Hydrocolloid bandage because it sticks to the skin and seals in moisture to speed up the healing process. Getting wounds and other injuries is inevitable, and most of them take time to heal and require occasional cleaning and dressing. They can also be used for pimples, cystic acne, cold sores, minor wounds, burns, and pressure ulcers.
In this article, we will show you the 10 best hydrocolloid bandages from brands like BETAplast, Band-Aid, and Nexcare. There is also a buying guide to help you choose. Through the tips section, you will learn how to properly attach and replace a hydrocolloid bandage. We also asked for some comments and insights from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Erika Habaluyas Luz!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Hydrocolloid bandages have a soft, gel-like texture which makes them pliable for effortless application and mobility. They are good for areas where it can be difficult to apply regular dressings, like in the elbows and knees. Plus, they provide a moist and warm environment to aid in the healing process. One bandage can be used for up to a week or until the sides start to detach.
This dressing is best for wounds and abrasions that are shallow and dry. It can also heal injuries that are not infected and have minimal leakage. Hydrocolloid bandages can be used to treat chronic venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, burns, partial-thickness wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, and other medical concerns. They are also utilized to treat acne, pimples, and cold sores.
Ultimately, hydrocolloid bandages assist in autolytic debridement or the process of getting rid of necrotic debris and tissue within moist conditions. This, in turn, promotes and aids the naturally present body enzymes in healing. However, it can be difficult to monitor a wound when it is covered with this type of bandage because it is not designed to be replaced regularly.
Hydrocolloids are what we call 'interactive dressings' as they interact with the wound bed and assist the process of getting rid of necrotic tissue under moist conditions. In a nutshell, they produce an ideal humid environment in the wound, control exudate (fluid from the wound), provide a protective barrier, and facilitate healing.
For more information, read through our buying guide below.
For more information, read through our buying guide below.
After going to the doctor to assess the kind of wound you have, the next thing to do is to determine the type of hydrocolloid bandage to purchase. Patches, blister bandages, and regular bandages all have hydrocolloid technology but serve various purposes. In this section, we will discuss the differences in size, shape, and purpose of each one.
Pimple patches are effective in extracting the gunk from your acne, reducing swelling, and preventing your popped pimple from leaving dark marks and scabs. Those that target individual acne have a round shape and measure around 0.7cm to 1.2 cm, just like COSRX's pimple patches. On the other hand, nose patches from brands like Luxe Organix cover acne clusters, especially on the nose.
Conversely, cold sore patches are roughly the same size and shape as pimple patches yet have a different function. These serve as a protective layer for cold sores around the mouth area. Not only that, but they also stop the proliferation and subsequent outbreak of the microbes that caused the infection and wound.
Contrary to larger hydrocolloid bandages that adhere to the skin for multiple days and even up to a week, these are commonly used for just a few hours, overnight, or during the day. They can be removed when the previously transparent or translucent patch becomes clouded due to the accumulation of impurities.
Similar to how they work for wounds, hydrocolloid patches work by absorbing excess fluid, and thus, pull oil and dirt away from the pimple. Another benefit from pimple patches is that they prevent you from picking at those pimples too!
Although hydrocolloid bandages are mainly used for burns, pressure ulcers, and minor wounds, some brands offer ones that specifically target blisters. In particular, Band-Aid's Hydro Seal bandages have variants that provide cushion and faster healing for blisters on the toes and the heels.
Their shape makes all the difference compared to regular bandages. The blister bandages for the toes or fingers are thin and long, so you can wrap them around for a secure attachment. As for the heel bandages, they have an oval shape to cover the heel while the tapered ends wrap around the sides so they won't come off easily.
This is a useful hack, especially for those who love to wear heels. While choosing comfort definitely should take precedence, it's definitely helpful to have that option of a cushion-type bandage to help protect pressure areas from developing blisters. The nice thing about hydrocolloid bandages is that they can easily follow the contour of different parts of the body, such as the heels.
Regular hydrocolloid bandages are versatile such that they can be used to heal several kinds of wounds like minor gashes, lacerations, pressure ulcers, burns, and any injury with minimal exudate. These usually have a square or rectangular shape to protect and heal medium to large injuries. You can also cut them in case you have an irregular-shaped wound.
For example, Convatec's Duoderm has square hydrocolloid bandages as big as 20 cm on each side, ideal for large wounds. In addition, Nexcare has a rectangular 10 cm by 6 cm bandage for medium-sized injuries. In order to know which size and shape to get, measure your wound and take note of the dimensions. Then, add about 2 cm to the number.
The advantage of hydrocolloid bandages for wounds is that they stimulate granulation formation (that part of the healing process in which pinkish tissue containing new connective tissue and vessels forms around the edges of a wound). Not to mention, they're simple to apply and waterproof.
When you type in 'hydrocolloid bandages' on the search bar on Lazada, Shopee, Watsons, or any other E-commerce site, you will see a multitude of products. The best way to filter them out is to look at the brands.
Those that also sell other medical equipment and wound dressing needs like Band-Aid and Nexcare are most preferable. If you're dealing with acne and pimples, go for well-known skincare brands such as COSRX, Luxe Organix, and The Ordinary.
