Mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in skin issues for many people. Acne mechanica, commonly referred to in the present day as “maskne”, is a condition caused by the prolonged wearing of facial personal protective equipment. For people working in the medical field and in other fields that commonly require wearing personal protective equipment, maskne is a common nuisance. For the rest of us, maskne is an annoyance that has emerged only recently. If you’re suffering from maskne, a licensed esthetician can help you find solutions.
How does “maskne” happen?
When we breathe or speak while wearing a mask, the warm vapor that we generate gets trapped beneath the mask with nowhere to go. Over time, these trapped vapors mix with sweat to become a stew of humidity and bacteria. Unlike more common forms of acne that are often caused by hormonal factors, friction is one of the main causes of maskne. The moist stew of bacteria coupled with friction caused by a mask rubbing against the skin will often cause irritation and maskne flare ups. Facial hair can make matters even worse by further accelerating breakouts. A skilled esthetician can help guide you to treatment options that will help you keep maskne at bay.
Basic tips for fighting maskne:
Wash your face and your mask! It’s recommended that you wash your face at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Washing your face will give you a clean skin surface and free your skin of dirt, bacteria, and sweat that will try to accumulate and clog your pores. Mask washing recommendations vary depending on the type of mask you wear. The CDC has recommendations for mask washing.
Don’t touch your face when your hands are dirty! Especially avoid touching areas around your nose, eyes or mouth. Not only does touching your face with unwashed hands put you at risk for communicable diseases according to the CDC, it can also transfer debris and bacteria to your skin that can lead to clogged pores and acne.
In today’s world, we have plenty of problems to keep our minds occupied. Maskne doesn’t have to be one of them. An esthetician will give you access to treatments, like facials, and to products that can help you keep your skin clean, healthy and radiant.
Written by Lance Montgomery
Powered by Megaphone Pro Solutions