Pimples are the curse of every teenage girl’s life – after all, they show up at the most unwanted of times and at the most visible of places. Overproduction of oil along with a build-up of bacteria cause pimples. Every now and then, we get to hear about some novel technique that claims to be the new cure for pimples. Pimple patches or pimple stickers are the latest methods being hailed as a cure for pimples. These pimple stickers work on surface-level acne such as blackheads and pus-filled pimples. Read on to find out what are pimple stickers and do pimple stickers actually work.
What are Pimple Stickers?
Pimple stickers, also known as pimple patches, are a new age treatment product that claims to work on surface-level acne such as blackheads and pus-filled pimples.(1,2,3) Acne is a type of chronic inflammatory skin condition that frequently causes pimples and spots, particularly on the face, back, neck, shoulders, chest, and upper arms.(4)
However, these pimple stickers are not effective for cystic acne. These stickers are produced with zit-drying hydrocolloid. Many of these products also have additional acne-fighting ingredients as well.(5,6)
Pimple stickers are being hailed as one of the hottest products on the market right now for dealing with pimples. These little pimple patches are manufactured with the purpose of getting directly stuck onto the pimples. These stickers work to help dry up the pimples more quickly.
While many of these pimple stickers are made to be small and translucent, others are manufactured in loud yellow stars, jewel-adorned flowers, and many other different shapes to make sure that these stickers are visible and seen by everyone. The primary purpose behind these stickers is to fight the stigma typically associated with acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 50 million people experience acne every year, and due to the stigma attached to acne, many people prefer not to seek treatment. (7) The fact is that acne not only affects people who are going through puberty, data from the American Academy of Dermatology shows that nearly 15 percent of adult women also experience frequent outbreaks of acne.(8) However, other organizations and surveys have placed this number at an even higher percentage – more than 50 percent.(9)
It is necessary to realize that clearing up acne and pimples is not only about having glowing and clear skin. Acne is known to have a huge impact on a person’s mental health as well. For example, a 2016 study discovered that nearly 45 percent of people with acne go through extreme social phobia, as compared to 18 percent of those who do not experience such anxiety.(10)
Pimple stickers are being hailed as a new promise to acne sufferers. It promises to relieve much of the blow to a person’s self-esteem that comes from having to go around in public with pimples and acne on your face. Let’s see how these pimple stickers work.
How Does A Pimple Sticker Work?
It is essential first to understand how pimple stickers work and what type of pimples they work on. Pimple stickers are meant to be used on surface-level, easier-to-treat acne. These pimples are also known as superficial acne. Pimple stickers does not work for deeper, cystic types of acne and only work on superficial acne such as blackheads, whiteheads, and pus-filled pimples. These stickers are unable to penetrate to a deeper level to allow them to help treat cystic acne.
Pimple stickers are typically made up of hydrocolloid, which is a moisture-absorbing dressing also used for healing chronic wounds. This basically translates to mean that these pimple stickers are mini-dressings for your pimples or a small wound on your face.
Hydrocolloid dressings work by soaking up the liquid inside the pimples to dry them out. The pimple stickers help accelerate the healing process by absorbing the toxins present under your skin and protecting the pimple from attack by sunlight, external bacteria, or face picking.(11,12)
These pimple stickers are also helpful in preventing a person from picking at the acne. Picking at pimples or acne can lead to scarring, which can make your skin look even worse by leaving marks on your skin.(13,14) At the same time, these stickers prevent sun exposure to healing acne.
The pimple stickers that use hydrocolloid technology are referred to as non-medicated patches. There are many other types of acne, or pimple stickers promote microneedling capabilities, but they are not known to be useful for treating acne. This is because these microneedles are not deep enough to penetrate and reach the level of the skin that is needed to treat deeper acne.
If you are looking to buy pimple stickers, then you should look for stickers that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as ingredients. These are the staple ingredients required for acne treatment.(15,16)
However, keep in mind that pimple stickers cannot treat deeper acne, such as large, painful acne that is trapped under your skin. For treating these, you will require cortisol injections or other doctor-prescribed treatment.(17,18)
Medical experts agree that using non-medicated pimple stickers to help fight acne as the first level of treatment. However, these stickers do not work on deeper acne. At the same time, pimple stickers can help fight the stigma associated with acne by helping treat these problem spots in a discreet manner.
