Face Coverings Leading to Rise in ‘Maskne’

By Tim Spears North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — Wearing a mask is the responsible thing to do during the pandemic. But it can be irritating. Literally. Many are now dealing with “maskne,” or acne caused by masks.

Speaking to Spectrum NEWS 1 – Charlotte Dermatologist Dr. Marc Darst is one of those who says he is seeing more patients dealing with skin problems because of face coverings.

“A lot more irritation. A lot more contact dermatitis,” Darst says. “We’re having people who never had acne in their life come in with that.”

However, that’s not to say folks shouldn’t wear face coverings.

Dr. Darst suggests using over-the-counter lotions or acne products after a day of being masked-up. Unless a specific type of face covering is required for work, most folks can try out different fabrics, or styles, to stop maskne.

Other tips for avoiding maskne include:

  • Change disposable masks several times each day and dispose of them instead of saving them for future use.
  • Keep several cloth face masks on hand and wash them after each use. Wash your cloth face masks with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
  • Use cotton fabrics if you choose to make your own masks.
  • Consider not wearing a face covering while exercising. If you cannot maintain a safe distance from others and must wear a face-covering during exercise, always wash your face covering after exercising.
  • Don’t wear a face covering if you’re alone or cohabitating with family or the same group of people.
  • Avoid wearing makeup when using a face covering. Makeup promotes clogged pores.

You can also take care of your skin by:

  • Cleaning your face twice a day with a fragrance- and perfume-free skin cleanser.
  • Pat your skin dry and avoid rubbing your face with a towel.
  • Apply a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores (often referred to as non-comedogenic) after cleansing. This will act as a barrier of protection between your skin and the mask.

If you continue to experience breakouts after following these recommendations, please contact your primary care doctor or a dermatologist.