The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has, no doubt, brought about significant changes to regular lifestyles. Besides working from home, mostly remaining indoors and eating nutritious food, the contagious coronavirus infection has mandated certain things before stepping out of the house as well. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Foremost among these are maintaining social distancing, frequently washing hands and of course, wearing face masks.
The basic step of donning a mask certainly helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, which mainly occurs due to viral droplets discharged from nose or mouth. However, it has also given rise to a widely prevalent skin concern in recent times, colloquially termed “maskne”.
What Is Maskne?
“Maskne”, a portmanteau of the words “mask” and “acne”, is fundamentally a type of acne mechanica, wherein pimple outbursts, blemishes, breakouts on the skin develop due to friction and irritation.
While wearing a mask, certain regions of the face, namely the nose, lips, chin, cheeks and surrounding areas are covered for a long time. This, in turn, allows oil secretions or sebum, moisture, sweat, dirt to accumulate, thereby making it a conducive environment for acne-triggering bacteria to thrive in. These factors invariably clog the skin pores and upon often brushing against the mask, instigate acne i.e. maskne.
Although maskne affects both adult men and women of all ages, whilst they are required to wear masks for extended time periods, people with sensitive skin are more prone to this condition.
Dermatologists also mention that individuals with underlying skin-related problems and chronic disorders are more likely to develop severe instances of maskne, which require professional medical treatment. These skin-linked ailments include eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis and allergies. Also Read: Eczema: Soothe Your Skin With These Amazing Natural Remedies
Yes, it is imperative nowadays to wear a face mask as part of the “new normal” before leaving the household, be it to work, buy essentials, travel or simply visit friends. Nevertheless, if you are encountering maskne issues, here are a few guidelines to visibly lower skin inflammation and decrease acne eruptions on the face.
Effective Ways To Reduce Maskne:
Wear Comfortable Face Masks
Make sure your face mask doesn’t grip too tightly around your skin or is left hanging in a loose manner, to ensure no rubbing against the face all the time. It should ideally be a snug fit and made from a soft material like natural fiber cloth, cotton or polyester blend, so as to avoid aggravating the skin and causing unsightly pimples.
Use Mild Detergents
Face masks need to be replaced on a daily basis, especially if worn for hours together. Wash your masks with delicate laundry liquids and fabric conditioners, aside from drying them out completely before wearing. This averts allergens, excess dampness, harsh chemicals from attaching to the fibers of the mask material, irking the skin pores and generating painful zits.
Allow Skin To Breathe
Keep the mask on while travelling in public places, but in case it is a long journey or after reaching your destination, remove it for a few minutes. Doing this every so often, when you are in a relatively isolated place and not surrounded by a crowd, helps the skin cells to function normally and provides much-needed ventilation to the pores.
Cleanse The Face Thoroughly
Before donning a mask and after taking it off at the end of the day, remember to completely wash your face using a gentle cleanser and rinse off with cold water. This immensely assists in preventing maskne, by removing all dust, grime, impurities that are trapped in the skin pores, aside from keeping oiliness, inflammation under control.
Simplify Skincare Routine
Adapt and modify your daily regimen of caring for the skin, keeping in mind that you have to wear a face mask no matter what. Cut down on applying several layers of makeup, with heavily scented cosmetics as these tend to annoy the skin tissues and further exacerbate maskne. Use cleansers, toners, moisturisers and beauty products with organic ingredients, for smooth, flawless and glowing skin.