Experts offer tips to minimize ‘maskne’ during the pandemic

January 27, 2021 /

With the pandemic comes a new clang term — maskne — to describe the irritating effects masks can have on the skin.

Mask wearers have been turning to social media to describe acne that has appeared around the mouth and chin as a result of wearing a mask.

Masks have become an essential part of everyday lives, and regular
outfits. They has become the new normal from wearing a mask to protect oneself and others from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Experts say there are two main reasons why masks cause acne. First, rubbing causes irritation that can make skin break down. This is common in the following areas: the bridge of the nose and where the elastic bands hit behind the ears.

Healthcare professionals who tightly wearing N95 masks experience this the most. Irritation occurs due to dryness and sensitivity because the skin’s
natural oils are absorbed by the material of masks.

Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Thomas Jefferson University, explained that this type of acne was primarily common among athletes, prior to the pandemic.

“We are seeing it more now with people wearing masks for an extended period of time,” she said.

Second, humidity forms as a mask is worn for hours at a time and start a breeding ground for acne.

Comedones or blackheads are caused by friction between the skin and a mask, which block and clogs pores.

Wearing a protective mask is necessary to stop and slow the spread of the Coronavirus, so finding out how to manage symptoms of maskne is helpful.

Experts say following a skincare routine is the best way to prevent breakouts.

Dermatologists and skin experts recommend following these 3 easy tips:
1) Regularly wash your face
● once in the morning
● once at night, before going to bed
● after sweating or wearing a mask
2) Use a Gentle Cleanser
● Avoid products that are too drying because this leads to the skin being more compromised
● Face wash with salicylic acid helps gently to unclog pores
3) Keep Skin Moisturized
● After washing, hydrate your skin
● This can be done with products with hyaluronic acid and/or cream with ceramides

The right skincare routine can help lessen mask-related skin damage and breakouts.

This story was written as part of the Kern Sol News COVID-19 Awareness Campaign, which strives to inform Kern County of the latest COVID-19 news and educate the community on how to remain safe during the pandemic.