Hydrocolloid bandages are, in fact, more expensive compared to regular plasters and bandages, so beware of sketchy shops that offer them at a lower price than usual. Because you're dealing with a sensitive wound, it is vital to check the product reviews to ensure safety and quality.
Remember, not all hydrocolloid bandages are created equal. Some are even made with certain active ingredients to give them anti-microbial properties.
Lastly, consider how many bandages you will need. You don't want to end up with an amount that is not enough until your wound is fully healed. On the other hand, if you get too much, the bandages might not be used up before their expiration date. Since they are on the expensive side, you can opt for shops that offer tingi or per piece.
If you're still weighing your options, it is better to have a few extra sheets in your first aid kit in case of emergencies. Also, bear in mind that one bandage can be used for up to a week, but this also depends on the severity, leakage, and the time it will take the wound to heal, according to the doctor or specialist's advice.
Hydrocolloid bandages are meant to be left in place and can remain in place for up to 7 days, depending on its level of exudate or fluids. Your doctor can best advise you on how much to buy. Also, you'd probably want to follow up with your doctor anyway to make sure that your wound is healing as expected.
Before ordering online or going to a pharmacy to buy hydrocolloid bandages, it is crucial to find out if they are necessary for your wound. Although you can purchase them online and over the counter in stores, it is still recommended to consult a health care professional beforehand.
This way, they can assess the severity of your injury along with the appropriate care and treatment for it. As we’ve discussed earlier, hydrocolloid bandages are suitable for some but not all types of wounds. In addition, getting the right one allows you to maximize the benefits and features of the bandage.
Remember, a hydrocolloid dressing is great but it's not ideal for all types of wounds. So definitely, a consult with your doctor is crucial before that.
Typically, hydrocolloids are great for superficial wounds that are low to moderately 'exudative' (exudates = fluids expressed from wounds). Also, you'd want your doctor to make sure that there are no signs of infection!
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H Adhesive Hydrocolloid Dressing
Multipurpose Hydrocolloid Dressing for Better Exudate Retention and Absorption
Invisible Pimple Patch
Cica-Infused Pimple Patches That Prevent Scarring and Reduce Inflammation
Hydro Seal™ for Blister Heels
Protect Your Heels From Painful Blisters With These Special Bandages
Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage
Semi-transparent Hydrocolloid Patches That Can Heal Cold Sores
Acne Pimple Master Patch
Protective Hydrocolloid Patches That Come in 3 Different Sizes
Hydro Seal™ for Blister Toes
Prevents Blisters and Minimizes Friction Between Your Toes
Rectangular Hydrocolloid Bandage From a Trusted Brand
Large Square Hydrocolloid Bandages for Wide Wounds
Hydrocolloid Overnight Nose Patch
Gets Rid of Nose Acne and Minimizes the Pores
A Hydrocolloid Bandage Roll for Uneven-Shaped Wounds
From the makers of the Betadine antiseptic solution comes a hydrocolloid bandage included in the BETAplast™ line. This dressing utilizes SMARTPORE technology that can retain and absorb high exudate from different kinds of wounds like skin ulcers, post-operative wounds, burns, lacerations, and more.
It is composed of three layers—the protective layer, absorptive layer, and wound contact layer. With the unique micropore technology, the wound contact layer promotes effortless and painless removal, minimizing the trauma to the wound bed. In addition, the second layer maintains a moist environment with its high absorption capacity.
A minor but helpful detail on the individual packaging is the ruler printed on the side which you can use to measure your wound before and after applying the hydrocolloid bandage. This can help you keep track of its curing progress. Besides that, you already get 10 bandages in one pack, so you can tend to any kind of injury.
Extracting the gunk from your acne while providing protection against germs and bacteria are the primary functions of pimple patches, but Happy Skin takes it a step further. The brand's Invisible Pimple Patches takes the healing process of acne into consideration, as each one is infused with Centella Asiatica or Cica that's rich in antioxidants.
The addition of the Cica extract prevents further breakouts, alleviates inflammation, encourages collagen build-up, and fends off dark spots and scarring. These features are vital as your wound from a popped pimple heals after the pus has been removed. Its transparent appearance is ideal for use any time of the day without anyone noticing your zit.
Buying and wearing a brand new pair of shoes is definitely exciting. However, if they are ought to be worn with low foot socks, chances are, your skin will rub directly against the material or fabric. Worry not, as Band-Aid's Hydro Seal hydrocolloid bandage can protect your heels from agonizing blisters.
The oval shape fits perfectly on your heels to provide a cushion and proper coverage in that specific area. On the other hand, the dual-action seal keeps bacteria and germs out while keeping the moisture in for faster healing. Whether you're working out or just walking leisurely, you don't need to worry about the pain with these bandages!
Cold sores can be excruciating and unpleasant. They are commonly present around the mouth and lip area, which makes them difficult to manage and dress. Luckily, Quantum Health's Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage uses hydrocolloid technology for faster healing. The edges are flexible, hence, they do not come off easily.
