Dear Derm

Pimple Patches Are Derms’ Secret Weapon for Treating Zits—As Long As You’re Using Them Right

Zoe Weiner

Welcome to Dear Derm, our video series in which dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, shares serious skin-care realness. In each episode, she’ll answer your most burning beauty questions and give you all the tools you need to take your glow game to the next level. See All

Pimple patches may have recently found their fame on TikTok, but they’ve been a dermatologist office staple for years. The reason? They encourage your skin to heal all on its own, which means that even the most deeply-rooted pimples don’t stand a chance against their powers.

In the latest episode of Dear Derm, Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, explains exactly how those trendy little patches work to treat even the most sinister zits. “They promote wound healing to the bottom and sides of a lesion so that the top layer is the last thing to re-epithelialize, or heal completely over,” says Dr. Gohara. “It makes the pimple go away more quickly because we can’t touch it, and it’s promoting our natural skin healing process to do its thing much more quickly.” Plus, since covering a pimple with a patch makes it a lot less tempting to pick or pop it, there’s less of a risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, marks, and scarring.

While there are plenty of fancy pimple patches you can invest in (like Starface’s star shaped ones), Dr. Gohara notes that a good, old-fashioned hydrocolloid bandaid can do the job just as well as most of the higher-end options. “If you want to keep it simple, you can go into the drugstore and get a hydrocolloid patch… it pretty much does the same thing,” she says. Simply put it on dry, clean skin any time you might be inclined to pick, poke, or prod that zit, and let it work its magic.

But, says Dr. Gohara, there’s one common mistake that people are making with their pimple patches that could be keeping them from working to their full potential. To find out what it is—and to learn more about how, exactly, these nifty little skin accessories work—check out the video above.

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