Hydrocolloid Patches: A Better Alternative to Pimple Popping
Let's Protect Your Face for the Long Run!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just a deer with a background in chemistry and a hyperfixation on skin. This is not medical advice.
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I know your secret, anon! Yes, I know you squeeze the pimples on your face with dirty fingers. How can I tell? Those dark marks all over your face, of course!
Isn’t it always the way - you’re excited for an event and your skin looks great, then bam - you wake up with an ugly blemish on your face.
I’m sure the quintessential pop is satisfying for you, but have you considered the long term ramifications of popping your pustules? Consequences can include:
Forcing bacteria deeper into your skin, creating worse future pimples
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (ie. dark spots)
As I’ve mentioned before:
I know you’re not average. You want to be attractive, and you want to age well. So let’s explore a better way to take care of pimples that won’t leave you with long-term damage.
First off, if you struggle with acne, you should be tailoring the products you use to this issue. Depending on your skin, this could involve some combination of over-the-counter adapalene, benzoyl peroxide, and/or salicylic acid. If you struggle with particularly painful or stubborn cystic acne, a dermatologist may prescribe you Accutane, a strong oral retinoid. Treatments like these will reduce your overall level of inflammation. But what happens when you inevitably get a pimple?
My solution is simple: hydrocolloid patches.
Hydrocolloid patches essentially form a seal over a pimple and draw out pus, creating a healthy environment for the blemish to heal. By avoiding stressing the skin with pressure, you cut down the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation forming (ie. those persky dark marks). Further, because the patches create a barrier over the irritated skin, you won’t be able to cause more damage by picking at it.
One caveat here: I find the adhesive in generic hydrocolloid patches to be too strong for the thin, sensitive skin on your face. Instead of generic hydrocolloid patches, I use these as the adhesive is far more tolerable for my face.
To leverage them in your routine, first make sure to cleanse your face properly and let air dry. Then, apply the patches to individual pustules and hold for 5-10 seconds to ensure adhesion. Finally, apply any toners/essences and moisturizers afterwards. I prefer to apply the patches at night so they can work while I’m sleeping. Even if you apply them in the morning, try to leave them on for at least 8 hours before removing.
Remember, this treatment is only to be used for pimples with visible head. It will not do anything to treat blackheads.
That’s all for now! Happy skincare!
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