Skin problems, am I right? There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up in the morning, glancing in the mirror and spotting a new breakout. In the current times, there seem to be more and more of these annoying outbreaks, and it's directly related to wearing a mask.
Now, we can’t stop wearing masks at the moment, so let’s break down this new annoyance and look at how we can stop the spots!
What is maskne?
This is a general term for all skin conditions that are aggravated by the regular use of a mask. These skin conditions include:
- Contact dermatitis
If you’re a regular sufferer of these conditions, you’re unfortunately more likely to suffer from increased breakouts while wearing a mask during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Why does it happen?
- Material and use: Your skin might react badly to the mask material, causing it to become irritated. Alternatively, you could be wearing the mask for a long period of time each day, and the friction of it moving against your face can cause irritation. This might also be related to the type of material your mask is made of, especially if it’s coarse fabric.
- Humidity and sweat: The consistent use of masks can cause your face to sweat and become very moist. This, combined with the fabric contact with your skin, is an ideal environment for skin irritation – much like wearing damp socks can cause foot irritation, except your face is very sensitive.
- Clogged pores and mask cleanliness: We all have bacteria, oil and dead skin on our faces, but wearing a mask not only traps it in place but adds a level of friction to the party. This can cause your pores to get clogged more easily than usual, resulting in a breakout. Your mask will also absorb the oil, sweat and other materials during use, creating a dirty barrier against your face. This can lead to further breakouts.
What can you do about it?
- Wash: The most important thing you can do is keep your face clean. This means that you should wash your face with a gentle face cleanser every morning and night. If you’re out and about wearing a mask during the day, wash your face when you get home. If you plan to do any form of sport while wearing a mask, you should wash your face straight after the activity.
- Multiple clean masks: Keeping your mask clean is of the utmost importance. Try and have a few different masks so you always have a clean one to use while the others are in the wash. Try to wash a cloth mask after every use and don’t reuse masks that are meant for single use only.
- Material matters: Try to make sure that your mask is made of a material that’s breathable but still has a minimum of three layers. It should also be made of soft material that doesn’t cause irritation when worn for long periods of time or during high-movement activities. Double check the material of any mask before you buy!
If you’re struggling with any skin condition and are a GetSavvi Health Primary Care Plan or Primary Care Plan + member, remember your benefits include access to day-to-day benefits with unlimited GP visits for any type of medical advice.
Click here if you'd like to speak to a GetSavvi Health consultant to learn more about our benefits.