Covid-19 was like an endurance test for humanity. Although it’s gone in most parts of the world today, its impact on our lifestyle seems far from over. For instance, face masks have become a part of daily apparel for many people around the globe.
While a face mask is an effective measure to avert viral infections and problems caused by airborne germs and dust, it has a side effect that will indeed affect you if you are not careful. It is mask acne – also called maskne. People already suffering from mild acne, eczema, and allergies are at a greater risk of suffering from maskne if they wear a face mask regularly.
Read on to learn more about what mask acne is and how to deal with this problem.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Maskne?
- 2 What causes Mask Acne?
- 3 Maskne Treatment Options
- 4 How to Prevent Mask Acne?
- 5 Final Verdict
What is Maskne?
Maskne is a particular term made up of two words: mask and acne. This specific word describes the acne caused by wearing a face mask. However, mask acne is not always related to acne.
The skin around the nose area is usually very delicate. Covering your skin with a face mask for many hours a day can cause acne breakouts and skin rash. Women between 20 and 50 are more prone to this skin condition.
What causes Mask Acne?
Masks impose heat, friction, and occlusion on the skin, and when combined with a moist environment from breathing, talking, or sweating, this can be a recipe for breakouts.
Pores get clogged, leading to pimples or acne cysts. On top of that, heat and sweat can cause the skin to become dry, itchy, and raw.
Maskne Treatment Options
These are some effective treatment measures to get rid of the maskne problem. Remember, opting for preventive measures is always better than dealing with maskne later.
You can opt for spot treatments to get rid of mild acne caused by wearing a mask. Any OTC product containing sulfur, zinc, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) can help reveal clear acne spots.
You need to be careful with the amount of spot treatment you use, as it can dry out your skin. Use them in proper amounts, along with some gentle moisturizer, for better results.
Exfoliate and Moisturize
It is one of the best maskne treatments. Skin exfoliators and gentle acid peels can help unclog the pores that cause acne. Oil-free pores can help your skin to breathe even under the facemask.
Using a gentle moisturizer after exfoliating your skin can help ensure better results in fighting mask acne.
Laser Acne Treatment
If all else fails and you suffer from an acne breakout because of wearing a facemask, laser acne treatment is one of the best options you can consider. Laser treatment can effectively deal with an acne breakout and even stop the further spread of acne.
Take a Break
Wearing a face mask for longer can lead to acne breakouts and excess skin rash. Therefore, it is a good idea to take off your mask when you are in a properly sanitized environment.
Not only does it relieve an active maskne breakout, but it can also help prevent the problem.
Dealing with skin rashes
Diaper cream is the most recommended one to get rid of skin rashes. Both skin and diaper rashes are caused by Irritated, sensitive, sore skin in a warm and wet environment. Although unconventional, diaper cream can be ideal for dealing with mask acne.
How to Prevent Mask Acne?
These are some effective preventive measures to avoid maskne from happening in the first place. These steps help ensure you don’t get affected by acne from wearing a facemask.
Never wash your washable mask with heavily scented softeners or detergents. Always use an unscented fiber-cloth mask to avoid maskne.
Men with facial hair should consider shaving before wearing a face mask, as the mask should not touch facial hair. The mask consistently chafing facial hair can lead to mask acne.
Avoid Cosmetics in the Covered Area
Avoiding makeup on a facial area that is not visible can be a good measure to prevent maskne. Unnecessary cosmetics can clog your pores to worsen the damage caused by wearing a face mask.
Ditch the Fragrances
Most perfumes and scented body products do not cause acne breakouts directly, but they can worsen an existing acne problem. Certain body perfumes can cause clogged pores, leading to blackheads. Therefore, the best practice is to choose products that do not contain harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients known for causing skin irritation and inflammation.
A Smooth-Texture Material
Use a mask that is breathable and has a smooth texture. These masks keep your skin from becoming wet.
Avoid Formaldehyde and Bronopol
Almost all surgical masks contain bronopol and formaldehyde. Don’t use a surgical face mask if you are allergic to these chemicals, as they can cause a reaction.
It’s a common misconception that oily skin can’t be classified as dry. Skin can be dry and oily at the same time. In fact, dry skin can cause the skin pores to release more oil.
Wearing a facemask along with having dried-out skin can lead to acne breakouts. Make sure you drink enough water to avoid maskne.
Maskne can be bothersome, but this doesn’t have to be a reason for you to stop wearing a facemask. With simple precautionary measures, you can prevent breakouts on the skin area that comes under the mask.
Maintaining the proper skincare routine can prevent or lessen skin irritation and maskne, even if you wear a facemask multiple hours a day. Contact a dermatologist if treatments and preventive measures are not working for you.