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A Dermatologist Weighs in on This Viral TikTok Acne Solution

Gen Z are using Band-Aids for more than boo-boos, but should they be?

band aid tiktok trend
Band-Aid; Getty

From a soothing soundtrack of good vibes and cranberry juice to many memorable dance moves, 2020 has blessed us with some iconic TikTok trends. Sometimes, TikTokers even discover inventive ways to repurpose household items like ice cubes and soy sauce. For the record, most experts agree that ice cubes and soy sauce are not going to do what TikTok told you they're going to do. (No judgement if you want to experiment though!)

That's why we contacted Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Associate Professor of Dermatology and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, to demystify the latest viral trend that had all of Gen Z covering their faces in Band-Aids this week.

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@svetlana_angela

You guys should try it ! I got this idea from @may_us #skincare #CancelTheNoise

♬ We Can't Be Friends - Dream Koala
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@rotel_ella

Trying the hydrocolloid bandages for acne. Like got Pt. 2 & results! #fyp #foryoupage #acne #hydrocolloid

♬ original sound - Ellaaaaa:)

Hydrocolloid technology is not new by any means when it comes to wound care, but there are some pretty steep claims floating around the 'Tok right now about its ability to eradicate acne overnight.

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So, do Band-Aids really get rid of acne that easily? Sort of.

"Hydrocolloid dressings have long been used in wound care because of their ultra-absorbing properties. They form a protective seal over the skin to protect it from the environment and absorb excess fluid that drains from the wound. This is the premise behind the use of pimple patches made from the same material," Dr. Zeichner explained. "While they were originally designed to treat open wounds, they are also useful in treating acne. The other advantage of hydrocolloids is that they form a physical barrier over the pimple to prevent you from picking it."

While Dr. Zeichner admits that they can be useful in treating acne for certain reasons, he thinks there are better options out there for severe acne as these Band-Aids are not technically designed to treat all types of acne. "The dressing does not have any active ingredient, but rather helps pull out pus and inflammation from the pimples themselves. They are useful in treating red, angry pimples and will not do much for blackheads or whiteheads," he said. (So, stick to your Biore strips or pore vacuums if you're dealing with more traditionally clogged pores.)

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He also advised caution in the TikTok-style application that has many using the Band-Aids all over the face instead of as a tiny spot treatment right on the location of the pimple. It can be counterproductive to cover your entire face in bandaids like this. "I do not recommend covering your entire face in these bandages, as they may interfere with functioning of the outer skin layer of healthy skin," he said.

"While these are effective, I still recommend traditional acne fighting ingredients, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide lowers levels of acne causing bacteria and reduces skin inflammation. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that removes excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to dry out the pimples," he said.

Have a red, angry pimple that might be a candidate for hydrocolloid patch or Band-Aid? Try it for yourself, but don't cover your entire face or expect any miracles that work faster than traditional treatments with actives like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.


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