Not all acne dots are the same! There are 2 main types of acne patches/dots.
1. Acne treatment patches: these contain active ingredients (i.e., salicylic acid, tea tree oil) found in creams, gels, and ointment in drugstores. Most contain both salicylic acid, tea tree oil & aloe as found in cleansers and lotions in drugstores.
Most over-the-counter acne dots contain 0.5 to 2 percent salicylic acid. However, depending on the concentration and the number of applications, some people may experience dryness, peeling, redness, and some skin irritation.
2. Hydrocolloid acne patches: these are waterproof adhesives used by doctors for decades to speed up healing for ulcers, cuts, and other wounds. Acting as a second layer of skin, hydrocolloid technology absorbs exudate, oil/pus, and other impurities from your blemish while moisturizing the skin. These work well on open and closed blemishes (but better on open pimples).
Because of its use in medical settings, hydrocolloid also helps relieve pain from deep cystic acne.
Unlike medicated acne dots, hydrocolloid dots do not irritate skin and visibly shows that it is working by turning from translucent to white. Results can be seen in as little as 2 hours.
It is important NOT to mix creams/lotions/cleaners with hydrocolloid dots, as applying actives under a hydrocolloid can increase the potency of the active and cause a burn depending on the level of actives and the sensitivity of your skin.