Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Solving acne: The Easy Way

I've never been shy about my experience with acne. Whiteheads, blackheads, the dreaded cystic. I've had it all and even as an adult, continue to have to deal with these f*ckers.
All my weapons against zits have been topical and over the counter. I've been to a dermatologist, but for my eczema, not for acne, so I haven't gone through the hardcore prescription stuff like Accutane or Cortisol shots, but I have had major struggles. Especially with Cystic Acne and especially when I was a teenager. I have always been willing to try anything to help.

If you've been lucky enough to never have had a cystic acne experience, I envy you, but I'll explain what they feel like. They are hard, start deep under the skin, seem to take weeks to come to a head, they throb and are so painful! There's no head to extract or try to pop or lance; you wish you had a needle because if you could just get that stuff out of there the pressure would ease and give you relief! But just because there's no visible head, doesn't mean they are invisible! Ohhh no! The skin is swollen and raised for what seems like months. Then, if you are able to get it to come to a head and manage to pop it? IT GETS WORSE! The wound takes forever to heal! You try and get all the "ick" out, if you can get the sack you consider yourself lucky; however I've had cluster cystic acne before and let me tell you, no matter how hard you try, you just aren't going to get all the sacks the first time so the infection gets worse and it's just heinous. Blech! 

Topical/over the counter spot treatments can help, but they dry out the top layers of your skin which causes redness and flaky skin, making the acne more pronounced and sometimes more painful.
I don't get the cystic acne as much as I used to, but I do still get them (and other spots). And now I have a new weapon in my arsenal.
Cut up piece of bandage!
Hydrocolloid Bandages.

What are those???
Hydrocolloid Bandages are blister band-aids! You know, those ones you use on your foot if your shoes are too tight/too loose and you wind up with a blister across the back of your heel? Yeah! Those!
I was watching one of my favorite YouTubers Rachel Whitehurst (she's awesome, but she cusses, be warned) and what she said blew my mind! Apparently she had been alerted to these helpful little beauties via Tumblr.
I immediately went to and placed an order for the Target Brand bandages, went and picked them up at my local Target (YAY site to store pickup!) and gave them a try.
Now, I didn't have a cystic zit at the time, I DID have a whitehead zit that had just surfaced and naturally I didn't take a picture of it. Because I had the dumb that day.
BUT I did what Rachel had suggested, I cut the bandage to fit (I actually made sure that the fattest part of the bandage was on the zit part) and stuck that sucker on there. I left it overnight and let me tell you that white part was completely gone the next morning!
I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!All that was left of that zit was a bit of redness that was easily covered up by my tinted moisturizer! IT'S A MIRACLE!

Ok, peeling off the well worn sticker wasn't painless, it is VERY sticky so it pulls at any teeny hair, but it's easier if you wash your face a bit first, then peel it off, then wash your face like you normally would.

How did that work???
The bandage was made to draw out moisture and any infection from a blister while cushioning the skin and not leaving it dried out. So yeah, it's pretty much the perfect product for acne that is too stubborn to rise to a head but too deep to apply anything topical to kill the infection! Now, the trick is to leave the bandage on as long as possible, that way it draws it all up into the bandage material; but walking around with a weird piece of flesh colored bandage may not be possible. So leave the piece on as long as you can, then peel it off to see if the blemish can be dealt with (extracted or treated topically). If yes, then do your thing, but if you don't want to risk scarring, leave the hydrocolloid on until you get the result you want. I didn't experience any itchiness or anything, and frankly, you know how everyone tells you "KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR ZIT" and you still touch it? Yeah, I felt confident that I could touch the bandage and NOT make my zit worse! A FIRST!

There are other options of hydrocolloid bandages available too! 
If you don't want to cut the pieces yourself, you can go to and try the Nexcare or Hydra-Band versions of a hydrocolloid bandage; these are pre-cut into varying sized circles so it's a
"peel and stick" option. I haven't tried those, and frankly the Target brand bandage that I have to cut is so much cheaper I don't mind cutting them to fit the size I need. 

So there! Something new to try that is inexpensive and fairly easy to obtain that won't cause the damage and scarring the old ways of dealing with your acne have been! Let me know if you try it and what your experiences are!


  1. Oooh! Gonna have to try this! My topical treatments are more limited with my pregnancy BUT my hormones are making my face break out even more than normal! Thanks for the tip!!

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