods.

Recent research has indicated the efficacy of these patches in treating open acne. While there are other acne patches available in the market that lack hydrocolloid and may target pimples that aren’t open, hydrocolloid patches remain a promising option.

How Does a Hydrocolloid Patch Appear?

Hydrocolloid patches designed for acne are sized to cover individual pimples precisely. They are typically arranged on a sheet with multiple patches, resembling stickers. Some patches are transparent, blending discreetly with your skin, while others are more conspicuous.

What Constitutes a Hydrocolloid Patch?

Hydrocolloid patches are crafted from various materials, commonly including polyurethane film. Typically, these patches feature an outer layer that shields the skin from bacteria and infection. The inner layer is adept at absorbing any fluids, such as pus or discharge, emanating from a pimple.

The hydrocolloid gel’s moisture fosters healing while concurrently safeguarding the skin against infection.

Although other pimple patches can shield and administer healing substances, the hydrocolloid patch stands out due to its ability to absorb infected pus.

How to Apply a Hydrocolloid Patch:

Begin by cleansing the affected area thoroughly. Ensure your skin is dry before proceeding. Place the hydrocolloid patch over the pimple, adhering to the instructions on the label regarding duration. When the designated time elapses, gently peel off the patch. Some variations may necessitate repeating the application for optimal results.

Effectiveness of Hydrocolloid Patches:

In a study comparing hydrocolloid pimple patches to surgical tape on individuals with mild to moderate acne, both groups experienced a reduction in acne severity over a week of patch or tape changes every 2 days. However, the hydrocolloid patch outperformed surgical tape in several aspects:

1. Significantly diminishing acne severity
2. Providing superior UV radiation filtration, contributing to skin cancer and melanoma prevention
3. Managing redness, oiliness, dark pigmentation, and sebum control on days 3, 5, and 7
Furthermore, hydrocolloid patches formulated with gelatin and cortex extracts exhibited accelerated healing of skin cells due to their antibacterial properties. These patches surpassed other commercial non-hydrocolloid acne patches in efficacy.

Alternative over-the-counter acne patches, such as those infused with tea tree oil and featuring a single layer, lack the fluid-absorbing capability of hydrocolloid patches. This deficiency may lead to the reappearance of pimples.

Who Should Avoid Hydrocolloid Patches?

Individuals with highly sensitive skin should consider avoiding hydrocolloid patches as they may cause dryness or irritation to the treated area.

Hydrocolloid patches are ineffective against removing dirt from clogged pores, treating blackheads, whiteheads, or cystic acne. Additionally, they do not serve as a preventive measure against acne flare-ups.

What Are the Alternatives for Acne Treatment?

Consider the following alternatives:

1. Cleansers: Opt for facial cleansers containing alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur, known for their efficacy against acne. Limit face washing to twice daily.
2. Topical Medications: Both prescription and over-the-counter creams, gels, and lotions may be beneficial. Seek products containing ingredients such as adapalene, azelaic acid, dapsone, retinoic acid, salicylic acid, tretinoin, or trifarotene.
3. Injections: Steroid injections administered by a healthcare professional in affected areas can aid in acne resolution.
4. Oral Medications: Consult your doctor regarding options such as androgen receptor blockers to inhibit oil-producing glands, like spironolactone (Aldactone), or oral contraceptives for acne management along with birth control. In cases where other treatments fail, isotretinoin (Absorica, Zenatane) may be recommended.
5. Antibiotics: Topical application of clindamycin, erythromycin, or minocycline may be suggested. In some instances, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed by your doctor.

See also:

Safe Acne Scar Treatments

What Is an Achilles Tendon Injury?: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

What Is Achalasia?: Meaning, Causes, Risk, Symptoms & Treatment

Dwarfism: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Genetics, Diagnosis & Treatments

Congenital Hypotrichosis: Congenital Aplasia, Triangular Alopecia & Congenital Atrichia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Fully Funded Scholarships

Free Visa, Free Scholarship Abroad

           Click Here to Apply