Yes, it’s really a thing & other skin related concerns from wearing a mask!

Our new normal in the time of COVID-19 includes wearing a face mask to protect ourselves and those around us and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. However, face masks can cause skin problems like acne breakouts (aka “maskne”).

The Board Certified Dermatologists at George Dermatology have some important tips to share to reduce your risk of skin irritation:

  1. Cleanse your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser twice a day. If you work in a high risk environment, this is especially important as your face and mask have potentially been exposed to viruses all day.
  2. Moisturize your face after cleansing. In the morning, use a moisturizer with a broad spectrum sunscreen such as the EltaMD products we retail in the office. These moisturizers do not clog pores and will keep your skin hydrated and protected from irritants. If your skin is dry, apply a moisturizing cream at night that contains ceramides and/or hyaluronic acid to add more hydration to the skin.
  3. Apply petroleum jelly to your lips. Masks can rub our lips and after days on end of wearing, that friction can eventually lead to irritation. A layer of petroleum jelly serves as an excellent barrier to that irritation potential.
  4. Avoid makeup. On days when you will be wearing your masks for long periods, skip the makeup and lipstick. These can clog the pores. No one can see your skin or lips anyway under that new facial accessory! If you must wear makeup, read the label to make certain that the products you are applying are “non-comedogenic” or “oil free.”
  5. Avoid new products, especially toners and exfoliators. These can create additional irritation even without a mask. Plus, they are antiquated products from ages ago when soaps used to leave a residue on the skin. Newly formulated cleansers do not leave a residue and are pH appropriate for facial skin so avoid the potential problems they can create.
  6. Men, skip the aftershave if your beard area and neck are getting irritated. The residue from aftershave can lead to more irritation when occluded against the skin by a mask.
  7. Wear a correctly fitting mask & use it appropriately. Your mask should be snug, but comfortable. If disposable, do not reuse it. If made of cotton, wash your mask after each use with fragrance-free detergent. Cotton fabric is preferred for sensitive and acne prone skin. Polyester and nylon fabrics are more likely to clog the pores on your face.
If you are struggling with skin breakouts or irritation from mask-wearing, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today. You may need prescription medicine to help alleviate the issues. Face masks are vital to reducing the spread of COVID-19 so don’t give up on wearing them!

We are only a phone call away to help. If you feel more comfortable, our Board Certified Dermatologists can see you virtually via a telemedicine appointment as well.

What Our Patients Are Saying

Dr Katherine M. Moritz is the bomb-diggity!!! She’s very professional, kind, and most of all caring for my concerns and needs. Today, I walked out of her office with my son in my arms in tears of joy. She removed a cyst on my eyelid that had been there for over a year now. In a matter of seconds, she painlessly had it removed. When I looked in the bathroom mirror, I ran back into her office thanking the staff and giving her my gratitude and thanks. I swear, I cried when I got into my car all over again. This place is a whole vibe, they are culturally competent, and she’s helping me live my wishes in my 40’s, that I had in high school. Dr. Moritz is like the fountain of youth, she’s reversing my aging and I feel more confident in myself than I did in my 20’s.

San Juan
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