Maskne – what is it and how to prevent it?

Maskne - what is it and how to prevent it?

The Covid-19 pandemic changed many issues. During this time, the term maskne, or the appearance of acne as a result of wearing a mask, was also created. This affliction affects many people and is difficult to treat. What are the most effective ways to deal with maskne?

There are several ways to deal with maskne. However, the fight should start with prevention, i.e. using the right cosmetics and practices. Maskne is a very common problem that has replaced the once prevalent condition of wearing hats. How to prevent it? What can wearing a mask lead to?

What is maskne?

Maskne is nothing more than acne caused by wearing a mask. Moisture and constant friction of the fabric against the skin creates a micro-environment that causes dermatological problems. In such an environment there is an increase in temperature, which is associated with excessive sweating. Meanwhile, the loops on either side of the mask responsible for keeping it on the face cause pressure, irritating the skin.

What influences the occurrence of maskne?

Maskne occurs due to several factors. These are due to the structure of the mask and the microbiome it creates. We are talking about such factors as:

  • pH,
  • temperature,
  • humidity,
  • genetic factors.

Under their influence, dermatological conditions such as eczema, atopic eczema, seborrheic eczema, acne, rosacea, urticaria or perioral dermatitis can develop on the skin. Later on, folliculitis can also develop. Problems can be related to both bacteria and fungi. Sometimes the quality of the fabrics also influences the occurrence of maskne. Not all fabrics are properly tested by manufacturers. They can be contaminated, for example with chemicals. For sensitive individuals, this sometimes leads to the occurrence of maskne.

Previously, similar problems could be seen in the subpectoral folds, armpits or groin. Nowadays, the face has also joined such areas, due to the environment created by the mask.

How to prevent maskne?

Maskne can be prevented by proper skin care. We are talking about washing it with gentle antibacterial agents. It is better to avoid alcohol-based cosmetics. Instead, moisturizers are recommended, with the exception of ointments. They allow you to create a „shield” that will protect the skin from harmful agents. It is better to give up occlusives and emollients.

When wearing masks, UV filters are not recommended. This is because they can cause sensitization when in contact with moisture. However, you can find special fabrics on the market with SPF 50+ filters, which protect the skin from the radiation, while not affecting it as negatively as sunscreens combined with a humid environment.

Maskne vs. mask design

Maskne can also be affected by the design of the mask itself. It should include minimal folds and a completely smooth surface. For this reason, masks similar to surgical masks should not be made of thicker materials. For this reason, it is advisable to choose masks that are properly designed, consisting of two pieces of fabric sewn together in the middle. They must also be properly fitted to the shape of the nose. It is also better to avoid metal nosepieces, especially if a person is allergic to nickel. Loops, on the other hand, should be latex-free.

How to treat maskne?

Once maskne has occurred, it proves necessary to implement the appropriate treatment. We are talking about active ingredients with anti-inflammatory or sebum-regulating effects. Powdered preparations are also recommended. Their composition may include zinc oxide. Hyrdrogels containing antibiotics and retinoids are also a good choice. However, it is necessary to consult a doctor before implementing any treatment.

Sometimes post-inflammatory discoloration or scarring can also occur. In that case, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately, as such changes can remain on the face forever.

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