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Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

I've been interested in trying hydrocolloidal patches to target blackheads on my nose.  I had them under control for the longest time, and due to being sloppy with my skincare this winter they're more prominent.  I tried Peace Out Peace Out Oil-Absorbing Pore Treatment Strips but it was stickier than I thought and I got scared.  I thought BIC would have some good insight and/or recommendations for patches that might be good.


A little more detail about my situation:



I will mention that I treat my blackheads with Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting BHA 9 Treatment 0.3 oz/ 9 mL Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting BHA 9 Treatment 0.3 oz/ 9 mL , innisfree Volcanic AHA Pore Clearing Clay Mask 3.38 oz/ 100 mL 3x a week, Retin-A and Kiehl's Since 1851 Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion 2.5 oz/ 75 mL 1x a week.


I'm shy about patches on my nose b/c I had a bad experience with a Biore pore patch in the 90s, and read bad reviews on the product from Beautypedia.  Oh - how I miss that site!  I'm concerned the patches will strip my skin too horribly or give me broken capillaries (in the past I was prone to them).


There were so many patches at Target - Panoxyl, Curology, Zit Sticka, etc.  I couldn't even find ingredients listed on the packaging.  


I'm even confused as to how they work - are they like a pore strip ripping out the blackhead, or do they dissolve it, or both?  I haven't had a chance to do any research on this online.


And many apologies for the long post!

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@greeneyedgirl107 - I don't have this issue; but based on my experience in general, your routine looks good to me.  When I get "sloppy," I start breaking out.  I'm able to get it back under control by going back to being consistent with my routine.  I'm thinking you may just need to be persistent with what works.  You don't mention if/what moisturizer you're using, but I know you know that's important, so I'm not concerned that you're not using one.  Best wishes! ๐Ÿ˜˜

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@Titian06 thanks for the support!!!  Hearts ๐Ÿ’• ๐Ÿ’ž โ™ฅ๏ธ 

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

Bumping this up to see if BIC has anymore insight.   @WinglessOne I'd appreciate any insight if you have it!  ๐Ÿฆ 

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@greeneyedgirl107  Ugh, I feel you on the long lasting trauma of Biore nose strips... flashback to the time my nose was bright red and quite sore for days after I peeled off one of those strips. Just what a college kid wants to deal with during all her finals. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ 


Short answer: hydrocolloid patches don't work on blackheads, so you can skip 'em. Stick with your current routine and be patient. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tretinoin and BHA should get your blackheads back under control. 


Long answer:


Many hydrocolloid patches contain just one ingredient: hydrocolloid*, which creates a moist environment on the skin and absorbs gunk that seeps out of skin. The outer layer of the patch acts as an occlusive barrier to further help skin healing. These patches are great for acne that's come to a head (pustules, for instance), especially pimples that have just popped open and are now open lesions. In the first aid aisle of drugstores, you'll see big hydrocolloid patches meant to cover minor wounds; some folks buy those and cut them down to size for DIY pimple patches. 


But hydrocolloid patches aren't effective for blackheads. These patches can't dislodge a blackhead plug or draw out gunk that's fairly deep below the skin surface. They don't adhere to a plug and pull it out when you remove the patch. The adhesive is simply meant to keep the patch stuck to skin. Some patches do have pretty strong adhesive though, especially the bigger ones not marketed as acne patches. But I don't recommend trying to use those for blackheads. Even the pimple patches that contain BHA, tea tree oil, etc., and/or have microdarts, won't work for blackheads. 


*Hydrocolloid itself is a gel made of stuff like gelatin and polymers. 


Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@WinglessOne thank you soooo much for the info!  I truly appreciate your time.  I'm a little desperate, so pls let me ask you this question which I think I know the answer to ๐Ÿ˜•  some of the patches are said to absorb oil.  Do you think that would help at all?  (Idk if those claims are even accurate.)


Thanks again and I apologize for the delayed response.   ๐Ÿ’• ๐Ÿ’Ž ๐ŸŒผ 

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

No problem, @greeneyedgirl107 ! I know it wasn't what you hoped to hear, but at least it'll save you a bit of money and future "argh why aren't these dang things working" aggravation. 


About oil absorption: hydrocolloid patches can absorb oil from a pimple, BUT... 


  1. Only oil (and other gunk) that's actively seeping from acne, not oil that's down under the skin; and 
  2. These patches work best on open lesions from which gunk is seeping/leaking out. 


Blackheads don't leak like popped/broken pustules do, so there's little to nothing for a hydrocolloid patch to absorb if placed over a blackhead. That's also why pimple patches don't work on cystic acne that never comes to a head. (Eh, a hydrocolloid patch can help stop folks from trying to pick or pop cystic acne, just by covering the painful bump. But it won't absorb any bacteria, oil, and other gunk from within that bump.) 


I understand being desperate, though. If you can chat with a doctor (perhaps the doc who prescribed your Retin-A?), you might get other treatment options besides "just be patient." ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@WinglessOne Thank you so very much for another detailed, thoughtful and informative reply. It really saved me a lot of time and misspent energy.  I had just begun my Internet searching, and what you said made so much for more sense to me than the snippets I had gathered.  And I really appreciate that you saved me from buying and trying items that won't work - which would just frustrate me further.


I've thought this a million times - have you every considered being a beauty writer?  I know it's super hard to break into (especially these days) but you have a real talent for knowledge and explaining things plainly while also being encouraging.



Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

Aw, thank you @greeneyedgirl107 . ๐Ÿ˜Š I do sometimes wish I'd stuck with blogging. I quietly quit my own personal blog sometime in the early 2000s. Who knew I could've morphed it into some crazy big ad revenue generating machine by now? ๐Ÿ˜‚ 


I've thought about getting into research and reporting/writing... still thinking about it. 20 years of corporate UX design/content/usability management kinda wore me out, especially the last few rather toxic years of my career, so it's nice to latch onto topics I have a personal interest in. Not that I'm disinterested in usability; that'll never be driven out of me. For now, I'm just glad I can help folks where I can. 

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

I get like closed pores and blackheads on my nose too. I thought I had oily skin but my skin was actually very dehydrated and over-producing oil. I changed just a couple things and it is so much more clear.


I use a gentle retinol 6 days a week and exfoliate with a BHA/AHA on the last day of the week.


I also use hyaluronic acid on damp skin with a light moisturizer morning and night.


Most important is to double cleanse at night. I use a cleaning balm or oil cleanser than follow up with a water based cleanser. 


Another think that helped me a lot was the Hero Cosmetics nose pimple patch. It is similar to a pore strip with the shape but instead of hurting skin barrier and over stripping it absorbs oil on the skin.

Re: Hydrocolloidal Patches for Blackheads

@Corinnees thanks for the info!  I wwas doing some research last night and Hero is on my radar!

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