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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a whirlwind of disturbances to our daily lives. One of the most annoying, however, is how familiar we’ve become with “maskne.” With facemask mandates come pesky breakouts and irritation on the face. At the Aesthetic & Dermatology Center, we feel your pain. Luckily, Dr. Walia, one of our expert dermatologists, knows exactly what’s going on under your mask, and she can teach you how to prevent and reduce your maskne!

What is Maskne?

Maskne isn’t just acne flare-ups. It can also appear as new or worsening eczema, rosacea, contact dermatitis, or perioral dermatitis. Breathing and talking underneath your mask creates a warm, humid environment which becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, and other flora to grow. This process irritates the facial skin and causes those “maskne” breakouts. Facial hair can sometimes further irritate your skin because this hot air can get trapped underneath the hairs causing more sweat and moisture.

What Can I Do to Prevent Maskne?

Wash your mask frequently First and foremost, the material of your mask can definitely contribute to a patient’s worsening acne. Dr. Walia recommends a soft, breathable fabric like cotton but advises against rayon and polyester. Also, regularly washing your mask in fragrance-free detergent by rinsing it twice and putting it in the dryer is crucial to kill all the bacteria.  

Alter your skincare routine Dr. Walia encourages patients to wash their face every day with a gentle foaming cleanser. For patients with oilier skin, consider a face wash that contains salicylic acid. Avoid exfoliating with a cloth or scrubs and never go to bed with a dirty face! After you wash your face, apply a light moisturizer if you have oily, acne-prone skin and a thicker moisturizer for drier, eczema-prone skin. Moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid or ceramide will be the most effective in clearing up irritation.

Importantly, continue to wear sunscreen every day even through winter. This will not only protect your skin from sun damage but also create a barrier against friction and irritation.  Additionally, instead of wearing a heavy foundation every day, try switching to a tinted moisturizer. Embrace this time when fewer people see your skin and let it breathe! Instead, accentuate your eyes and make them shine. Use an eye cream at night and don’t forget to hydrate your lips!

How Can I Get Rid of My Existing Maskne?

If you’ve tried switching up your mask and skincare routine and you’re still breaking out, the best step is to come visit Dr. Walia. Dr. Walia understands the inner workings of maskne. After examining your skin, she will be able to prescribe a cream to target your individual breakout’s needs. We also offer several treatments like chemical peels or HydraFacial.

The Aesthetic & Dermatology Center wants to help you restore your confidence in your skin so you can show off a glowing, youthful complexion — even if it’s over a video call! To fix your facial flare-ups today, you can schedule a consult with Dr. Walia at (301) 610-0663 or you can schedule a complementary cosmetic consult! The information contained in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute professional medical advice