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What to do about facemask-induced breakouts


Suffering from the worst breakouts when wearing PPE-masks is quite common.

Picture: Pexels.com

While wearing a mask has been an essential part of our daily lives, it may have some negative impacts on the skin. According to research done by Lamelle Laboratories, getting the worst breakouts when wearing PPE-masks is quite common. 

But how are masks contributing to increased breakouts? 

There are various factors at play. The most common are: 

  • Mechanical irritation of the mask rubbing on the skin causes increased, but not complete, exfoliation.
  • Barrier impairment due to this mechanical irritation is a major driver of pimples under masks. We also see this happening on the hairline when you wear a cap or hat regularly.
  • Moisture and heat from your breath is also trapped inside your mask on your skin. This can have a little bit of a “macerating” effect (like when you lie in the bath too long).
  • Inflammation associated with the mechanical irritation.
  • If you have a tendency to get acne, the inflammatory response is exacerbated by you genetic make-up.
  • The current stress levels that we are experiencing also add to the problem.

However, there are possible ways of managing breakouts caused by the mask. They are: 

  • The first and most important point is to keep safe and do not stop wearing your mask.
  • Keep your skin barrier supported by making sure the skin under you PPE mask is hydrated. 
  • Cleanse your skin twice daily. This must be a critical part of you routine any day and can be done with any cleanser. Cleansing ensures dirt, make-up, bacteria and impurities are removed from the skin.
  • Apply a spot treatment  to the areas where you already have a spot. This will treat the inflammation and help to heal the skin as quickly as possible. Fast healing prevents post-inflammatory pigmentation (dark marks) and also scarring. Start applying it as soon as you see a red spot forming. You should apply this twice daily at a minimum. 
  • As difficult as it may be, picking at a spot is a total no-go. It most likely will lead to scarring, and can even lead to infection.