In an effort to slow the spread of Covid- 19 wearing a mask has become a part of our daily routine. However constantly wearing a mask can cause irritation of the skin, resulting in a condition known as Mask Induced Acne or “Maskne”.
What causes maskne?
When you breathe or talk, your mask traps in your exhaled breath. This warm, humid environment creates and ideal setting for bacteria to grow.
This bacterial imbalance and irritation caused by the friction of the mask can result in acne breakouts, rosacea flare ups, as well as perioral dermatitis.
The friction of the mask rubbing against the skin causes irritation on the skin leading to sensitivity and redness.
How to prevent maskne?
Make sure you wear a comfortable mask with a tight fit to limit the flow of air in or out of your mask. If you’re wearing a homemade mask make sure the mask has at least two layers of material. Using 100% cotton for the inner lining, reduces the risk for skin irritation.
Changing your mask regularly and washing it with fragrance-free detergent can help reduce irritation and potential flare ups.
How to control maskne?
When maskne develops the skins natural barrier function is impaired and needs restoration.
Wash you face twice daily with a gentle cleanser to remove all bacteria on the skin and to calm the skin.
Use a moisturiser that provides the skin with the necessary moisture but does not clog your pores and avoid products with high oil content.
Avoid wearing make-up with your mask as these products contain mineral oil that may clog your pores and increase your risk for developing maskne.
Having regular light chemical peeling treatments, will reduce dead skin cell build up, help balance skin oil secretions, and regulate the skin’s ph to prevent bacteria from multiplying.