As mask wearing has gone into full effect, there are some steps you can take to make sure you continuously protect your skin. From “maskne” to skin trauma, we have compiled some tips for keeping your skin healthy.
Recently, we’ve seen an increase in acne-like bumps around the mouth. Below are some of the top causes of these breakouts and ways you can avoid them.
Build up of dirt, oil and debris
Solution: If you use cloth masks, make sure you wash it regularly. Start with a fresh mask at least once a day. If you are using a disposable mask, only wear it for one day.
Allergic reaction to cloth material
Solution: Make sure you’re using a laundry detergent that does not irritate your skin when you wash your masks. Also, always avoid using fabric softener on masks as it is one of the leading causes of skin allergies.
Humid occlusion from breathing into the mask
Solution: Wear a bandana-type mask that allows air to enter from below
No matter what’s causing the irritation, be sure to wash your face twice daily with an over the counter acne wash. These usually contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. And, apply over the counter adapalene (Differin) to affected areas.
With many tight-fitting masks (N95 masks, for example), skin trauma and irritation is common. This repeated trauma can eventually predispose areas to developing skin cancers in the future. It’s imperative to take precautionary steps now to protect these areas.
Before wearing your mask, apply a layer of Vaseline to mildly irritated areas. For more severely irritated skin, apply silicone gel or silicone sheets under points of contact. Silicone will not only protect the skin, but it will also treat previously traumatized areas and prevent scars.