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As more people wear masks to help combat the transmission of COVID-19, the risk of developing skin conditions caused by wearing a mask is increasing.
‘Maskne’, the term for these conditions, is derived from the similarity of the skin problems to ‘acne’,
“Those who work in professions which require wearing a mask have always been at risk for maskne,” says Richard Price, M.D., of Price Skin Care Clinic of Ridgeland, MS. “But with the prevalence of mask-wearing increasing, virtually everyone is now at risk for maskne.”
A Double Whammy
Not only can wearing a mask cause both acne and skin irritation, it can also make existing skin problems worse: all of which can be exacerbated by the summer heat and humidity.
While you might not have a choice of wearing a mask inside certain places, you do have a choice when it comes to what kind of mask you wear and how you care for your skin.
Here are five tips you can follow to help prevent maskne.
#1: Breathe Easy with 100% Cotton
When it comes to choosing a mask there are many from which to choose. Wearing one made from 100% cotton will allow your skin to breathe.
#2: Keep Your Mask Clean
Heat and humidity will cause you to sweat more, which in turn means you’ll need to keep your mask clean. The more you sweat, the more you should wash the mask to clean it from skin oils, sweat and dirt – all of which can irritate the skin and cause maskne.
#3: Keep Your Face Clean
Just as you need to keep your mask clean, you need to do the same for your face. Use a gentle non-soap cleanser and take care to not wash your face too much, or you will dry it out.
#4: Streamline Your Skin Routine
This isn’t the time to layer on the make-up. After washing, cover your face with a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer or sunblock with zinc or titanium. When possible, let your face spend the day ‘au natural’ so your skin can breathe when masked. If you have to wear make-up, go as light as possible.
#5: For The Men
Although men don’t have to worry with make-up, if they have a beard, they can have a problem too. That’s because warm air can get trapped under the mask along with moisture from sweat. If this is you and you have to wear a mask for a long time without being able to wash your face, use a toner with alpha hydroxy which helps loosen and unclog pores.
And always make sure your beard is dry before donning your mask again to minimize moisture under the mask.
What To Do If You Develop Maskne
If all else fails and you develop skin issues from masks you should:
• Use a foaming cleanser
• If your skin is acne-prone, apply something that contains salicyclic acide.
• Use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide treatment on problem spots.
• And if your skin is black or brown and you develop hyper pigmentation, use a topical with glycolic aside.
• If the issues persist or get worse, see your skin doctor.
Come See Us!
If you haven’t had your annual skin exam this year or have a place on your skin that you’re concerned about, you can make an appointment with Dr. Price by calling (601) 992-3996.