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What’s Maskne And How Can You Prevent And Treat It?

What’s Maskne And How Can You Prevent And Treat It?


Maskne? Yes, maskne! Every day we learn new things and as life changes, we have to learn to deal with the changes that come with it. That is exactly how we, the rest of the population, have landed with a new term called maskne. This is because maskne isn’t a new phenomenon, as medical professionals who have had to wear their masks regularly prior to the pandemic have literally faced it. 

But the condition has become more widespread among the general population as we all have to keep safe by wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What is Maskne?

If you guessed that it is a combination of the words ‘mask’ and ‘acne’, then you guessed right. The medical term for “maskne” is acne mechanica, a skin condition brought on by prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment. 

Masks trap sweat, sebum, saliva, and the miscellaneous bacteria that are expelled from your mouth up against your skin which thrives in the hot, humid environment that’s created when you breathe into a mask all day. These tend to clog the pores and clogged pores can become pimples or acne cysts. The masks also tend to cause friction which leads to micro-tears, thereby allowing for easier entry of bacteria and dirt to clog up our pores. 


Just because you are suffering from maskne does not mean that it is time to ditch your masks. If you end up with the coronavirus, your skin will be the least of your worries. As a quick tip, if you’re prone to breakouts or see your skin breaking out due to mask usage, consider taking a 15-minute mask break every four hours after washing your hands and only when it is safe to do so.

We’ve got you covered with detailed prevention tips and how to eventually treat maskne. 

Here are 5 tips for prevention and treatment of maskne…

#1. Check your mask

Toyin Lawani

What fabric is your mask made from? It has been recommended that cloth masks should be made out of 100% cotton as this lets your skin breathe a bit. It is also advisable to wash your reusable masks on a daily basis or use disposable ones. You sure don’t want to wear a face mask that has accumulated oil, sweat, and dirt sitting on it.

#2. Consider ditching makeup temporarily

Photo: Park Street | Unsplash

Seeing as your skin needs to breathe, this is the best time to practice your above-the-mask makeup tips. Avoid applying products further on your already irritated skin but don’t skip on the lip gloss as this will keep your lips moisturized.

#3. Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your face daily

Photo: Sora Shimazaki | Pexels

Gently exfoliate and wash your face using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser then apply moisturizer immediately after washing your face. Be sure to look for a moisturizer with one of the following ingredients: Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, and Dimethicone. Also, consider using a moisturizer formulated for your skin type. Always keep face cleansing wipes in your bag in case you need to wipe away sweat or refresh your face on the go.

#4. Spot-treat

Photo: Sora Shimazaki | Pexels

If maskne prevention is no longer the case, then you can start your treatment by applying cold compress and/or aloe vera to the affected area to soothe the skin. If your skin is more acne-prone, look for something with salicylic acid. Occasionally washing your face with a dandruff shampoo that has ketoconazole or selenium sulfide in it can also be calming for the skin and help remove excess yeast buildup – especially around the nose and mouth.

#5. Seek professional help

If all fails and you are still breaking out, then it just might be time to pay a visit to your dermatologist to look into other treatments of your maskne. What you may think is maskne can turn out to be something completely different, like a rash, a cold sore, or hormonal acne.

Featured illustration: Instagram | artbetweenthealps Maskne prevention

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Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital or call 911 immediately depending on your conditions.

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