Wearing a face mask, maintaining social distancing and washing/sanitizing hands are important ways to lessen the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Since masks are essential and have become an integral part of our lives, it is important to do whatever we can to overcome the concern we have about wearing them. Sometimes, for some people, wearing a mask can cause breakouts, rashes, and other skin problems on the face. And for those who already have such skin conditions, wearing a mask for a prolonged time can worsen the condition.
Prolonged use of N95 and surgical masks by healthcare professionals during COVID-19 has caused adverse effects such as headaches, rash, acne, skin breakdown, and impaired cognition in the majority of those surveyed.
We know that it’s just a relatively small patch of skin we’re hiding under the face masks, but keeping it covered for long periods and recapturing the moist air we exhale against it all day can cause a variety of skin problems.
“The masks are a great way to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, but they can cause repetitive friction and redirect your own airflow against the face. Each time we inhale and exhale, moisture accumulates and the mask traps it against the skin of the face,” says Dr. Girish Mohan of the Hartford HealthCare Center for Dermatology.
More than one-third of frontline health care workers reported adverse skin reactions after wearing N95 masks daily for several months, according to a story referenced in the May 2020 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The highest incidence of conditions included acne, facial itch, and rash.
Maskne: It is not a medical term, maskne is coined recently to refer to the acne being caused by prolonged wearing of face masks. People like healthcare workers, media professionals, or shopkeepers, who deal with the general public all day long, tend to get sweaty under their masks. This sweat and heat along with the friction caused by the mask can lead to the clogging of pores. Since damp environments promote bacterial growth, it causes bacterial-infused acne: Maskne.
Dry Skin: Some masks can absorb the natural moisture on your face, resulting in dry skin. Go for moisturizers that have ceramides as they can rehydrate the skin. Don’t use those moisturizers that contain high levels of ethanol, as that can worsen dry skin.
Rosacea: Rosacea is characterized by redness, enlarged blood vessels, bumps (either firm or fluid-filled), mostly on the cheeks and chin. Heat and sweating can trigger this skin condition. As wearing masks hikes the temperature of the skin and increases sweating, rosacea-prone skin may flare.
Dermatitis: Dermatitis is a skin condition, which can be an irritant or allergic reaction to the mask. Symptoms include an itchy rash, dry or scaly skin, blisters, and bumps, or swelling and burning sensation.
There are several ways to diminish or eliminate the side effects of wearing a mask for a long time.
The skincare brand Slova is going beyond in making you comfortable in your skin. Yes! Even when you are wearing a mask. Their campaign ‘UNMASKIN’ talks about embracing self-love and self-care, especially for those who are hiding their beautiful smiles behind the masks, thinking about the skin conditions that masks are bringing them.
Let’s hear it from them!
#Unmaskin represents Slova’s commitment to the purpose of elevating #her spirit and upraising the conventional notion about self-care for all. While face masks keep us safe, they also hide our smiles. Even worse, some scar your skin leading to what’s called ‘maskne.’ #Unmaskin aims to convey warmth and reassure that things are going to get back to being normal like before.
“Love your skin, that’s who you are!”
Ample hydration and sunscreen are the keys to curb skin issues caused by prolonged mask usage. Use Slova REVIVE “Daily” before moisturizing with Slova REFRESH and use Slova RENEW twice a week, for glowing and hydrated skin.