If you’re still navigating your way through the hydrocolloid acne patch hype (and yes, they are an acne cure that’s worth all the hype), you’re not alone. While people in Korea and other Asian countries have been using pimple patches for more than a decade, they are a relatively new phenomenon in the US.
Hydrocolloid: The miraculous fluid absorber
First, let’s discuss what hydrocolloid is and how it works. Hydrocolloid patches are made of gel-forming agents, such as pectin, gelatin or sodium carboxymethylcellulose, which adhere to your skin to provide insulation and a moist, healing environment.
Originally produced as bandages to heal wounds, the agents in hydrocolloid patches actively absorb fluids and pus. In other words, they suck all of the gunk out of your pimples without irritating your skin.
Want more deets on hydrocolloid?
Now, to your burning question:
Will Mighty Patch help get rid of my [insert pimple type here]?
Whiteheads - Yes
This is our acne sweet spot. Whiteheads occur when pores become clogged with dead skin cells, sebum and/or bacteria. They are covered with a thin layer of skin that appears as a white bump. When you put a Mighty Patch over that white bump, it will absorb the pus and fluid that’s trapped in the pimple.
Blackheads - Probably not
Blackheads develop when a pore is clogged and the top of the pore appears black (hence the name). Since the pore is open (not covered by a layer of skin), the gunk that’s clogging it gets exposed to air and oxidizes. While hydrocolloid patches can sometimes help remove a bit of the gunk, they are much gentler than the blackhead nose strips you probably remember from your middle school days. So don’t expect to see a used patch covered in little black dots. Your best bet to eliminate blackheads is to exfoliate regularly to boost skin cell turnover and avoid clogs.
Cysts - Ask your doctor
Cystic acne involves large, red and painful breakouts deep in your skin, which can sometimes linger for years. If you have severe cystic acne, we recommend you see a doctor or dermatologist for professional treatment. For a hydrocolloid patch to work, the pus and fluids cannot be buried too far under the skin.
If you have more questions about different types of acne and how to treat each, check out An Acnepedia: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Pimples (and maybe more).