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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Acne Caused by Face Masks (Maskne)?

Posted By: Lic. Silvia Derasner | May 9th, 2022 | Blog


From the numerous lockdowns to the social isolation, stress, and fear that the pandemic has bought on, it’s safe to say that the past two years have been tough for everyone. While many COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted globally, there is still a need to wear a mask in certain situations.


Masks are great at preventing the spread of the virus, but they can wreak havoc on our faces. One small but significant issue people have had to cope with during the course of the pandemic has been “maskne”.


Below, we discuss some ways you can prevent maskne and how you can treat it.


What Is Maskne?


Maskne is a skin condition that develops from the use of cloth and disposable masks. This has long been an issue in countries where mask-wearing is a common sight due to high pollution and close-quarter populations.


Medical professionals have also experienced this condition for years. The term “maskne” has become a recent talking point due to the extended use and tighter fitting masks healthcare and emergency personal have had to wear during the pandemic.


Maskne entails a variety of conditions including acne, rosacea, atopic and seborrheic eczema, folliculitis, urticaria, and irritant contact dermatitis. The warm environment on the face caused by wearing a mask often causes redness, irritation, and bumps to develop.


How Does Wearing a Mask Cause Acne?


With a proper fitted mask, our covered skin is susceptible to a moist hot micro-environment, especially with sweating, breathing, talking, and coughing under the mask. The air temperature can increase the risk for irritation as humidity rises.


Wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time can cause bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to build up and block our pores. The sebum oil and sweat become trapped in the pores, causing irritation.


The mask itself can also harm the skin’s surface from constant tugging and rubbing, especially if a mask is worn for hours or if it is too tight. Studies have examined the effects of prolonged mask wearing and how acne and other skin conditions can develop.


What Areas Are Affected by Maskne?


Depending on your skin combination of natural microorganisms, maskne tends to appear on the cheeks and around the mouth. Acne, redness, and bumps can be seen along the jawline and around the ears from the rubbing of the mask and elastic strings.


Wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time can also cause irritation to develop on the bridge of the nose and the temple line. These areas are common for breakouts, particularly for people with acne-prone skin.


How to Prevent Maskne?


Mask use has become a norm in this new world, especially with the COVID-19 virus still spreading. Whether you are required to or choose to wear a mask to protect yourself, knowing how to prevent maskne is important.


Wash and Remove Your Masks from Time to Time


Whenever possible, take the time to remove your mask and allow your skin to have a break from the harmful micro-environment. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to remove any type of mask for 15 minutes for every four hours of wear.


If using a cloth mask, use a hypoallergic and fragrance-free laundry soap and hot water to wash the mask. Hang the mask to dry completely before use. Regular washing of the mask can help prevent maskne by eliminating dead skin cells, oils, and bacteria.


Wear the Right Fabric Mask


Maskne prevention begins with wearing cloth masks made of a tightly woven cotton. Materials such as rayon, silk, and nylon may cause skin irritations, resulting in maskne. For those with sensitive skin, choose an organic cotton material to protect the skin.


Ditch the Make-Up and Harsh Skin Products


Makeup can add to the risk of clogged pores, resulting in skin irritation. If makeup is to be worn, use one designated as noncomedogenic to protect the skin’s pores.


Protect the face and neck with use of lotions or aftershave with ingredients for sensitive skin. If using a face mask regularly, avoid trying new skin products such as exfoliants and peels.


Wash and Moisturize


Proper skincare for maskne includes washing the face, neck, and ears twice a day with a medicated cleanser. Gentle cleansers should contain glycolic acid and salicylic acid to remove oil and debris from pores.


Use fragrance-free moisturizers to protect the skin after each wash. Choose a facial moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, or ceramides for extra protection.


Effective Maskne Treatments


If your skin is prone to relatable breakouts, there are two key maskne remedies to help clear your face, ears, and neck. While these treatments may be available on the market, to ensure your skin is protected, see a professional skincare specialist.


Chemical Peel


As a non-invasive maskne treatment, a chemical peel is a painless procedure that removes damaged skin cells. Depending on the severity of the skin irritation, the chemical peel may be used across three levels.


The superficial peel is a light peel used to penetrate the outer layer of the skin surface with a gentle exfoliate such as alpha-hydroxy. A medium peel uses trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to remove the next skin layer. A deep peel sees infiltration of the middle layer of skin using phenol or trichloroacetic acid.


Carbon Laser Peel


Another effective maskne treatment is a carbon-based peel with laser application. Known as the Hollywood Spectra Peel, a laser spectra peel is comparable to having four separate chemical peels within one sitting.


This procedure helps with any form of maskne as the three-part treatment safely removes the outermost layer of skin as well as improves elasticity and skin tone. A carbon laser peel is a painless treatment with no downtime or medication required.


Consult with a Skincare Specialist at the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic


If you have been suffering with symptoms of maskne, contact the skincare specialists at the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic. Our highly trained staff provide a welcoming judgment-free environment to treat any skin condition, including maskne.


Using highly advanced technology, we offer a range of non-invasive skin treatments with excellent customer service and satisfaction. See how we can tailor our services to your individual needs. Book a consultation with one of our knowledgeable skincare specialists in Toronto today!


With an MBA in computer science, Silvia started out in the IT field with proven success working on strategic initiatives with executive leaders to align an organization’s culture, capabilities, and structure, with business strategies. This career has lead her to a business path founding the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic in 2012. Silvia now holds a diploma in medical esthetics with interests in anti-aging skincare, evening out skin tone and texture, scalp hair regrowth, body contouring and laser hair removal treatments. Silvia believes in the importance of building open, trusting relationships with her clients and prides herself on excellent customer service. Whether it’s developing the business or awarding her clients with significant results, Silvia is committed to offering only the best. Silvia is the finance director and a medical esthetician at Anti Aging Toronto Clinic. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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