“COVID 19 : Is Mask Acne a real thing ?” Know more about ‘maskne’ By Hayfa Julinar Abdul Kareem
Health professionals agree that wearing a mask is one of the healthiest and most responsible things we can do during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all accoutering a magnificent piece of armor in your face that fortifies us from airborne disease and which also helps in stopping respiratory droplets from folks infected with the disease from being spewed into the air
But with this necessary safety step, a new skin issue is, well, popping up: “maskne.” The name is pretty self-explanatory: acne caused by wearing a mask
What is MASKNE?
“Maskne” is an umbrella term for several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or covering. It can include:Acne.
- Acne happens when your pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and dirt. It can cause pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads.
- Rosacea. If you have rosacea, wearing a mask may cause flare-ups. This can lead to pimples and redness.
- Contact dermatitis occurs when you’re allergic or sensitive to the material of your mask. It can result in a red rash, along with irritation and blisters.
- Folliculitis, or an infection of your hair follicles, causes bumps that look like an acne breakout. You might also experience itchiness or pain.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Exact cause of your symptoms may vary.
⦁ In most cases, maskne is the result of clogged pores. You already have oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin. But when you wear a mask, these substances can build up more and block your pores.
⦁ A mask also traps humidity due to your breathing and sweating, which may increase the risk of acne.
⦁ May be sensitive or allergic to the material of your face covering. Some masks are pretreated with chemicals or feel rough on the skin. Similarly, wearing a mask that’s been washed in a scented detergent may cause irritation
HOW TO TREAT MASKNE?
⦁ Wash your face regularly, especially after sweating or wearing a mask.
⦁ During the pandemic, continue following your regular skin care routine to keep your skin healthy
⦁ When washing your face, use lukewarm water. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your skin as this may cause irritation
⦁ Use a gentle cleanser
⦁ Apply cortisone cream and moisturizer with ceramides
If your maskne mostly involves irritation and raw skin, you may want to apply a mild cortisone cream to the area together with a moisturizer that contains ceramides. This can help protect your skin and relieve itching and irritation.
⦁ Take a break from makeup
Skip the makeup while you’re treating maskne. Beauty products such as foundation, concealer, and blush can clog your pores and prolong healing.
HOW TO AVOID IT?
⦁ Remove your mask every 4 hours
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends removing your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours. This will help give your skin a break.
You should remove your face mask only when you can practice physical distancing with people who aren’t in your household. It’s also important to wash your hands before taking a mask break.
⦁ Apply moisturizer before wearing a mask
If your skin tends to be dry, a mask may cause irritation. Applying a noncomedogenic moisturizer can help hydrate your skin. A moisturizer can also serve as a barrier between your skin and the mask
⦁ Choose the right mask
To avoid skin issues, be mindful of the type of mask you wear.
Try to wear a face mask that:
⦁ fits apt, but not too tight
⦁ has two or more layers of fabric
⦁ is made of natural, soft fabric (like cotton)
Avoid masks made of synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or rayon. These materials can irritate the skin.
⦁Wash your face after wearing a mask
Once you’re back at home, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Follow with a moisturizer to protect your skin. Washing your face is especially important after sweating while wearing a mask.
⦁ Exfoliate,use mild cleanser and Apply an acne-fighting agent.
Depending on the type of acne you have, the AAD recommends the following:
⦁ Comedonal acne (blackheads and similar bumps). Look for products that contain retinoids like adapalene gel (Differin).
⦁ Mild acne. Topical ⦁ benzoyl peroxide can help fight mild acne, either on its own or together with a topical retinoid.
⦁ Inflammatory acne. Topical dapsone 5 percent gel is recommended, particularly in adult females.
⦁ Acne with scarring. Azelaic acid preparations can help reduce acne and the risks of acne scarring.
If you want to simultaneously target different types of acne, the AAD recommends using a combination of benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, or adapalene gel.
Using these treatments together may dry out your skin, so be sure to use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
If your maskne is more severe, or if it still persists after trying these recommendations, be sure to follow up with your dermatologist or healthcare provider.
By Hayfa Julinar Abdul Kareem