MASKNE IS REAL
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
The new normal requires us to wear masks regularly, and for longer periods of time in some cases. While we’re covering up our mouths and noses to stop the spread of COVID-19, some of us are uncovering a new problem — maskne (mask-nee), or mask-related acne.
While maskne might be new to many of us, it has always been an issue in professions where you have to wear a mask regularly. Below we will discuss tips and tricks to aid and prevent maskne.
Source: Cleveland Clinic
While maskne can be aggravating, ditching your mask is not an option
The science behind maskne
When you breathe or talk, your mask tends to trap in a lot of hot air. Besides being annoying, this air creates a warm, humid environment — an ideal setting for yeast, bacteria and other flora, such as demodex (types of skin mites that naturally live on our skin) to grow.
Dr. Amy Kassouf, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that these bacterial imbalances and friction from your mask can promote acne and rosacea flare-ups, and other dermatological conditions; this is when fine pimples and pustules appear around the nose and mouth.
Maskne is not an imaginary condition
How to treat maskne
According to Dr. Kassouf "a good foaming cleanser will help keep your skin clean and calm". If your skin is more acne-prone, she recommends looking for something with salicylic acid.
Occasionally washing your face with a dandruff shampoo that has ketoconazole or selenium sulfide in it can also be calming for the skin and help remove excess yeast buildup – especially around the nose and mouth.
It’s common for people to treat their maskne with products that contain benzoyl peroxide. If you go this route, just be aware that benzoyl peroxide may bleach or stain the fabric of your mask.
If you are prone to getting cold sores, Dr. Kassouf offers this advice: "The stress of the pandemic as well as the local irritation from your mask may make cold sores more likely. If they pop up, there are oral as well as topical treatments available by prescription or over the counter that can shorten the duration or even prevent them.”
Article: Cleveland Clinic