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Updated: Aug 27, 2023

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are being lifted and life is slowly returning to a sense of normalcy. However, in the healthcare sector, the use of face masks continues to be a crucial element in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Healthcare workers have been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, and even as cases decline, they continue to take precautions to protect themselves and their patients. The use of face masks has become a routine practice in healthcare settings, and it is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

While wearing face mask daily would protect us from spreading and catching the virus from others, it triggers a rather uncomfortable irritation to our skin or create “Maskne”.

Maskne is a broader term for a number of skin conditions (acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis or folliculitis – hair follicles infection) that caused by consistent use of face mask.

women wearing face mask

The Causes of Maksne

The most common cause of Maskne is friction of the fabric against your skin also known as Acne Mechanica. The constant rubbing results in micro tears on the skin, which allows dirt and bacteria to enter and forming clogged pores. The oil, bacteria, dead skin cells and dirt is the perfect environment for inflamed pores, further contribute to acne.

Mask traps moisture from breathing, talking and fogged up your glasses. Increased in moisture could have negative impact on your skin barrier.

Additionally, if you have rosacea, wearing a mask may​ cause the condition to flare up, leads to redness and pimples.

Contact dermatitis could also occurs when you have allergy or sensitive to the mask’s material, resulting in red rash, itchiness and even skin’s blisters.

An infection to the hair follicles like folliculitis causes skin bumps that mimic an acne breakout, pain and itchiness.

If you have any of these skin conditions, you are more prone to develop maskne.

How to manage Maskne?

Tip#1: Choose the right face mask material

A lightweight fabric like cotton and silk masks are gentle on the skin which helps minimise the skin irritations. These types of fabric allow then skin to breathe and not collect much moisture underneath while still protect against the virus.

Try to remove the mask a few times in between 4 hours of wearing does allow the skin and yourself to breath, play it safe like when you are alone or if not alone remain social distancing to others while doing so.

Tip #2: Dispose/clean face mask after use

How to manage maskne?

If you are using the disposable mask, please dispose after each use.

If you are wearing a reusable fabric mask, washing and dry thoroughly daily is a must. Continue using the same mask every day without washing, exposes to bacteria, virus, dirt to collect on the mask, which in turn contribute to the acne breakouts.

Keeping several clean masks to interchange for different activities could help to reduce acne formation.

A fragrance-free detergent and skip the fabric softener makes your mask more tolerable to wear and wont interrupt your skin barrier.

Tip #3: Time to go for basic skincare routine click here for more details​

Use a gentle cleanser, gently cleanse the skin, removing dirt and impurities while maintaining hydration and soothes at the same time.

Apply moisturiser, keeps our skin hydrates and protect the skin moisture’s barrier, as a result minimise skin’s irritation.

Incorporate acne spot treatment to your routine, provides blemishes relief and prevent further maskne breakout from occurring.

Hopefully this would help you in one way or another with managing your Maskne.

There is no quick fix to any skin problem, the keys for managing Maskne are patience and consistency.

Also, to introduce one new product at a time to test out the effectiveness to your skin.


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