Maskne and How To Deal With It

Conveniently located to serve Pensacola, FL.

Front desk photo of Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery office

As coronavirus continues to impact us in our daily lives, an unpleasant side effect is popping up all over the nation: Maskne (Mask Acne). While wearing a mask is vital in preventing COVID19, mask-wearing can cause skin conditions like acne and rosacea to flare-up. Contact dermatitis can occur when you are allergic or sensitive to your mask’s material, resulting in a red rash with irritation and even blisters. Folliculitis is the infection of your hair follicles which causes bumps that are itchy and painful. If you haven’t sensed it all ready, all these conditions have to deal with clogged pores. Oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells can build up under the mask block pores. Another cause is the friction from masks, which can lead to chafing or irritation. 

Healthcare and other front-line workers are most at risk because their masks are tighter-fitting, and they are wearing them longer. A research letter published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that at least 83 percent of health care workers in Hubei, China, suffered skin problems on the face. And anecdotally, doctors report an increase in acne flare-ups in people outside of healthcare as well. (NY Times –

Luckily, we have some solutions to help reduce Maskne. It is essential to wash your face in the morning and before going to bed, and after sweating or wearing a mask for an extended time. Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess sweat, oil, and bacteria. There are many opinions about wearing makeup under your mask, but most of them seem to agree that a light layer of makeup or no makeup is best. This allows your skin to breathe more. Be sure to wash your fabric masks (if you wear one) after every use. If you wear a disposable mask, make sure to dispose of it after each use. Also, another significant cause of Maskne is incorrect fitting masks. Make sure your mask isn’t too loose and isn’t too tight. If it is too tight, then irritation will occur everywhere that your skin and the mask are making contact. If the mask is too loose, it loses its effectiveness, along with irritating your face. Your mask is always moving if it is oversized, and you will touch your face more often, which spreads more bacteria and germs. 

Getting a facial often can also drastically reduce Maskne. A facial will help cleanse your pores while reducing stress. We offer many different facials for different skin types, including teenage facials, but the Hydrafacial is best for clearing and cleaning the pores while also hydrating the skin.

The last thing you can also do is reduce your stress and improve your diet. It’s no secret that stress and diet play a huge role in skincare, so make sure you are relaxing at some point during the day and let your skin breathe, mask-free. 

Eating antioxidant-rich foods such as yellow and orange fruits and veggies, spinach and other leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, beans, peas, lentils, fatty fish like salmon and nuts are great not only for your skin health but for your overall health as well. 

You can schedule monthly facials and save with the Skin Care Center’s membership program. Schedule a free consultation with one of our skincare experts at The Skin Care Center at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery to learn more about our memberships and facials. With these tips, you can take control of your skin and skincare routine and reduce or even eliminate Maskne.   

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