While some of the pimple stickers are translucent and help hide the pimple, others that are bright yellow in color and star-shaped, they help promote acceptance of acne. However, if you find that you have persistent acne and it is getting progressively worse, then it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist and get a proper treatment plan in place for treating acne. Sometimes it might be necessary to get prescribed treatment for acne that is refusing to go away or scarring that is causing you social anxiety.
Remember that acne requires a long-term treatment plan as anything that helps treat acne takes around 6 to 12 weeks to start working.
- Nussinovitch, A., 2009. Hydrocolloids for coatings and adhesives. In Handbook of hydrocolloids (pp. 760-806). Woodhead Publishing.
- Tablet, S.R., CONTRA-INDICATIONS.
- Wu, J.M., Gillespie, R.J., Hull Jr, R.J., McDonough, J.E., McLaughlin, R.A. and Wnek, N.M., Wu Jeffrey M, Gillespie Ronald J, Hull Jr Raymond J, Mcdonough Justin E and Mclaughlin Robert A, 2010. Skin-piercing device for treatment of acne. U.S. Patent Application 12/067,883.
- Goulden, V., Stables, G.I. and Cunliffe, W.J., 1999. Prevalence of facial acne in adults. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 41(4), pp.577-580.
- Opay, E.A.B., TOPICAL MEDICINES ORAL MEDICINES.
- Newton, J.N., Mallon, E., Klassen, A., Ryan, T.J. and Finlay, A.Y., 1997. The effectiveness of acne treatment: an assessment by patients of the outcome of therapy. British Journal of Dermatology, 137(4), pp.563-567.
- Aad.org. 2020. Skin Conditions By The Numbers. [online] Available at: <https://www.aad.org/media/stats-numbers> [Accessed 7 June 2020].
- Rocha, M.A. and Bagatin, E., 2018. Adult-onset acne: prevalence, impact, and management challenges. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 11, p.59.
- Zeichner, J.A., Baldwin, H.E., Cook-Bolden, F.E., Eichenfield, L.F., Friedlander, S.F. and Rodriguez, D.A., 2017. Emerging issues in adult female acne. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 10(1), p.37.
- Nguyen, C.M., Beroukhim, K., Danesh, M.J., Babikian, A. and Koo, J., 2016. The psychosocial impact of acne, vitiligo, and psoriasis: a review. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 9, p.383.
- Burey, P., Bhandari, B.R., Howes, T. and Gidley, M.J., 2008. Hydrocolloid gel particles: formation, characterization, and application. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 48(5), pp.361-377.
- Phillips, T.J., Gerstein, A.D. and Lordan, V., 1996. A randomized controlled trial of hydrocolloid dressing in the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Dermatologic surgery, 22(9), pp.775-778.
- Layton, A.M., Henderson, C.A. and Cunliffe, W.J., 1994. A clinical evaluation of acne scarring and its incidence. Clinical and experimental dermatology, 19(4), pp.303-308.
- Jacob, C.I., Dover, J.S. and Kaminer, M.S., 2001. Acne scarring: a classification system and review of treatment options. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 45(1), pp.109-117.
- Cunliffe, W.J. and Holland, K.T., 1981. The effect of benzoyl peroxide on acne. Acta dermato-venereologica, 61(3), pp.267-269.
- Zander, E. and Weisman, S., 1992. Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads. Clinical therapeutics, 14(2), pp.247-253.
- Vexiau, P., Husson, C., Chivot, M., Brerault, J.L., Fiet, J., Julien, R., Villette, J.M., Hardy, N. and Cathelineau, G., 1990. Androgen excess in women with acne alone compared with women with acne and/or hirsutism. Journal of investigative dermatology, 94(3).
- Plewig, G. and Kligman, A.M., 2012. Acne: morphogenesis and treatment. Springer Science & Business Media.
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