How To Avoid Face Mask Skin Issues, According To Derms

skin issues


This article originally appeared in the September 29th, 2020 edition of  **

Written by Sharon Feiereisen, Photography by Willie B. Thomas/DigitalVision/Getty

       Look: No one likes maskne. Unfortunately, face masks are something of a necessity these days. Usually, when skin is acting up, the best course of action starts with eliminating the cause of irritation… but in COVID-19 times that’s not always realistic.

“Due to the current regulations in place, people are wearing masks and other protective face shields to help stunt the COVID-19 spread and, although it may seem trivial, some people are experiencing breakouts due to prolonged mask wearing,” says dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics, Dr. Marie Hayag. “These people are experiencing acne mechanica, a skin condition brought by prolonged wear of personal protective equipment. Not only are people experiencing clogged pores, acne and cysts, some people are reporting rashes and itching as well.”

Dr. Hayag goes on to explain that since masks create heat, friction and occlusion to the skin (because a moist environment is created from talking and sweating), breakouts and rashes are inevitable for some. “People with rashes may also be experiencing rosacea, which typically flares with heat and friction.”

Change your mask

You’ll also want to try to be cognizant of the times of the day you’re outside. “I recommend avoiding going outside during the hotter times of the day and using one mask per day; every time you use a mask it absorbs bacteria from your mouth, sweat and oil like a sponge so it’s important to wash you mask between uses,” says Dr. Hayag.

Marie V. Hayag, M.D.
Fifth Avenue Aesthetics
875 Fifth Avenue