Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
We are all on a mission to slow the spread of COVID-19 and wearing masks has become part of our daily routine. Furthermore, President Biden in his inaugural address had asked Americans to give the masks “100 days” to help to create the needed barrier against the increasing spread of coronavirus cases. It is important to note that Covid-19 spreads through respiratory droplets.
So masks are here to stay for a while. Unfortunately, even masks are an important weapon against getting sick with Covid -19 and also a common cold, they also cause a side effect -a condition known as “maskne” (mask acne). Maskne doesn’t simply cause pimples but may also result in skin redness, bumpiness, and irritation. In fact, “maskne” is an umbrella term covering several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a face mask or any other home -made or commercial face covering.
For those who already have acne prone skin- wearing masks may exacerbate their condition and increase the severity and duration of all different types of acne including: hormonal acne, adult acne and teen acne, as well as chronic acne and Rosacea.
In most situations, maskne, like other acne is the result of clogged pores. You already have sebum, (skin oil), dirt, dead skin cells and of course bacteria on your skin; when you wear a mask due to extra humidity (your breath), heat and abrasion, your pores become clogged faster and easier, commencing what is called the acne cascade. Friction that is often a result of mask wearing, can additionally lead to chafing, irritation and inflammation. Finally, some masks may even cause allergic reaction to the material they are made, additional sweat and lack of a fresh air cooling and oxygenating the skin.