Maskne refers to the skin problems that occur from wearing face masks. Prolonged use of face masks can cause ‘maskne’. Learn why mask acne happens, how to prevent it, and what to do if it develops.

How can you avoid getting “maskne”?

Some people develop dry and cracked corners of the mouth, known as “Cheilitis.” The skin around the mouth can also become dry and red, which is known as “perioral dermatitis.” Hair follicles in the areas covered by the mask can also become infected. This condition is called “folliculitis.”

What causes Maskne?

Constantly rubbing the face mask on the skin will make the skin irritated and sensitive. When using masks, warm, moist air is trapped underneath our masks, making it an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. Also, too much humidity in the mask can cause our skin barrier to break down, leading to increased outbreaks of eczema and rosacea. Skin cells also cannot shed normally, leading to clogged pores.

All these factors caused by wearing face masks increase the chances of skin rashes.

How can we prevent Maskne?

If you can’t bypass wearing a mask, especially when you travel, here are some key prevention tips you can pursue to avoid maskne:

  • Always use clean face masks
  • Apply a gentle moisturizer to your face at night Face on
  • Do not use makeup under the mask.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly on your face.
  • Use a mild, mild soap to clean your face.

Who is at risk of contracting Maskne?

Although all people wearing face masks can develop maskne, certain people are at higher risk. This includes healthcare workers who wear face masks for long hours, people with pre-existing acne, and people with other skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.

How is Maskne treated?

Once maskne develops, an appropriate skincare routine should be developed to treat the condition. Wash your face regularly with mild cleansers. Apply moisturizers to dry areas of skin and use products containing benzoyl peroxide if you have breakouts. Avoid overusing facial scrubs and facial astringents as they can worsen skin dryness and because worsening skin irritation. Anti-inflammatory creams can also be used on inflamed areas of the skin. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using anti-inflammatory creams.

When to see the doctor?

Consult a doctor if you notice:

  • Acne or rash persisting despite proper skincare
  • Signs of infection such as pain, fever, and pus formation
  • If you have any concerns about Maskne it is best to consult your GP or dermatologist for proper assessment and advice.

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