Is It Safe to Use Hydrocolloid Bandages Instead of Pimple Patches?

Should I try this or no?
Is It Safe to Use Hydrocolloid Bandages Instead of Pimple Patches?
Is It Safe to Use Hydrocolloid Bandages Instead of Pimple Patches?

TikTok can supply some life-changing beauty hacks, but just because it went viral, doesn’t mean it’s safe (just ask the girl who Gorilla Glued her hair to her head). Case in point: skincare TikTok is currently buzzing over a DIY that’s supposed to save you hella dollars during your next breakout, HelloGiggles reports.

Instead of dropping $20+ on pimple patches, people are cutting up regular, $4 hydrocolloid Band-Aids to clear their acne.

Like any acne treatment, results very based on each person’s skin, but for some, spots became noticeably less inflamed after a night under a hydrocolloid Band-Aid. It kind of makes sense, tbh. Though some pimple patches have added pimple-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid, many of the most popular brands are just plain hydrocolloids, cut into a zit-friendly shape.

In an email to Seventeen, Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, an expert in cosmetic, surgical, and medical dermatology, explains what exactly a hydrocolloid is and why it’s so useful for healing acne.

“Hydrocolliods are a type of dressing that is traditionally used for open wounds or draining wounds. They are made of substances that form a gel in the presence of water or fluids,” says Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Recently, these dressings have gained popularity on TikTok as an acne miracle cure.”

“Hydrocolloid dressings usually do not have any active ingredients. However, because they can pull out excess pus and inflammation, they can greatly improve painful acne papules,” she explained. “Another advantage of these patches is that they can deter you from picking at your pimples. This facilitates healing because we know that picking pimples worsening inflammation and slows down the healing process.”

In general, though, Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip advises against the TikTok hack. It may work for some, but it’s much safer to use patches formulated specially for delicate skin (some of which are cheaper than Band-Aids, anyway).

“While the [pimple] patches and the Band-Aids may be made from similar ingredients, I don’t recommend using Band-Aids on your face. Band-Aids tend to have adhesives which can be damaging or irritating to the skin, particularly the skin on the face.”

If you do a little digging, there are plenty of painful-looking TikTok videos to back Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip’s warnings. Band-Aid’s hydrocolloids are super sticky, because they’re a long-wear product made to withstand multiple days on high-rub areas, like your feet. Pimple patches, on the other hand, are meant to be changed after 24 hours.

Plus, if you’re looking for a more serious treatment, you should shop patches that contain those good, acne-healing ingredients, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other topical steroids.