Wearing masks have been part of our daily lives since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health experts around the world have been recommending the wearing of face masks to slow the transmission of COVID-19. And while this may have helped in slowing down the spread and also in keeping us safe from the virus, long periods of regular masks wearing can take quite a toll on your skin, resulting in conditions that people may refer to as “Maskne” –a common skin problem faced by many in this new normal. If you want to know more about Maskne, read on as we explore all there is to know on this intriguing topic!
What is ‘Maskne’ and what causes it?
The new normal requires us to wear masks on a regular basis –in public, workplace, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. And while this “new normal” measure is essential in keeping us safe and reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus, many of us are uncovering a new problem at the same time, which is known as Maskne. If you haven’t already known, ‘Maskne’ is an umbrella term for several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or covering. The most common problem include acne breakouts, which is also where it gets its name from –“Mask-related Acne.”
However, beyond acne breakouts, it also includes several skin conditions like flare-ups, bumpiness, pimples, blistering, itchiness, rosacea, redness of the skin, contact dermatitis, folliculitis and more. Nevertheless, if you happen to already have one of these conditions, you may be more prone to developing Maskne.
It is a known fact that the wearing of protective face masks can cause an uncomfortably humid and occlusive environment inside the mask. It is when this humid moisture and sweat that are trapped inside the mask gets combined with the constant rubbing of the mask against the skin that causes acne breakouts or skin rashes or irritation. In such situations, the pores get clogged from all the buildup of oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that are a result of mask-wearing. This causes the skin to break out or even aggravate existing acne in that matter. Moreover, the friction from the mask can also cause chafing, flaking, redness, and peeling skin. One is also prone to Maskne conditions like skin irritation or an allergic outbreak if they are allergic to the fabric material of the mask. Likewise, skin irritation or allergic reaction may also arise from using scented detergent to wash the mask.
However, it is also important to know that since Maskne involves various skin conditions, the exact cause of your symptoms may vary.
Keeping our nose and mouth covered by wearing a face mask is the need of the hour in this pandemic. And that means risking the chances of having Maskne under your mask. But it is not all bad as there are several easy and simple ways you can treat Maskne and its symptoms, or prevent it altogether! And this includes:
1. Washing your face regularly
Once in the morning, once at night, and especially after wearing a mask. Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser to help remove any excess oil, sweat or bacteria that may have build up on your skin. If your skin is acne-prone or you are dealing with severe Maskne, go for medicated cleanse with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in it. Lastly, pat dry your face using a clean towel and avoid rubbing as it may lead to skin irritation.
2. Use a blockage-free moisturizer
Dry skin is one of the common symptoms of Maskne. Applying moisturizer before wearing a mask can add a protective layer to the skin and keeps the skin well-hydrated and healthy. Make sure to use products that are non-comedogenic to avoid pores blockage. You can also go for a moisturizer with Ceramides, Dimethicone or Hyaluronic acid in it.
3. Avoid trying new Skincare products
Wearing a mask for long periods of time can make your skin sensitive. Hence, trying new skincare products is not a good idea as it can irritate your skin, resulting in Maskne. Avoid trying harsh products like an exfoliant, chemical peel or retinoid as they can make your skin react to the worse.
4. Skip the makeup
Makeup, in general, can clog up the pores but it is even more likely to double up under a mask, which can lead to breakouts. Take a break from makeup from time to time, especially with foundation and concealer as they can clog your pores and prolong healing.
5. Avoid using disposable masks for too long
Disposable masks are called ‘disposable’ for a reason. Avoid using not more than two times as they can collect all sorts of dirts and germs that may cause your skin to break out or flare up. Make sure to keep several face masks with you at all times in case you need a fresh one on the go.
6. Wash your cloth masks after every use
Just as it is with disposable masks, cloth masks can also collect dirt, sweat and germs on them. Make sure to wash them after every use, preferably with an unscented laundry detergent to avoid causing any skin irritation or allergic reaction.
7. Choose the right mask
Choosing or wearing the right mask is the first step to managing or preventing Maskne and its symptoms. From the size to its fabric types, the masks you wear can play a great role. Opt for masks that fit snuggly but not too tight and ones that are doubled or more in layers with natural, soft fabric to avoid any skin issues.
8. Try skin-healthy natural supplements
Skin issues like acne, redness, dryness, flare-ups, etc can also be a result of factors beyond the wearing of masks. It is best to get to the root cause of the problem to effectively deal with such issues. Oxyrich Juice & Capsules from Preserva Wellness is the perfect fit for this. It contains all the richness of potent Ayurvedic ingredients, uniquely formulated to help purify the blood, nourish the body from within and ultimately improve skin health naturally! It is ideal for treating skin issues like acne, blemishes, dullness, rosacea, psoriasis and also in reducing fine lines and wrinkles!
Maskne or mask-related acne is the last thing anyone wants to experience in times like this. But it is, unfortunately, what comes with donning a mask to keep ourselves and others safe from the novel coronavirus. It can be frustrating but that doesn’t mean it is unavoidable. Following the above-given steps like regular face-washing, using the right products, and wearing the right type of mask can be of great help with issues like Maskne. That being said, make sure to consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider if your Maskne is more severe or if it persists after trying these recommendations.
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