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  • Writer's pictureRasha

Hydrocolloid patches for acne: A revolution in the field of dermatology or just a trend?

It’s no secret that face masks have helped tremendously in controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although they are crucial, a lot of individuals have started reporting many skin complaints. Masks, when worn regularly can trap oil, moisture, and dirt, around the mouth and cheeks area. This creates the perfect environment for acne formation thus irritating clear skin or worsening an already existing problem.

Traditionally, topical treatments like creams, drying lotions, and medicated cleansers were the first choice of management especially if the person suffering from acne is still young. While those were proven to improve the condition and help tremendously, a new breakthrough remedy has been trending recently on social media.

[Taken from Unsplash]

Hydrocolloid dressings aren’t a new invention per se and have been around since the 1970s. Back then, it was found that the act of keeping a wound in a moist environment promotes its healing three to five times more quickly (and evenly) than the wounds left to dry out. That is why they revolutionized the art of wound healing and scarring reduction.

Nowadays, tiny hydrocolloidal patches of varying sizes and shapes seem to be a hit among the young generation, not only are they perfect for hiding the irritated spots, but they also do a good job in reducing the swelling and inflammation as the adhesive matrix (made up of several polymers) absorbs impurities trapped in the blemish. Using them under your mask will definitely prevent the accumulation of bacteria and humidity from your breath. They will also reduce friction caused by the fabric of the mask and stop you from the often addictive instinct to pick at your skin.

You can’t help but wonder if acne is a universal experience shared by almost everybody then why is it still taboo in our society? A company called Starface, wants us to rethink our relationship with acne and celebrate it instead of hiding it. The company specializes in yellow “hydro-stars” which is basically an accessory guaranteed to be super photogenic and cute. In fact, these star “stickers” have gotten so popular that the company raised around $2 million dollars at the beginning of 2020 and proceeded to invest it to widen their range. They now upgraded their line to a modest (but essential) variety of skin care products including a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.

[Taken from]

In my opinion, your personal attitude towards any problem especially a health-related one, plays a huge role in how you overcome it. If a tiny star-shaped patch manages to put a smile on your face when dealing with a breakout then that’s one less stressful day. Of course, you must remember that hydrocolloid patches are not alternatives to a routine recommended by a healthcare professional and it is always advised to consult your dermatologist before using any new product.


1. Chao CM, Lai WY, Wu BY, Chang HC, Huang WS, Chen YF. A pilot study on efficacy treatment of acne vulgaris using a new method: results of a randomized double-blind trial with Acne Dressing. J Cosmet Sci. 2006;57(2):95-105.

2. Queen D, Orsted H, Sanada H, Sussman G. A dressing history. Int Wound J. 2004;1(1):59-77. doi:10.1111/j.1742-4801.2004.0009.x

3. Rivera AE. Acne scarring: a review and current treatment modalities. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;59(4):659-676. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2008.05.029

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