If you are someone who likes to go out frequently, then staying at home in the midst of a raging pandemic is definitely not ideal for you. So, you turn to your trusted face masks, which have been recommended for daily wear to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter what type you use, whether a simple cloth mask or a more robust face mask, you may have realized that your skin is looking different. If you feel that you are getting bumps on your chin or that the skin of your nose is peeling, you are certainly not alone. Maskne is actually more common than you think. If you would like to know more about what it encompasses, its causes, treatment, and prevention strategies, do read on!
Maskne was coined as a portmanteau of two words namely, mask and acne. Acne refers to blackheads and pimples that develop on your skin due to clogged pores. Maskne is more than just acne, however, as it can refer to rosacea i.e., the redness and swelling of your skin. Some may experience common forms of eczema which result in dry or flaky patches of skin. The mask’s material itself may lead to contact dermatitis causing blistering skin. Some may experience bumps near the hairline that are itchy and painful while others may get rashes around the mouth. These are just some of the many skin conditions that fall under the umbrella of maskne.
It’s true that not everyone who wears a mask will develop maskne as each person’s skin is different and has a different sensitivity level. The common reason one can develop maskne is because the mask traps sweat and moisture close to the face. Moreover, the mask causes prolonged friction with your skin. This leads to redness and chafing of the skin which invariably becomes itchy. A more serious allergic reaction occurs when one is allergic to the material of the masks.
While it might be tempting to remove the source of the issue i.e., your mask, it’s still important to wear it for protection. You should always remember to practice the basic tenets of skincare to prevent breakouts. This includes washing and moisturizing. The former should be done with a fragrance-free facial cleanser and water that is not too hot. This removes the dirt, oil, and sweat that has been trapped in the skin. Moisturizing prevents the face from becoming dry as dry skin causes many of the maskne conditions. All you have to do is use a moisturizer that is ideal for your skin type and apply it after you have washed your face.
Prevention is always better than treatment and with some simple steps, you can minimize your chances of maskne. Washing your mask regularly is important and so is disposing of your single-use masks instead of reusing them. Taking off your mask (when it’s safe to do so) for brief intervals every couple of hours and wearing less makeup or avoiding it altogether can help prevent clogging of pores.