While a lot of the days may seem the same as we stay at home and socially distance in the COVID-19 era, one thing has changed: It’s summer now, and a big part of the country isn’t having the same weather they were when the CDC first issued its recommendations for wearing a face covering. Unfortunately for the face on our skin, that means irritations and “maskne” have an even better host environment in which to rear their ugly heads.
“Maskne can be caused by several different factors—such as contact dermatitis from friction, preexisting acne that becomes inflamed, clogged pores from the occlusion of the mask, and a buildup of bacteria on the skin’s surface,” explains Glenn Dale, MD dermatologist Valerie Callender, MD. “The most important thing you can do is to keep skin clean.” Count on these expert-approved tips to avoid disrupting your complexion:
Take a Cue From Athletes
As Miami dermatologist Annie Gonzalez, MD points out, at its very core, maskne is a subtype of acne mechanica, commonly seen amongst athletes who wear helmets and straps resulting from friction, occlusion and sweat. “The friction and pressure between your mask (or face shield) and your skin leads to inflammation, clogging of the pores and compromise of the skin barrier.