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How to manage Skincare underneath the Mask?

Coronavirus has infected millions of people who have experienced mild to moderate respiratory illness and need proper treatment to recover. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the precautionary measures. Masks are an effective tool in preventing a healthy person from coming into contact with an infected person. Face masks act as a barrier that helps in preventing the respiratory droplets from traveling from the air and into the other person. COVID-19 easily spreads among people who are in close contact with one another. So, wearing a mask has become the need of the hour. However, it has given rise to complaints of 'MASKNE'!

A face mask is supposed to cover the nose and mouth completely. So, it surrounds the area which leads to the formation of acne because of friction. Face masks have become an important part of our lives. Many people are suffering from skin problems due to prolonged use of masks. The common skin concerns related to this include acne, pimples, blackheads, rashes, etc. In this blog, Dr. Nivedita Dadu (dermatologist in Delhi) talks about effective skincare routine for maskne i.e. acne caused by mask on the chin.

Maskne refers to the eruptions that occur because of the continuous wearing of face masks. People who are prone to acne, atopic dermatitis, or eczema are the ones who are facing major breakouts as they wear masks. This is because wearing masks increases a moisture-rich environment for bacteria and organisms to proliferate. Thus, aggravating the skin problems.

If you also have been experiencing these skin issues, follow these instructions:

  • One must choose a mask with the right fabric i.e. non-woven and nicely ventilated. The mask should not be worn for more than a few hours at a time. One must also avoid touching and adjusting the face mask again and again. Only cloth-based masks must be washed and exposed to sunlight; for reuse. Also, do rinse the mask properly because any residue detergent can also cause irritation on the skin.

  • One must wash the skin well and then apply a light moisturizer to the skin. Avoid using any greasy ointments and creams because it can badly affect the skin underneath a tight-fitting mask.

  • One must apply a light mineral-based sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. Chemical sunscreen must be avoided as it can wear down the integrity of the mask.

  • The tightness of the mask must be adjusted as such that it does not cause bruising on the skin.

  • One must avoid wearing makeup or foundation under the mask as it can cause the skin to break out.

  • Those who wear glasses usually complain of fogging so one must use paper tape to tape the mask across the bridges of the nose and also on the cheeks to prevent fogging. This tape is least likely to pull or damage the skin when the mask is removed.

  • One must wash the skin before wearing the mask and even after removing it. Always use a light moisturizer after washing the face with a gentle cleanser.

  • Proper hygiene must be followed like an individual must wash his/her hands with soap and water before removing the mask.

  • An individual can also try to minimize the pressure on the skin by creating a barrier between the skin and mask which can mitigate some irritation. After the basic step of moisturizer, one must spread a silicone-based skin protectant wherever the rashes of masks are.

Home remedies in treating maskne must be avoided. Consulting a dermatologist is highly recommended in treating acne which is caused due to friction of mask. This friction causes inflammation and irritation to clogged pores. It is the same type of acne which is mostly observed in football players. This skin concern is more common in nurses and healthcare professionals who wear tighter fitting masks for longer durations.

Stay healthy! Stay Beautiful!