This New Pimple Patch Uses Microneedles to Treat Cystic Acne
Of all the various types of acne out there, cystic acne can be the most frustrating to treat. But a new kind of pimple patch with "microneedles" might change that.
Cystic acne is notoriously tenacious. Rooted deep in the skin and caused by a combination of hormones and genetics, cystic pimples often take forever to clear — and when they finally do, there's a good chance they'll come back. On top of that, typical acne treatments (like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide) aren't the most effective on these blemishes. As we've previously reported, dermatologists say to really treat these blemishes, you'll have to go deeper. Typically, that can mean a trip to the dermatologist for an oral antibiotic prescription or cortisone injection — until now. A new type of acne treatment is making it possible to go below the surface at home.
The Acropass Trouble Cure is a pimple patch that gets below the surface via teeny tiny "microneedles" (or "microstructures," if you want to get technical) that dissolve into skin. Here's how it works: First, you swab the pimple with a pad soaked in salicylic acid and tea tree leaf oil — both powerful acne fighters that kill acne-causing bacteria. Once the cystic spot has been cleaned, you apply the pimple patch, which looks like a small bandaid with spikes thinner than a hair. Through these teeny tiny pricks in the skin, the patch drives the acne-fighting active ingredients deep in to the skin.
This is key to treating deep-rooted pimples, says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist. "For actives to work, enhanced penetration is important," she tells Allure. Rather than just letting acne-fighting ingredients lie on the surface of the skin, the microstructure technology allows them to really get in there.
Meanwhile, the patches contain a second acne-clearing superpower. The microstructures also infuse skin with nacinamide, "which helps with microcirculation; hyaluronic acid, which, helps with moisturization to prevent over-drying or scaling; and peptides, which help with collagen boosting to fill the acne spot," King explains. Over the course of two hours (that's the minimum amount of time Acropass recommends keeping the patch on your pimple) the microstuctures slowly dissolve into skin, leaving the acne-clearing ingredients behind.
The microstructures supposedly provide a gentler alternative to microneedling, which punctures the skin surface with actual needles to allow skin-care ingredients to penetrate better. The dissolving microstructures are able to do the same thing without actually damaging the skin. (FYI, this isn't the only skin patch to use microstructure technology to deliver skin-loving ingredients deeper into your dermis. Acropass also has a microstructure patch designed to smooth wrinkles and Rodan + Fields uses a "liquid cone" technology in a fine line-fighting patch.)
The innovative technology comes from — where else? — Seoul. Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho, revealed how much the Acropass has helped her own skin-care routine on Instagram. "As you know I have always struggled with cystic acne on my chin but this acne patch set has helped me target painful, cystic acne using TINY MICRONEEDLES that infuse ingredients to treat hormonal acne effectively!" she wrote.
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Aside from Acropass's website, Soko Glam is currently the only place you can get the high-tech pimple patches for $18 for a set of six.
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