Mask Acne, Or 'Maskne,' Is A Pandemic Curse That You And Your Skin Can Beat

Have you been washing and storing your masks correctly to prevent acne?

Maskne. Yes, it’s a real thingunfortunately.

If you’ve been experiencing weird flare ups of acne and skin irritation over the last couple of months, it likely isn’t just a symptom of pandemic-induced stress. Maskne — known medically as “acne mechanica,” a skin condition caused by prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment — is happening to a lot of us. So if you’re experiencing some extra skin troubles lately, you aren’t alone.

“Masks impose heat, friction and occlusion on the skin and when combined with a moist environment from breathing, talking or sweating, this is a recipe for breakouts,” Dr. Henry Dao, a dermatologist for Loma Linda University Health, said. “Pores get clogged and can become pimples or acne cysts. On top of that, the prolonged occlusion, heat and sweat can cause the skin to become dry, itchy and raw.”

In fact, a research letter published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology said at least 83 per cent of health-care workers in Hubei, China experienced skin problems on their faces, presumably from this exact phenomenon.

Wearing a mask is a necessary step to stop the spread of COVID-19. But there are ways to do that while still caring for your skin and preventing it from spiralling out of control.

Watch the video above to see how you can store your masks hygienically, how you should be washing them and how to prevent maskne from getting the best of you.

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