Headed out for caffeine? Don’t forget your coughy filter! Wear a mask, they say. But with great responsibility, comes maskne hostility. Skin irritation has gone mainstream because of the pandemic. Alleviate your vexation with our dermatologist-approved advice.
Acne mechanica or maskne, is a skin breakout caused by follicle irritation due to its friction with fabric. The American Academy of Dermatology’s task force has officially addressed maskne as a woe since masking became the new norm.
Who Gets It?
All hail our healthcare and frontline warriors! Albeit, long hours of tight-fitting PPE make them the most susceptible victims of maskne. But with summer’s scorching humidity, maskne has now extended its tyranny to common street masketeers.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Glad tidings from the realm of dermatology! Obviate maskne with the below measures:
Pick the Right Mask
Don’t abandon the maskarade, just pick the right one! Dr. Candice Heath quips that it’s like choosing underwear. Full cotton allows the skin to breathe. Hence it’s the recommended choice that balances thickness with protection. Wash masks regularly, lest you unhygienically subject your skin to oil, sweat, and dirt.
Streamline Skincare Routine
Choose non-soap and fragrance-free products. Dr. Hollmig recommends mild moisturizers like Eucerin and CeraVe as they double as a chafing cream. Masks tend to intensify skincare delivery, so do practice skincare minimalism. Products with retinol should only be used at night when masks are off. But if you insist, a sandwich application of retinol between layers of moisturizer can dilute its potency.
Give your skin a breather! But if you can’t live without makeup, Dr. Heath endorses the application of tinted sun cream with cosmetics. Replace soaps with micellar water or gentle cleansers to prevent skin drying and excess sebum.
Salvation to the Rescue
Too late for prevention? Calm your skin piques with these solutions:
Avoid benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as they can intensify inflammation. If you however insist, use a 2.5% or 5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide at night. In comparison, pimple patches are a better alternative as they double as protection against rubbing. Topical glycolic acids are also recommended for maskne related blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
Control Diet & Lifestyle
Stress and unhealthy diets are catalysts for outbreaks. Avoid high-glycemic and dairy foods and allocate yourself some time for respite.
Seek a Specialist
See a dermatologist if things persist. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor might prescribe stronger treatments such as topical antibiotics and hydrocortisone.
On top of these, doeth continue your sunscreen rituals religiously. Either way, kudos for masking up!