One of the most important ways to protect and slow the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the deadly virus responsible for the spread of COVID-19, is by donning face masks. Masks are the need of the hour and an effective tool in battling COVID-19. However, many people may not be aware that they could experience Maskne, a skin condition that results from wearing face masks. Let us find out more about this skin condition, how it is caused, who is more likely to suffer from it, and other vital aspects in this blog!
What Are Maskne Skin Conditions?
Maskne is a broad term used for various skin conditions that you can experience from wearing face masks or other kinds of face coverings. Here are some conditions that can be categorized as Maskne:
Wearing masks can cause acne in individuals of any age. This condition occurs when the skin’s pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, or dirt. It can result in pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, etc.
If you are already suffering from rosacea, wearing masks can flare up your condition or worsen it. This can lead to acne-like breakouts, redness, swelling, and other such conditions.
This is a condition that occurs when the hair follicles get infected. It can lead to bumps on the skin that can look like acne but can be very painful and itchy.
4. Seborrheic Dermatitis
This condition is characterized by an inflammation of the skin that can lead to itchy, flaky, and red skin.
5. Atopic Dermatitis
Individuals infected with this kind of skin condition can suffer from itchy and dry skin that may even crack up and bleed in some situations. This may cause infection too.
6. Contact Dermatitis
Sometimes, the fabric or the material used for making masks can lead to irritation and blisters in people with sensitive skin.
7. Perioral Dermatitis
Some people can also experience a rash around their mouth from wearing masks. This is known as perioral dermatitis.
If someone is already suffering from any skin condition, it can increase their chances of developing Maskne!
Causes of Maskne
As we established in the previous section that Maskne involves various skin conditions, and thus the cause can vary depending on the symptoms experienced by an individual:
- Masks trap humidity, which can result from breathing and sweating. This dampness can heighten the risk of acne and other skin conditions.
- One of the most apparent reasons is the clogged pores that are aggravated by wearing masks. Your skin already has dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria, and when you don a mask, there can be an increase in the build-up of these and thus lead to Maskne.
- Friction is yet another cause that can lead to irritation and chafing, leading to various skin conditions.
- Apart from all this, sometimes, the material or fabric of the mask can irritate the skin or be rough against the skin. Some masks are also pretreated with chemicals that can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction too.
Who Is More Likely to Get Maskne?
If you wonder who is more prone or more likely to get affected by this skin condition, well, it’s everyone! Irrespective of the skin type, if you are someone who is already battling skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, etc., then wearing a mask can aggravate a condition that is already present. This also includes people who wear makeup or other kinds of facial products.
How To Treat Maskne
One thing is for sure that we cannot do away with masks, and to ensure our safety and protection, we need to wear them. So, if you are someone who is dealing with Maskne, here are some Maskne treatment options that can help you:
1. Clean your face regularly
Do not forget to follow your regular skincare routine, and cleaning your face is an essential aspect of that. This not only keeps your skin healthy and radiant but also keeps skin issues at bay. Ensure that you wash your face as soon as you wake up, before retiring for the night, and after you wear a mask for a prolonged period. Use lukewarm water to clean your face and pat dry gently. Avoid any vigorous movements while washing or drying your face as it can lead to irritation.
2. Use a mild face cleanser
Ensure that you use a gentle cleanser to eliminate excess oil, dirt, or bacteria from your skin. Avoid perfume-based cleaners or the ones that contain harsh chemicals in them, as these may cause irritation or aggravate your symptoms. If you already have delicate or sensitive skin, it is best to consult your dermatologist for a cleanser best suited to your skin.
3. Use a mild moisturizer
Hydrating your skin is an essential step for healthy skin. Sometimes, when people suffer from skin conditions, they tend to skip moisturizing, thinking that it may aggravate their condition. However, not moisturizing your skin will do just that to your skin. You must use a mild moisturizer to hydrate your skin after washing your face. Use one that is a non-comedogenic moisturizer as it is less likely to block your pores but at the same time will provide the required hydration.
4. Use prescribed ointments or creams
Your doctor may prescribe creams or lotions that contain ceramides or cortisone. These kinds of creams are not only great for reducing itching and irritation but also moisturize the skin.
5. Do not use makeup
If you are suffering from Maskne, it is a good idea to skip applying makeup until your symptoms get better or clear up. Using cosmetics or makeup such as concealers, foundations, bronzers, highlighters, etc., may clog your pores and sometimes prolong the healing process. Therefore, to assist better and faster healing, refrain from using makeup until your skin condition gets better.
Skin Care Tips To Prevent Maskne
There are some skin care tips that you should follow to prevent Maskne on the cheeks and other areas of your face. Here are some preventive measures that can prove to be helpful:
1. Choose the right mask
It would be best to buy one made of 100 per cent cotton because it is breathable and makes you sweat less. Apart from the fabric, you should also ensure that the mask fits you perfectly, which means it should be neither tight nor loose. An ill-fitted mask can lead to friction, which increases the chances of Maskne fungal acne and other such conditions.
2. Wash your mask
It would help if you washed your reusable mask regularly with mild soap and water. Also, dry your mask entirely before wearing it. Whenever you use a new mask, make sure you wash it before using it.
3. Discard disposable mask after each use
If you are using a disposable mask, it is best to discard it by the end of the day. Wearing the same mask the following day may not only be unsafe but also increase your chances of Maskne.
4. Carry an extra mask
If you wear a mask while you indulge in some physical exercise, it will be a great idea to change the mask after you sweat excessively or post your workout. Using a fresh mask after indulging in any strenuous workout can prevent Maskne.
5. Remove your mask after every four hours
If you are wearing a mask for prolonged durations, then it is suggested that you remove it after every four hours for at least 15 minutes to let your skin breathe. However, you must wash your hands thoroughly before doing so and follow the rules of social distancing, according to the American Association of Dermatology Association.
6. See a doctor
There is no doubt that you can fight Maskne by following simple care and prevention tips. However, sometimes it may get challenging to establish what you are dealing with, such as dermatitis, yeast infection, or other skin conditions. Therefore, it is essential that your visit a dermatologist to establish your symptoms and figure out the correct course of treatment.
Maskne is more common than you think, and anyone can experience this condition by wearing face masks. However, following the preventive and curative actions can help you get rid of this annoying skin condition. If your state does not improve or looks severe, make sure you seek your doctor’s advice on the same!