Health

Bandaids for Acne: A Dermatologist Weighs in on This Viral TikTok Acne Solution

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For the past three years, TikTok has been blessing us with a constant stream of entertainment. Sometimes, TikTokers even discover inventive ways to repurpose household items like ice cubes and soy sauce. And, most importantly, influencers have been showing us different ways to treat our skin conditions. Enter the pimple bandaid craze, where Gen Z teens apply gauzes on their zits.

We contacted Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Associate Professor of Dermatology and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, to demystify the viral trend, and whether or not we should actually be using bandaids on our faces.

“Hydrocolloid dressings have long been used in wound care because of their ultra-absorbing properties. They form a protective seal over the skin to protect it from the environment and absorb excess fluid that drains from the wound. This is the premise behind the use of pimple patches made from the same material,” Dr. Zeichner said. “While they were originally designed to treat open wounds, they are also useful in treating acne. The other advantage of hydrocolloids is that they form a physical barrier over the pimple to prevent you from picking it.”

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So, do Band-Aids really get rid of acne that easily? Sort of.

While Dr. Zeichner admits that they can be useful in treating acne for certain reasons, he thinks there are better options out there for severe acne as these Band-Aids are not technically designed to treat all types of acne. “The dressing does not have any active ingredient, but rather helps pull out pus and inflammation from the pimples themselves. They are useful in treating red, angry pimples and will not do much for blackheads or whiteheads,” he said. (So, stick to your Biore strips or pore vacuums if you’re dealing with more traditionally clogged pores.)

Read more: Best Acne Spot Treatments

He also advised caution in the TikTok-style application that has many using the Band-Aids all over the face instead of as a tiny spot treatment right on the location of the pimple. It can be counterproductive to cover your entire face in bandaids like this. “I do not recommend covering your entire face in these bandages, as they may interfere with functioning of the outer skin layer of healthy skin,” he said.

“While these are effective, I still recommend traditional acne fighting ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide lowers levels of acne causing bacteria and reduces skin inflammation. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that removes excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to dry out the pimples,” he said.

Have a red, angry pimple that might be a candidate for hydrocolloid patch or Band-Aid? Try it for yourself, but don’t cover your entire face or expect any miracles that work faster than traditional treatments with actives like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.


Read more: Best Sunscreen for Acne-prone Skin

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