Avoiding mask side-effect of acne mechanica

CDC artwork


As if end-of-semester stress isn’t enough, our fight against the pandemic has caused a rise in acne due to masks: acne mechanica.

The general public has been calling it Maskne.

Although it isn’t new, acne mechanica has become more widespread.

This type of acne is triggered by the rubbing, friction or heat against the skin by fabric or protective gear on the face.

Before the pandemic it was most common in health and medical professionals, athletes and soldiers due to their activities and jobs requiring facial protection.

According to the CDC, cloth masks are the most protective against the coronavirus for the public, specifically those that are 100% cotton.

It is the best choice in terms of material. It is gentle on the skin and breathable while still being efficiently protective.

Just as important is washing your mask by hand or in the washing machine.

Keeping your mask clean and having a good rotation of masks to wear can help prevent pores from getting clogged and keep out dirt, oil and bacteria, which will help prevent acne.

What is underneath your mask is just as important when it comes to preventing Maskne.

Wearing makeup is an everyday thing for a lot of people, but the truth is that this isn’t the best for your skin underneath your mask.

Not only will the makeup rub against your skin and the fabric of your mask, but it also can clog your pores, which can lead to a breakout.

Avoiding wearing thick or heavy makeup under your mask can keep the skin clear.

One way of preventing the problem is by adopting a healthy skincare routine.

Washing your face with a cleanser before and after wearing a mask, or as a normal routine, can help keep the pores clear and skin clean.

Applying moisturizer is also beneficial in keeping your skin hydrated and preventing the friction between the skin and your mask.

Choosing products that are fragrance free and with fewer ingredients can help keep your skin clear.

As much as you try to prevent Maskne, if you have acne-prone or oily skin, you may occasionally have a breakout.

Staying away from harshly medicated products and only using products such as benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment can help reduce flare-ups.

Diet and stress can also contribute to a breakout.

It is always recommended to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and further treatment if your breakouts persist.

The bottom line is that masks have now become part of our everyday outfits, and don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Finding a way to help of prevent and treat Maskne might be beneficial.