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Can Band-Aids Shrink Pimples? What Dermatologists Say About This TikTok Trend

today9 January 2021

Background

With TikTok, there seems to be a hack/tip/shortcut for EVERYTHING. And while some hacks are so good they’ve got us rethinking our entire routines (like the bobby pin eyeliner hack – tried, tested and proven to be useful!), others are so questionable they’re best left unattempted (like the at-home chemical peels to remove moles).

 

 

These days, the one “tip” that’s been going around on TikTok has to do with acne. While acne has been an issue for decades – and an issue for all ages- more recently, one side effect that’s manifested as a result of frequently wearing face masks is “maskne”, which results from the sweat, moisture, dirt trapped under masks and on the skin that can cause breakouts. Thankfully, there are simple ways to avoid maskne. However, as always, the internet has different ideas for home remedies and “DIYs” for this new problem. Unfortunately, with how little actual research is done on internet hacks, they can sometimes cause more harm than good. So what is the latest hack that TikTok has come up with? Well, it’s treating acne with band-aids.

 

@yayayayoungHow I cover my pimples! ##pimplepatch ##acnepatch ##hydrocolloid ##learnontiktok ##tiktokpartner♬ original sound – yayayayoung

 

Yeap. There are hundreds of videos of TikTok users putting bandaids over their acne.Β 

 

BUT one important distinction to highlight is that they aren’t using just ANY band-aid, no, there’s a specific type: hydrocolloid bandages. In the videos, TikTokers explain how the bandages can be cut up to be used for longer periods of time and applied onto pimples on the cheeks, chins, forehead, nose and so on. While some leave their bandages on overnight, others recommend not leaving it on for longer than 8 hours (because then it gets too hard to peel off). While it may seem weird, logically speaking, bandages are meant to help absorb fluids from wounds so maybe TikTok is onto something?

 

 

Dr Anthony Youn – a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, award-winning author, and one of the top plastic surgeons in the United States – broke down why this method can be useful.

 

@tonyyounmd

 

In his TikTok, he explains:

 

“These patches create occlusion of the pimple so overnight they can reduce inflammation. They absorb moisture so they can decrease some of the fluid in the tissue.”

 

As such, Dr Youn gives “hydocolloid patches a thumbs up”.

 

But – hold up! One thing to keep in mind is that these bandages aren’t meant to be used on breakouts. Sure, the absorbent patches can help heal pimples you’ve previously picked (as they are originally designed for wound care) but they aren’t made FOR pimples – that’s what we have acne patches for. Putting on these patches will stop you from picking at it and cause further irritation and they’re tiny so you can hide the use of them. So, there we go! While this TikTok hack is okay to try out – don’t rely too much on it!

 

*Cover image credits: @alexisle03/@tonyyounmd/@amandaparker2

 

Written by: Marissa Anne


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