AUSTIN, Texas — Now that we are required to wear masks inside of all businesses or anywhere we can't be at least six feet away from each other, taking care of your skin is crucial.
Wearing a mask is important to slow the spread of COVID-19, but it also comes with a consequence, which people on social media have dubbed "maskne."
"Maskne" is breakouts that occur after wearing a mask.
Dr. Adam Mamelak, dermatologist and owner of Sanova Dermatology, said they have seen a big increase in patients affected by "maskne."
"I will tell you, as a dermatologist, we are getting more complaints in our clinic about blemishes, acne breakouts, irritation, especially from wearing masks," Mamelak said.
Dr. Mamelak explained there are multiple ways a mask can cause acne.
"They trap the humidity and the oils against their skin that can lead to breakouts," said Mamelak. "The mask material themselves can actually cause irritation that can also predispose us to breakouts as well."
"Finally, there is a phenomenon in dermatology known as acne mechanica, which is acne that you get from rubbing," he added.
Lucky for us, Dr. Mamelak said there are seven ways to prevent "maskne."
- Don't wear a mask when you are alone. This will give your skin a chance to breathe.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser at least three times a day. This is if you are wearing a mask often.
- Moisturize. This is to hydrate your skin and reduce skin irritation and breakouts.
- Lay off heavy foundation. It can further trap bacteria in your skin.
- Wash your mask regularly or switch them out. It can trap oil, humidity, sweat and dirt. That mixed with moisture from your breathe is not good.
- Choose material that won't irritate your skin. Find a mask with a nice lining, cotton or silk are great choices.
- Find stress relievers. Acne is also caused by stress and considering we are in the middle of a pandemic, things can get tough. So, whether if it's working out or meditating, find ways to relax.
If you are really suffering from "maskne," Dr. Mamelak suggested using a mask with filters and respirators which allows moisture and humidity to have an escape.
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