The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear face masks when going to public places during the COVID-19 pandemic. But frequently using facial coverings has been causing another problem to some people.
Health experts believe that wearing masks could help slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. Covering the mouth and nose reduces the risk of exposure to droplets when infected people cough or sneeze, especially in closed areas like grocery stores and clinics.
However, face masks could cause some problems. People may experience skin irritation on areas frequently covered due to friction and breakouts.
Skin irritation commonly occurs when the mask is too tight and rubbing is frequent. You can avoid friction by picking masks with smooth surfaces, not abrasive and not tighter, according to board-certified dermatologist Hadley King.
To treat the irritation, use a hand cream for the dryness. King suggested products that use Aloe vera, which is known for being super-hydrating with anti-inflammatory effects.
Colloidal oat is another good option because of its nurturing effects. You may also try ceramides to improve healing of the skin barrier.
“If you notice this kind of irritation after removing the mask, wash the area with water and a gentle cleanser and apply an ointment,” King told mindbodygreen.
Face Masks And Acne
The rising cases of COVID-19 could cause stress and negatively affect diets. With changes in the body and frequent use of face masks, people are more likely to get skin problems.
“The occlusive nature of a protective mask creates a humid and warm environment under the mask, which can lead to increased sebum and sweat,” King said. “And this can lead to irritation, inflammation and breakouts.”
Acne may increase on the nose, mouth and chin, the areas that masks mainly cover. King recommended washing the face before and after wearing a mask with a gentle cleanser.
Those with oily or acne-prone skin should consider a cleanser with salicylic acid. The product could penetrate into pores and gently exfoliate and remove sebum, according to King.
When using moisturizer, the dermatologist suggested non-comedogenic products since they support and improve the skin barrier without clogging pores. King added it is important to avoid applying heavy and potentially comedogenic products on areas covered by the face mask.