‘Maskne’ Is a Real Thing — How to Prevent Acne Underneath Your Face Mask

At this point, you’ve probably gotten pretty used to wearing a mask whenever you’re out in public. It’s one of the best ways to help limit the spread of COVID-19 during the continuing pandemic.

However, that doesn’t mean masks don’t come with their fair share of issues. But besides feeling as if you can’t breathe as well or not being able to eat or drink with it on, you may have also noticed it doesn’t quite do wonders for your skin.

Leaving your facial region unexposed to the air, keeping all that moisture in, especially if you already have sensitive skin, can actually do some damage. If you’ve noticed some bumps and redness around your chin and mouth, you may be a victim of ‘Maskne.’ That’s right, it’s as if you were in high school again, but the acne is from wearing a mask.

“Maskne is acne formed in areas due to friction, pressure, stretching, rubbing or occlusion,” said Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Thomas Jefferson University. “You can see it in the areas covered by the mask and also the areas where the mask and face shields touch the skin.”

Maskne will most commonly occur if you’re someone who’s wearing a mask all the time—e.g., you work in a building where it’s required. All of that heat and moisture trapped underneath the fabric can cause friction on your skin, causing the breakout.

Luckily, you can beat maskne. One of the best ways to prevent or get rid of it is to battle the reason it occurs in the first place. While we do have to wear masks in most public places, it’s a good idea to air out your face in situations where you can social distance from others.

Additionally, don’t re-use masks for an extended period of time—and if you can’t replace them often, be sure to air them out in between uses.

If you do notice those annoying red bumps, you may want to apply an over-the-counter facial cleanser-one that’s used to help remove clogged pores. Additionally, products with hyaluronic acid may be particularly hydrating. Just be sure to look out for products that can cause your skin to dry out, which may perpetuate the problem.

For more ways to combat the dreaded maskne, check out the video below.

Have you ever experienced maskne due to wearing a mask all the time now? What remedies have you found helps?