“Maskne”- Truth or False? Why I Get Them and How to Treat Them

“Maskne”- Truth or False? Why I Get Them and How to Treat Them

We are all on a mission to slow the spread of COVID-19 and wearing masks has become part of our daily routine. Furthermore, President Biden in his inaugural address had asked Americans to give the masks “100 days” to help to create the needed barrier against the increasing spread of coronavirus cases. It is important to note that Covid-19 spreads through respiratory droplets. 

So masks are here to stay for a while. Unfortunately, even masks are an important weapon against getting sick with Covid -19 and also a common cold, they also cause a side effect -a condition known as “maskne” (mask acne). Maskne doesn’t simply cause pimples but may also result in skin redness, bumpiness, and irritation. In fact, “maskne” is an umbrella term covering several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or any other home -made or commercial face covering.

 Maskne include:

  • Acne, that results in pimples, comedones , whiteheads, and blackheads. 
  • Rosacea, causing flare-ups and additional acne-rosacea pimples as well as extra redness. 
  • Contact Dermatitis that occurs when you’re allergic or sensitive to the material of your mask and can result in a rash, irritation and even blisters. 
  • Folliculitis, an infection of hair follicles that causes bumps that look like an acne breakout and may be painful or itchy. 

For those who already have acne prone skin- wearing masks may exacerbate their condition and increase the severity and duration of all different types of acne including: hormonal acne, adult acne and teen acne, as well as chronic acne and Rosacea. 

What are the causes of maskne?

In most situations, maskne, like other acne is the result of clogged pores. You already have sebum, (skin oil), dirt, dead skin cells and of course bacteria on your skin; when you wear a mask due to extra humidity (your breath), heat and abrasion, your pores become clogged faster and easier, commencing what is called the acne cascade. Friction that is often a result of mask wearing,  can additionally lead to chafing, irritation and inflammation. Finally, some masks may even cause allergic reaction to the material they are made, additional sweat and lack of a fresh air cooling and oxygenating the skin.

7 Steps to Treat Maskne 

  1. Wash your face regularly in the morning, before going to bed and ALWAYS AFTER WEARING THE MASK. Use lukewarm water. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your skin as this may cause irritation. 
  2. Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil, sweat, and bacteria but avoid irritating your skin even further with harsh ingredients such as alcohol, salicylic acid, or peroxide.
  3. Use a noncomedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin supple and hydrated and decrease the number of dry skin cells on the surface that can contribute to clogging the pores. 
  4. Apply thin layer of a non comedogenic moisturizers BEFORE wearing mask if you experience the irritation. 
  5. Limit wearing makeup under the mask. Less is more on your skin when you wear the mask 
  6. Try to take your mask off at least once every 4 hours for 15 -20 minutes if you need to wear it for a longer time.
  7. Try the natural, all herbal. non - chemical, acne treatment that heals existing acne and prevents new acne from forming; this treatment  also fights whiteheads, blackheads and symptoms of Rosacea. It will prevent infection and calm inflammation. Please visit  www.acnease.com
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