Mask-ne is acne breakouts as a result of our new norm, mask wearing. They can be in the form of comedones, whiteheads, blackheads, pimples.
Who gets maskne?
In my clinical experience, I notice mask-ne tends to affect teens and young adults more, and those with a propensity for adult onset acne. It exacerbates your acne breakouts.
What can we do to prevent maskne?
Yes, this is a good question. Prevention is key. Given mask wearing is here to stay. So much so, we are starting to see a trend in designer masks. Woohoo… I myself own >10 diff masks, LOL. Masks are the new fashion accessory on the runways of Paris… ok I digress.
What are my top 3 tips to prevent maskne?
- Avoid makeup. If needed, use only products labeled “non-comedogenic” ones.
2. Wear the right fit. If you have a small face, dont wear a big mask just to create a fashion statement. The only statement you will get is angry red bumps.
Personally, I used to get sore ears with those elastic types, and that gives me a motherland headache.I did some research into the fabrics, and at one time, even explored setting up a unique fashion mask startup. But I am still here while the startup is not.
Wearing a mask that offers a good fit, but comfortable, helps to protect you and others from the coronavirus. You want a snug fit across your nose, on the sides, and under your chin.
The fabric is key. I love cotton masks, they arguably the most comfortable. Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, and rayon on the the layer that rests against your skin. As synthetic fabrics tend to me more irritating to our skin.
3. Go mask-free for 5min every 3 hours. Of course, only remove your mask when it’s safe to do so and after washing your hands.
How treat mask-ne?
Treatment is multifactorial. In my clinical experience, 1 in 10 patients have had mask-ne since the start of covid.
- Lifestyle changes to prevent breakouts is key
- Treatment involves medical grade retin A creams +/- topical antibiotics. In my practice, I commonly use differin. Do note this product is irritating so start low, go slow.
- Special measures include: extraction, medical peels and facial lasers