We have lost count of the number of waves that have come and gone during the pandemic. While the last 2 years have been very difficult for most of us, by no means can we be complacent and take our health for granted by foregoing the mask.
The face mask has been a crucial part of our first line of defense against the virus, along with maintaining social distancing and keeping our hands clean. While masks are a boon for our health, they can prove to be a bane for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Today we will discuss how to battle maskne and its related side effects.
How Is Wearing A Mask Affecting Your Skin
No points for guessing that wearing a mask has become imperative for us due to the present pandemic. Though it is a necessity for health, it adds to our skin woes. Let's discuss ways to solve skin problems like maskne, skin rashes, clogged pores, etc., while encouraging re-usable cotton masks for better environmental sustenance.
Wearing a mask for long hours can be extremely irritating to the skin and exacerbate skin problems. Moisture and heat that get trapped under the mask can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, causing clogged pores, leading to fungal acne and maskne.
Here’s how face masks can adversely affect the skin:
Wearing a mask causes continuous friction leading to skin inflammation. The impacted area is the bridge between the nose and the area behind the ears where the band rubs against the skin. Avoid wearing a tight fighting mask as it rubs against your skin causing rashes and inflammation.
2. Clogged Pores
Wearing a mask can reduce the breathability of the pores, leading to clogged pores and acne breakout.
Another reason why a facial mask can also cause skin irritation is because it absorbs the natural oil of your skin, leading to dryness and skin sensitivity. The residue from the detergents and disinfectant used to clean the mask can irritate the facial skin leading to maskne.
What Is Maskne?
You have to be living under a rock to be unaware of this term. Nonetheless, we are here to solve your query about ‘What is Maskne’. Maskne is a term combined by two words mask+acne. It is a skin condition that arises because of wearing a mask. Common symptoms include pimples, redness, bumpiness, and skin irritation along the mask line.
Wearing a mask can aggravate your already existing skin conditions such as dermatitis, contact dermatitis, rosacea, urticaria, etc.
How To Treat Maskne?
Maskne is one of the most common skin conditions of 2020-21. Thanks to the pandemic, health workers are choking their skin behind masks for long periods, owing to which moisture and oil get trapped on the skin's surface, leading to maskne and fungal acne. In situations where wearing a mask is compulsory, maintaining a good skincare regimen is the best way to combat maskne. Acne treatment and maskne treatment can be done at home, by revamping your regular skincare routine. Here’s the best skincare routine to fight maskne and acne with you.
1. Keep Your Face Clean
Wash your face with a mild cleanser twice a day, in the morning and at night, before going to bed. Cleanser effectively removes germs, grime and debris from your face. For acne-prone skin, a cleanser with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help.
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Make sure you do not overdo it, as cleansing your skin multiple times can dry out the skin and aggravate skin conditions.
Also Read : Face Clean Up At Home - A Step By Step Guide
2. Apply A Non-Comedogenic Moisturizer
The best way to keep your skin hydrated is to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer. A lightweight, creme or gel-based moisturizer can keep the skin hydrated, without clogging the pores.
3. Apply Cortisone Cream And Moisturizer With Ceramides
Experts suggest applying cortisone cream in conjunction with a moisturizer containing ceramides can add some much-needed releif to the skin. It calms down itching, while protecting your skin in the case of maskne.
4. Ditch Makeup
Makeup products such as foundation, concealer can clog the pores worsening your maskne or acne.
5. Avoid Touching Acne
Keep your fingers away from acne as it can worsen your skin condition. You may unknowingly transfer germs and bacteria to the affected area, worsening the situation. Never try to squeeze or pop acne.
Follow this simple skincare routine to get rid of acne and maskne, but it is always better to seek professional advice for your acne and maskne treatment.
Maskne Prevention Tips
Truly said, ‘Prevention is Better than Cure’. The present pandemic situation demands the use of a mask whenever you are in a public place. So let's find out how to prevent maskne.
1. Use The Best Mask Material
Use a mask made of the soft fabrics, preferably cotton, which won't irritate your skin and is comfortable to wear. Use a cotton mask as it is more breathable and will not trap moisture under your mask. Also, make sure that your mask is not too tight.
2. Wash The Mask After Every Use
When using the reusable cotton mask, ensure that you clean it after every use. Use a hypoallergenic detergent that is devoid of strong fragrances. Dry your mask in sunlight and let it dry completely before its next use.
3. Apply An Antimicrobial Cream
Applying an antimicrobial or antiseptic cream/gel is advisable before wearing a mask. This helps control the buildup of germs and bacteria.
4. Discard The Disposable Mask After Use
Discard the disposable masks after every use. You can keep a few disposable masks handy in your purse or pocket in case you need any.
5. Remove Your Mask Every 4 Hours
It is recommended that you remove your mask for 10-15 minutes every four hours. This allows your skin to breathe and relax. Make sure that your hands are clean while removing your mask. Sanitize your hands before removing the mask and after wearing it back.
Also Read : Hand Sanitizer- Your Defence Against Diseases
6. Apply A Moisturizer Before Wearing A Mask
The constant rubbing from the mask can cause skin irritation, specially to those who experience dryness and sensitivity in their skin. Apply a moisturizer or a serum before using a mask, to resolve this issue.
7. Cleanse Your Face After Removing Mask
Once you are back home, make sure that you wash your face with a gentle face wash or a mild cleanser. Cleanser eliminates the excess oil, gets rid of dirt, sweat, keeping your face clean and clear.
The best way to reduce maskne and acne is to keep your skin clean, hydrated, and relaxed. The use of non-comedogenic products helps acne-prone skin. Be sure to wear a mask whenever you are outside, stay healthy, and keep your skin looking good.
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