The manufacturer recommends using this until the cold sore is fully healed. The best part is that you can still use lipstick or make-up on top because each piece is translucent and blends in with your skin tone. It is also waterproof and can stay on even when you eat or drink. Along with its healing prowess, it serves as a protective layer against contamination.
When it comes to skincare, Korean brand COSRX has paved the way for affordable yet effective products. For less than PHP 200, you get 24 pieces in a pack which includes three sizes—7mm, 10mm, and 12mm. Their hydrocolloid acne patches are good for sensitive skin because they are vegan and do not contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and alcohol.
The hydrocolloid technology lifts the gunk from your pores and prevents swelling and further infections on the skin, thanks to its intensive overnight healing prowess. Simply place a patch on top of your pimple and wake up with blemish-free skin! Plus, it doesn't leave scars and dark spots after healing, making your skin look healthy. These are the reasons why COSRX is one of the most sought-after brands for pimple patches!
Shoes that have pointed or narrow tips or ill-fitting footwear may cause painful blisters on the toes. In order to get rid of the burning sensation and to eventually heal your blisters, a hydrocolloid bandage is needed, as regular bandages tend to slip off as you walk around. Moreover, most hydrocolloid bandages come in sizes that are significantly larger than the toe.
Band-Aid's Hydro Seal for Blister Toes prevents blisters from worsening by providing instant relief and healing through its hydrocolloid technology. It also serves as a cushion or barrier between your toes and the shoe material. Its thin yet long shape is precisely made to wrap around your toe for a secure fit.
Nexcare is one of the leading brands when it comes to wound care essentials. Their products have been tried and tested around the globe and proven effective by medical professionals. In particular, these hydrocolloid bandages have a waterproof outer layer that protects your wound from infection. On top of that, the gel pad helps alleviate the pain from your injury.
One pack contains just two rectangular bandages measuring 10 cm by 6 cm each, perfect for small to medium-sized wounds. This set is can be an option if you don't need a lot of bandages if your wound is almost fully healed or not that severe. When you're not keen on buying too many bandages in boxed sets, this is a great and affordable choice.
If you've acquired a large wound, the major obstacles apart from the soreness and discomfort are mobility, healing, and protection. With Convatec's Duoderm Control Gel Formula bandages, your wound will be fully covered as one square piece measures 20 cm on all sides.
Since big wounds often take more time and effort to heal and manage, a hydrocolloid bandage will definitely help fast-track the process. These bandages promote granulation and autolytic debridement, which are important processes for repairing skin tissue. With these, you get to move around freely without the restriction and bulkiness of gauze and other types of dressing.
This hydrocolloid nose patch from local brand Luxe Organix is designated for the nose or a wide area or cluster of acne. It is meant to be used overnight on top of dry skin as it will not adhere properly on wet or damp skin. As for the ingredients, the combination of tea tree oil and linolenic acid helps you achieve smooth and blemish-free skin.
This product is a gentler alternative to pore strips that may lead to skin irritation, abrasion, and damage as you peel them off. It uses hydrocolloid technology to absorb the gunk, lessen oil build-up, and diminish the pores without harming your skin. For best results, you may apply one nose patch two to three times a week.
Of course, you cannot control the shape and size of your wound. Having an asymmetrical or irregular-shaped one can be frustrating because it can be difficult to find a bandage or dressing that can fully cover it. Also, hydrocolloid bandages that come in fixed sizes may be too small or too big for your wound.
If this is your current dilemma, it is best to get this hydrocolloid roll from Neoderm. You can measure the wound and cut smaller pieces from the roll according to its specific shape. This way, you get to use every inch and corner of the roll—just make sure that your scissors or cutter are properly sanitized to avoid infection.
By now, you may have already chosen a hydrocolloid bandage according to your needs. The next thing to know is how to properly apply and remove the bandage. With the help of this video from 3M's YouTube channel, you will learn exactly just that!
Applying the Hydrocolloid Bandage:
Removing the Hydrocolloid Bandage:
Here are more tips:
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.
It depends! Hydrocolloid bandages allow for the good healing of superficial burns. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before slapping one on as it depends on the level of involvement of the skin and the absence of signs of infection, among other factors.
Hydrocolloids typically turn white after several hours to even days of use. What happens is that the material (aka the polymers) absorbs the fluid from the wound and combines with the exudate to form a soft gel-like mass. This gets trapped in the bandage, turning the area of the bandage white.
Hydrocolloid bandages don't prevent scarring per see, but they do help wounds heal faster. As for those hydrocolloid pimple patches, they do prevent you from picking or trying to pop the pimple - which is good because this can lead to scarring.
Having a first aid kit at home is a must. Aside from wound care essentials, it is best to get some health monitoring equipment like a pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, blood glucose monitor, and bathroom scale to keep track of your health on a daily basis. Browse our other articles to see the best products available online!
Author: Patricia Catimpo
Editor: Aprille Jarcia
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：BETAplast｜H Adhesive Hydrocolloid Dressing
No. 2：Happy Skin｜Invisible Pimple Patch
No. 3：Band-Aid｜Hydro Seal™ for Blister Heels
No. 4：Quantum Health｜Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage
No. 5：COSRX｜Acne Pimple Master Patch
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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