Episode Title: Maskne and How to Fight It Ep-14
If you’re wearing a mask to help fight the spread of Coronavirus, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed an outbreak of new pimples around the areas you’ve been wearing a mask. Today, we’re taking a look at the causes of maskne and how to fight it, K-Beauty style!
On Maskne and How to Fight It Ep-14 we discuss:
Firstly, maskne means what it looks like – acne caused by wearing a mask.
Although your skin might react differently to different materials (eg. if you’re wearing a surgical or cloth mask), the irritating factor which provokes maskne is friction from the mask.
The formal term for maskne is acne mechanica, which refers to acne triggered by friction or pressure on the skin. While it can develop anywhere, it’s especially common amongst healthcare workers, soldiers and athletes wearing bulky protective gear.
Wearing a mask can also break down the skin barrier – that’s the layer with oils and fats that protect skin against bacteria as well as keep hydration inside the skin. This can not only make acne worse, but could also cause particular problems in people with dry or sensitive skin and make maskne harder to treat.
Maskne usually takes the form of small red or pink bumps or inflamed pimples, which can often look like hormonal acne. If you’re only getting acne in the areas covered by your mask, it’s most likely maskne.
Even if it might look like hormonal acne, it shouldn’t be treated as such. True hormonal acne often requires medicated solutions and treatment under the supervision of a doctor or dermatologist to fully heal.
Thankfully, maskne may be easier to resolve.
Here are a few helpful steps to clear things up:1 Keep an eye on your mask. Look for a mask that fits you well without being so tight that your skin is easily irritated, and not so loose that it’s ineffective.
It might be time to go and see a dermatologist or your local GP to talk about a medicated or more invasive solution. I’ve spoken to 4 Korean dermatologists and each had slightly different suggestions for how they would treat maskne:1 A combination of laser (to treat redness and inflammation) and medication;
"If you’re wearing a mask to help fight the spread of Coronavirus, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed an outbreak of new pimples around the areas you’ve been wearing a mask"- Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast
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