‘Maskne’ is the new acne and it’s caused by wearing a mask

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — “Maskne” is the new term for mask acne and it’s caused by wearing a face mask. Dermatologists at Grand Strand Dermatology in Myrtle Beach say they’ve seen it and that there are ways to treat it.

“So, bacteria and yeast like the humid months more so than the dry months to begin with, so we see a surge of a certain type of acne, certain types of yeast during the summer months. And the mask just seems to be accelerating that,” said Grand Strand Dermatologist Dr. Holly Glover.

Glover and the staff at Grand Strand Dermatology say they even experienced acne caused by wearing a face mask themselves.

“Yes especially on my nose. I think the pressure here is playing a big role with the pressure associated with the “maskne” but I’ve just been continuing my daily facial routine as far as keeping it clean in the morning and night and using my products just to make sure everything stays as normal as possible in these crazy times,” said Nurse Caroline Gleason with Grand Strand Dermatology.

Glover said she’s been seeing lots of patients over the past few months come in with different skin issues caused by the masks.

“The main problem with the mask is the moisture that’s accumulating underneath the mask and because of that we’re seeing more acne, more bacterial infections, staff infections, even yeast infections,” said Glover.

Glover said there are ways to treat this issue. “Try and cleanse the area of the skin more frequently, you can use some over the counter acne products such as salicylic acid cleansers or gels or benzoyl peroxide cleansers or gels.”

Glover added that there are preventative measures people can take.

“Try to limit what is going on your skin underneath the mask, that includes makeup, anti-aging, retinols, even sunscreen. All of those products can accelerate the irritation and the acne that’s going on underneath the mask,” said Glover.

Glover added that when it comes to surgical PPE masks, “These type of PPE, the surgical masks and the N95 tend to be more clean, we switch them out more frequently as opposed to the cloth masks that may accumulate more dirt over time within the material.” 

Glover said if you wear a cloth mask, that you should wash it every day to prevent maskne.

“So it’s an ongoing issue but it’s definitely manageable with products and proper cleansing of your face,” said Gleason.

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