As America slowly reopens, more people are heading out while adhering to guidelines from the CDC. Most are social distancing and wearing a face mask, and those who do have probably realized that although wearing the mask lessens your likelihood of contracting COVID-19, it increases your chances of breaking out on your face.
Masks trap your warm breath, sweat and skin oils, creating a moist environment on your face, which leads to irritation and pimples. On top of that, according to one dermatologist who spoke to Fox News, having the mask itself against your skin can also cause other problems, including aggravating existing conditions like eczema, psoriasis or rosacea.
That skin doctor, Samer Jaber, went on to say, "The longer you wear a mask the worse it is, so this is unfortunately very common in health care workers, as they need to wear their masks for long periods of time." It's gotten so bad there is even a term for the condition: Maskne, a combination of mask and acne.
So what can you do to prevent it? According to Dr. Jaber, "If you can safely take off your mask, then take off your mask and let your skin breathe when possible." He also recommends washing your face twice a day and moisturizing the area most affected by the mask. Additionally, he suggests drying your mask out after you wear it, and if it is made out of cloth, washing it regularly to remove any dirt, oils or sweat trapped in it. One other tip - don't wear make up under it.
As for if you've already broken out, the doctor said, "You can try a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Just be careful, as your skin in that area will likely be sensitive and topical acne treatments can make this more irritated and even worse."
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