Mask mandates look to be in our futures for quite a while. Even with the introduction of the COVID vaccine, masks are still a necessary part of our wardrobe. The constant friction that masks create can wreak havoc on skin. Add in the chilly winter air, and many people who thought acne was part of their teenage past are seeing it resurface with a vengeance. Here are some treatments to try if you are battling this condition.
What is Maskne?
Maskne, technically termed ‘acne mechanica,’ is caused by the rubbing of the mask on facial skin. This friction causes inflammation that can lead to unsightly and sometimes painful breakouts. Maskne is an overarching term for several skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis and folliculitis. If you already have one of these conditions, daily mask wearing can cause these conditions to worsen.
If you develop maskne, there are simple treatments that can bring you relief.
- Wash your face regularly with a gentle cleanser. Steer clear of products that contain fragrances or alcohol.
- Moisturize with a noncomedogenic moisturizer.
- If your skin is irritated, try a mild cortisone cream.
- Enjoy some makeup-free days. Cosmetics can clog pores and delay healing.
- If you are experiencing contact dermatitis, look at your washing detergent. Look for natural or fragrance-free varieties.
- Antibiotic cream applied in a thin layer before you put on your mask can help deter bacterial growth that can lead to acne.
- Give your skin a break. Remove your mask (in an isolated area) every few hours to give your skin a chance to breathe.
- Do not reuse disposable masks. Always carry extras with you and change them if they become soiled.
- Avoid over-exfoliating.
- And lastly, avoid touching your face whenever possible.
Masks can prevent the spread of COVID, so they are an important part of your everyday wear; but that doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer. By following these tips, you can enjoy clear skin while you protect yourself and those around you. If you would like more information concerning maskne, or if you need any dermatological treatment, contact Olansky Dermatology Associates at (404) 355-5484 to schedule an appointment.