Wearing a mask as a form of personal protective equipment may help to prevent spreading germs. However, if you need to wear a mask all day, it may cause a number of skin problems. The term maskne was developed to describe a skin condition that some people experience while wearing facial coverings like cloth, N95, or surgical masks. Read on to learn more about maskne, how it happens, and what you can do to prevent and treat it.
What is Maskne?
Maskne is a term for acne that develops as a result of wearing a mask. The term combines the words mask and acne to create this new buzzword. Even if you don't work in healthcare or wear a mask all day, you may be prone to maskne, especially if you already have oily skin. Maskne typically forms around the mouth and chin areas, which is where most types of masks typically cover your face. However, face shields can also cause people to develop maskne on other areas of the face like the cheeks and forehead.
Why is My Mask Giving Me Acne?
Your skin needs to breathe to prevent acne, and a mask can make this difficult. The material from a mask can prevent the circulation of air from flowing, and it can contribute to an environment where bacteria may grow. When your skin comes into contact with bacteria, it can cause acne to form. Wearing foundation
or other forms of makeup on your face can clog your pores, and this can make clogged pores worse if the skin can't breathe properly. You also may sweat more when you wear a mask, which can clog your pores and make acne flare-ups worse. A combination of oil, sweat, bacteria, and makeup can create a breeding ground for acne to develop and flourish.
How to Prevent Breakouts While Wearing a Mask?
If you have to wear a mask to do your job, there's no reason to panic. Thankfully, you can prevent maskne breakouts with a few simple adjustments to your routine. First, wash your face using a fragrance-free and oil free cleanser before you wear a mask. This can help to remove dirt and oil before the mask comes into contact with your skin. Apply an oil-free moisturizer
to act as a barrier between the mask and your face which can reduce friction that can cause acne to get worse. Try not to wear face makeup under your mask, since this will only increase the odds of a maskne breakout. Always wash your mask after each use with fragrance-free detergent
and never reuse a disposable mask once you're done wearing it for the day.
How Do You Treat Maskne?
You can treat maskne just as you would "normal" acne. Use a high-quality acne face wash
twice a day, and try to use skin care products that are listed as non-comedogenic. Do not apply treatments that stay on your skin all day while wearing a mask. Instead, apply these products when you get home after you wash your face so your skin can breathe. Apply a good moisturizer to your face before wearing a mask and cleanse the skin when you take the mask off. If your maskne gets worse or you notice redness or puss, it's best to contact your doctor or visit a dermatologist for treatment recommendations and care.