MASKNE AND HOW TO FIGHT IT – Episode 14
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:
What causes Maskne?
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.
I think I’ve got Maskne…what do I do?
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.
Steps to Take To Treat Maskne
Here are a few helpful steps to clear things up:
- 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.
- For fabric options, something with a smoother texture (eg. light cotton, silk) will help to reduce friction.
- If you’re wearing a reusable fabric mask, remember to wash it frequently with low-irritant detergent.
- Watch your routine. Do what you can to make sure your maskne doesn’t get more irritated than it is. Avoid rich oils and makeup where possible.
- Opt for a nice, rich moisturiser that has ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which are critical to protecting the skin.
- Be careful of harsh cleansers. Instead, try cleansing with something that’s effective but won’t strip away your natural oils, which can cause even more acne to flare up.
- Keep a face mist in your bag or at your desk to use regularly during the day as a refresher.
- Try sheet masking 2-3 times per week to build a stronger protective skin barrier.
- If maskne is giving you whiteheads, Subi Perfect Pimple Patches sucks the gunk out of pimples and helps get your skin back to normal.
If That Doesn’t Work
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:
- A combination of laser (to treat redness and inflammation) and medication;
- Steroid cream;
- Injections to help the bigger spots go down and reduce inflammation;
- Medication like topical antibiotics.
- While maskne can be aggravating, ditching your mask is not an option
- By wearing your mask, you protect others and yourself in the community. In many cases, the government is requiring people to wear masks at the moment as well (i.e. Korea, Melbourne in Australia)
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