Tips to Prevent Acne Caused by Face Masks in 2021

Tips to Prevent Acne Caused by Face Masks

Due to a coronavirus  outbreak, face masks have now become an essential component of our daily routine. Although masks act as a shield and safeguard us against dust particles and toxic germs, regular wearing might cause many skin problems such as skin irritation, flaring acne and severe itching. This article provides you an overview how to deal with acne caused by face masks.

Ways in which face masks damages skin

Following are the ways in which face masks cause skin damage and acne

  • Friction caused by rubbing: Face masks can result in skin irritation through friction i.e. rug burn. The face  areas which are more prone to friction are nose and ears, where elastic bands of masks are tightly fitted. The continuous wearing and tight fitting of face masks cause friction on the skin ultimately damaging skin. 
  • Irritation caused by masks material: The matter or a fabric of a face mask ingests the natural oils present in the skin. This causes dryness and skin sensitivity in most of the cases. Skin irritation leads to inflammation and ultimately one may experience redness on skin, dry patches, skin peeling, or dark stains on skin. 
  • Occlusion caused by face masks:  Obstruction or occlusion may result in many problems such as clogging pores and formation of pimples and acne cysts. 

Best fabric for a face mask

The matter or fibre of face masks impacts how effective it safeguards our face skin. It also impacts the degree of breathing and the response of our skin. The most suitable  option regarding face masks is “woven from cotton stuff  and homemade”.  It provides a soft and gentle experience while protecting skin.  The research findings suggest that cotton fabric gives a stable level of protection as well as breathability. It is concluded that natural fibers such as cotton stuff works better than synthetic materials such as polyester. 

Important skin care tips to protect your face

  • Face washing: Dirt and oil present on your skin can cause skin breakouts. Always wear a face mask over a clean and washed face. Always use a gentle cleanser that controls oil and rinse your skin with moderately warm. Avoid  rubbing or scrubbing  the skin harsely while washing face.
  • Applying face moisturizer: It is a general consensus that moisturizer is essential for a healthy skin, as it hydrates skin and works as an obstruction to friction caused by face  mask. Use face moisturizer which includes protective ingredients such as ceramide,  hyaluronic acid etc. Avoid  using  products that cause skin clogging clog your skin ultimately damaging skin.
  • Avoid using make up products:  Try your best to avoid applying makeup while wearing a face mask. Face masks also play a role of occlusive barrier to air, for this reason makeup application can result in clogging of skin pores and skin eruption. 
  • Wearing clean face masks: Dust particles and germs from the environment as well as from your mouth/nose stick to face masks. Avoid using the same mask for a long period of time (i.e. for more than 2 or 3 days). Change your face mask after some interval and wash face masks after being used.
  • Avoid washing masks with fragrant detergents: While washing your face mask, opt for a fragrance-free and highly reactive laundry detergent as aroma within mask fabric can be an irritating resulting sneezing etc. 
  • Avoid reusing surgical masks: Surgical masks cannot be reused as these cannot be washed or cleaned. For daily use, it is not recommended to use surgical masks but if you go for surgical masks then take into account that it should be disposed of after being used and cannot be used twice. 
  • Preventing friction caused by face masks: Elastic strap loops of face masks and elastic bands can cause friction and rub burns on nose as well as  at the back of ears. In case of sensitive skin or if putting a face mask for long periods of time, there exist alternatives to prevent the harm. The best way is the attachment of the mask's straps to a clip present on your head to tie your hair.
  • Avoid using reactive products: The application of medicated products retinol or benzoyl peroxide can cause irritation in the presence of face masks. If you’re employing face masks on a regular basis then prefer using medicated products at night before sleeping. Avoid using these products and face masks at the same time.

Ways to treat skin problems caused due to face masks

The most common ways to deal with the issues caused by face masks are as follows:

  • To treat skin dryness and peeling: Dryness and peeling can be the initial symptoms of skin  irritation caused by face masks. Skin can become vulnerable to sensitivity and dark marks with the passage of time. To prevent these signs, always apply face moisturizer while wearing a face mask. The application of pure petroleum ointment is a must thing after taking off face masks in order to protect your skin.
  • To treat redness or swelling: In case, if you are experiencing redness and swelling after removing your face mask, then icing the skin can be beneficial. You can make use of ice cubes enclosed in a bag. You can also use a small amount as 1% of hydrocortisone cream. Use the hydrocortisone only if required. Avoid using it too much or frequently. Keep in mind that overuse can cause skin-thinning and damage your skin. 
  • To treat skin breakdown: If your skin is damaged and has fissures, then apply a hydrocolloid dressing before wearing a face mask. Another choice is the use of creams like EpiCeram, Hylatopic, or Eletone etc. upon prescription. 
  • To treat acne: If you’re exposed to pimples or skin acne, then alter your moisturizer.  Go for some “non-comedogenic” product that prevents pores clogging. If your skin breakouts are severe then you may need to see a dermatologist and move to prescription medications.