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In 2020, it has become a normality to see everyone wearing face masks. They are needed to stay safe, but can be a problem for people with pre-existing skin issues.
Dermatologist Dr. Nada Elbuluk, of USC’s Keck School of Medicine, says that the extension of the mask requirement has caused her to see a rise in a number of skin issues and given a rise to a new term “maskne.”
“Because we’re all wearing masks much longer than our skin’s ever been used to, you want to make sure you’re washing your washing your face before and after removal of the mask,” Dr. Elbuluk said.
These underlying skin issues include rosacea, eczema, and acne. Wearing a mask for extended periods of times can make these conditons worse. As well, people are now experiencing contact dermatitis, a physical irritation or allergic reaction from a mask’s fabric or the detergent used to wash it.
Dr. Elbuluk warns that if problems do occur, do no not use toner or cover it up with makeup
“That can make the condition worse,” she said.
The best way to avoid skin problems is by using disposable masks or regularly washing their rreusable masks. The reusable masks you used should be made of a breathable fabric like cotton.
“Everyday, once you get back home, wash it, let it air out, just to get all of that dirt and bacteria build-up that happens off of it, because a lot of that’s what contribute to the flare of the underlying conditions and the acne that’s occurring,” she said.
Dr. Elbuluk advises that anyone who experiences maskne or any other problems from their masks to make sure they wash their faces with a gentle cleanser and gentle moisturizer.
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