Masks curb Covid spread, but give rise to ‘maskne’

The prolonged, and often continuous, use of facemasks has led to several other skin conditions among many people.

Published: 23rd August 2021 03:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2021 03:42 AM   |  A+A-

In this Friday, March 5, 2021 file photo, a restaurant worker holds his face mask in Biloxi, Miss. On Friday, March 12, 2021.

Image used for representational purposes (File photo | AP)

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Wearing a facemask has become a part of people’s daily routine since the Covid outbreak. Irrespective of the place, it has now become compulsory for every person to wear a facemask. And since the second wave of the coronavirus infection, double masks have become mandatory. 

The prolonged, and often continuous, use of facemasks has led to several other skin conditions among many people. The most common side effect has been the mask acne, or ‘maskne’.Amid the rush in hospitals for Covid care, dermatologists too are in demand like never before. Patients with several skin conditions are seeking treatment, with ‘maskne’ accounting for a majority of the cases. Skin issues like redness, bumpiness, pimples and irritation are among the commonly spotted concerns. 

“Maskne is a common term used for several skin conditions that can be caused by wearing a facemask or covering,” said Dr Sheetal Nambiar, a dermatologist in Kozhikode.These conditions include acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis and folliculitis, she said.

“Red rashes, along with irritation and blisters, large number of pimples, and whiteheads or blackheads are very commonly formed even among those who are not prone to any kind of skin issues. Clogged pores are a major reason for maskne, as the skin already has oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. Hence, when someone wears a mask, more of these substances can build up and block the pores. Masks trap the humidity resulting from breathing and sweating, which eventually risks causing acne,” Dr Sheetal said. 

One solution suggested to get rid of ‘maskne’ is to have some mask-free time in the safer zones every three hours in addition to changing masks at regular intervals.“Only during the mask-free time does the skin get some time to breath. Though we recommend some mask-free time, people should not misuse it by doing so in public places or in crowded spaces. In addition, people should ensure the use of some noncomedogenic product that won’t block the pores. And the application of a gentle cleanser and moistKOZHIKODE: uriser will keep the skin hydrated for a longer time,” she said. 

Mask acne


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