Wearing a face mask is an important way to lessen the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
As the pandemic all over the world continues, more evidence proves the effectiveness of wearing masks. Since masks are essential, it’s important to do whatever we can to overcome concerns about wearing them.
The skin around the nose, mouth and chin — the places covered by a face mask — is very delicate. Sometimes, for some people, wearing a mask can cause and/ or worsen —rashes, irritation, scratching and other skin problems on the face.
Though so-called “maskne” (mask + acne) isn't always related to acne, you might notice some facial breakouts as a possible side effect of mask use.
Who is more likely to get skin problems from wearing a face mask?
Some people might be more likely to experience face-mask-related bumps and rashes if they’re already living with skin issues, such as:
- –Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema
- –Sensitivity to humid or dry air
Coronavirus tips to avoid maskne skin irritation:
Change your mask, clean your mask
Make sure you are changing your masks at least daily if they are disposable.
One of the best ways to protect your skin from unwanted breakouts is to ensure that the mask you are using is clean. If you are using disposable masks, changing them throughout the day can reduce dirt and oils that may build up on your face.
Keeping your mask clean will help keep your face clear of blemishes and maintain healthy skin.
Treatments and products
When acne arises, you may turn to treatments and skincare products to help clear it up. This is no different when it comes to maskne.
If you’re a first-time user, test the product on a small area of the skin on your inner forearm to make sure your skin can tolerate it before you apply it to your face.
Rinse your skin regularly
Using a gentle cleanser to wash your face first thing in the morning and right before bed is a great habit for clear, healthy skin.
Avoid the urge to touch
Try your best to not touch your face or pick at your maskne
This may be one of the harder tips to put into practice. Touching your face or picking at acne is an easy habit to get into. But touching your face transfers oils from your hands to your face, which can block pores and create acne and picking at your acne can make the appearance of the acne worse in the long-term.
Reduce the friction
If you’re experiencing discomfort or chafing from your mask, try to adopt techniques that reduce friction between the mask and your skin.
Loosening the mask straps, using pads under the straps behind the ears or using a headband style mask can help. You can also consider using a larger mask or a mask of a different style.