In April 2020, the CDC recommended that face masks can be worn to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In today's society face masks are starting to become the new trend that we can add to our wardrobe, while coming in several styles and materials. Typically, face masks are supposed to provide a protective barrier from dust and particles. However, are you taking the extra precaution to make sure your skin is healthy under the mask? While protecting our health from COVID we should also be protecting our skin from maskne.


What is maskne? While different skin doctors have their own opinion on defining maskne, Dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD (A.K.A Dr. Pimple Popper) describes this trending term as acne caused by the wearing of a mask. There are many reasons behind this, but mainly due to the pressure, excess heat, and friction between the mask and your skin can quickly outbreak into a bothersome rash. These factors can cause acne mechanica which can come in a variety of appearances from small, inconspicuous comedones to inflamed papules and pustules. 


How can you maintain and treat your skin from maskne? 


~ Wash your face daily~ Your pores can get clogged up from the oil, dead skin cells, and dirt, so it is important to always wash your face before and after wearing your mask for prolonged periods of time. Simple topical treatments that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid help maintain your skin from possibly having an acne breakout. These treatments can come in many different moisturizers, gels, cleansers, and other solutions. 


~ Choose the right material~ According to the CDC, cloth masks are advised for the public while N95s and surgical masks should continue to be saved for healthcare workers. When deciding on the right material you want to choose a tightly woven cotton because it is breathable and gentle on the skin. Also keep in mind to always wash your masks with a fragrance-free soap or switch them out daily, as it can absorb your sebum and potentially cause more breakouts. 


~ Leave your acne alone~ It is best to leave your acne alone and wait it out or treat with products to shrink and fight acne. This prevents inflammation, infection, or permanent scarring to the skin. By popping the papules or pustules you are tearing your skin, and spreading the bacteria that were in the bump to your other pores.  


~ Moisturize~ Although some people are acne-prone and have oily skin, it is still important to moisturize your face. When your skin is dried out your body develops more sebum, and when you develop too much sebum, it can clog your pores leading to more acne breakouts. A lightweight moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated. With the mask rubbing against the face, your skin barrier will be healthy and strong from the friction.


In conclusion- Due to the Coronavirus face masks have become a part of our daily lifestyle for who knows how long. But as long as your keeping up a great skincare routine you'll be freed from those irritating acne bumps.




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