What is Maskne?

Fun fact... we have yet another thing to thank Covid-19 for, and that is the outbreak of what is being called "maskne". What is maskne (aka mascne or mask acne)? It is an outbreak of facial acne that occurs on the areas of your face that are covered by a mask. Maskne — the most common kind of which is acne mechanica, a.k.a. the type of acne a football player may get where the helmet rubs. Especially if you are engaging in public activities or working outside your home you have to wear a mask for many hours at a time, and while it's necessary, it can cause skin issues you wouldn't normally experience. 

Why does this happen even if you typically have clear skin? Wearing a face covering to prevent saliva, breath, coughing, and sneezing from getting into the air and spreading Covid-19 is a good thing. Unfortunately that moisture, sweat and germs are being trapped inside your mask causing bacteria to flourish which can result in break-outs. 

What can you do to deter maskne?

  • Wash your masks frequently in mild detergent, dry thoroughly before wearing. Change out disposable masks at least daily.
  • Mildly exfoliating your face can help to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores causing break outs.
  • Avoid wearing makeup on the areas covered while you're wearing a mask.
  • Keep your skin clean, but don't over do it. You could cause your skin to produce excess oils. Over-washing your face dries it out, tricking it into thinking it needs to produce more oil, which can give you more of the acne you’re trying to avoid
  • Hydrate your skin with a noncomedogenic hydrating moisturizer, fragrance free is best.
  • If you're not getting results from OTC treatments, see a dermatologist to help get things under control.

Hopefully this will all be over, or at least under control in the near future with the vaccines becoming available. For the time being: wear your mask, wash your hands and stay home when possible. 

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