Hydrocolloid Bandages for Acne | Do they work?


When you have problematic skin, you can easily find yourself in the trenches of the internet, looking for answers to your skincare woes. When my adult acne was at its worst, I would amble around the Sephora website, hoping to find the latest and greatest acne treatment that was going to transform my skin.

My favorite spot treatments remain uncontested. But, there is another variety of spot treatments that you should know about: hydrocolloid bandages.

Enter: Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots.

hydrocolloid bandages for acne (2)
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Do Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots work?

Sort of. I used them with moderate success, but I was always curious about the “why” behind them. And, I was especially motivated to find something just as effective, but ideally more affordable. My issue with the PTR dots was that the adhesive wasn’t strong enough. I’d always find them in my hair or my pillow when I woke up in the morning, and I didn’t find that the size worked on every blemish. In the pros column, they are completely clear, so if you’re self-conscious about wearing them around the house (or heck, in public), these are a more subtle acne bandage option.

How do I use hydrocolloid bandages for blemishes?

The concept is simple, and any ol’ blister bandage will work. I’ve heard great things about Target having a generic version, but I personally use the Band-Aid Heal Blister Gel Guard for Heels variety. No particular reason – it was what was available when I was in zit-with-its-own-zip-code territory.

  1. Wash and dry your face.
  2. Cut the blister bandage to the appropriate size using sanitized scissors. You don’t want to be introducing any more bacteria!
  3. Apply the bandage to the acne spot and leave on for an extended period of time (e.g. overnight).
  4. Remove the bandage to reveal a spot that has shrunk in size. Repeat as necessary until the spot is healed.

This works best on blemishes that are already at the weeping, whitehead stage. But, I also have luck with hydrocolloid bandages just due to the fact that once they’re on, I physically cannot pick or mess with the blemish. Out of sight, out of mind.

As a disclaimer, please patch test the bandage in an inconspicuous spot before slapping it on in the middle of your face. You never know how you’ll react to the adhesive!

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