‘Maskne’ The Painful Outbreak Of Wearing A Face Mask!

August 5, 2020

In recent months, Maskne has become one of the most common skin conditions that Dr. Chin Yee Choong has been providing consultations on. In fact, the condition has become so prominent that the clinic has seen a growing number of patients experiencing it regardless of their skin type, gender, and age. Even people who haven’t suffered from a skin situation before are now dealing with its implications due to long hours of wearing a face mask. So what exactly is Maskne, why does it cause skin irritation, how can it be treated and how severe its impact can be on your daily lives? Read on to find out below.

What is Maskne?

In simpler terms, Maskne is mask-induced acne. Now that wearing face masks has become a new normal and a part of your daily lives for the foreseeable future, people have been discovering that wearing it all day long has been causing their skin to break and sometimes in a more substantial manner with pus-filled and painful red bumps. Such skin irritations, redness, and breakouts typically appear on the areas that are covered by the mask such as the central face and the chin.

What Causes Maskne?

Due to the fact that the skin on your face is much more sensitive than it is on the rest of the body, wearing masks for a prolonged amount of time causes irritation which in turn triggers inflammation around the opening of hair follicles and oil glands. The inflammation may go deep and cause larger pimples to erupt in time. And since the mask needs to fit snugly on your face, it traps your breath, increasing humidity and creating an ideal environment for bacteria to breed. Moreover, the friction between the mask and your skin coupled with trapped moisture from breathing into it can make matters worse by allowing easier entry for bacteria and dirt to clog up your pores.

What Further Triggers Maskne?

Some of the habits you engage in while wearing a mask can aggravate the problem such as continually touching your face to adjust them which in turn transfers dirt or other irritants from your fingers onto your skin. Poor skincare regimen such as not keeping your face moisturised, or not washing your face before putting on the mask and after taking it off can also help trigger Maskne. Further, since the masks are occlusive (designed to block things) by nature, in a hot and humid environment the use of heavy makeup to cover the blemishes can clog your pores and increase the irritation. Hence, the best thing to do is to prevent maskne from occurring in the first place and avoid such maskne-triggering habits.

How can Maskne be Treated?

At DermClear with nearly 30 years of experience, Dr. Chin has successfully treated numerous patients with acne and has a deep and thorough understanding of its effective treatments. While a rash or a few zits are a small price to pay for staying safe, there’s no need to suffer from Maskne, and with target-specific solutions, Dr. Chin can clear up most of those acne breakouts and keep your skin fresh and healthy. The treatment of mask-related skin issues depends very much on the predominant type of acne and breakout encountered. Mild Maskne may be treated adequately with topical medication such as benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, and retinoids (e.g. tretinoin, adapalene). Whereas for moderate Maskne, oral antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin) are useful to reduce the inflammation more effectively. If you are experiencing severe Maskne then large painful inflamed acne requires prompt and effective control to minimise the risk of scarring. In such extreme cases, physical therapies such as Chemical Peeling and IPL therapy may be used to enhance the efficacy of medical therapy.

How to deal with Post-Maskne Blemishes?

After active Maskne subsides, there may be a period of prolonged redness and pigmentation leftover. These bothersome Post-Maskne blemishes will eventually subside with time. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), pigment and vascular lasers are useful in helping to hasten the recovery process. IPL improves the colour and texture of your skin without surgery. IPL and Laser use a broad but controlled spectrum of light that targets the skin tissues of the problem areas in turn providing you with fresher, clearer, and brighter skin due to the collagen stimulation. For skin clarity and pigment reductions, IPL and Laser are the best available treatments and can even be done together in one session under 30 minutes.

How Does Maskne Impact Quality Of Life?

Even though Maskne is not life-threatening, it may have a significant physiological impact on the people experiencing it. Maskne of any kind can wreak havoc on self-esteem and leave permanent mental scars. With the already added stress of the present times, the last thing anyone needs is severe psychological distress that affects the body image. Issues such as frustration, anxiety, anger, depression, may also develop, as a result of maskne or its residual scars. Assuming that such mask-induced acne will clear out on its own can be dangerous, it is therefore important not to ignore the condition and to seek effective medical treatment during the early stages of discovering Maskne.

To know more about how DermClear’s Medical Director Dr. Chin can help you combat Maskne and give you blemish-free skin, call us at 6356 5005 or WhatsApp call/message us at 9366 8855 to set up an appointment for your completely non-obligatory personalised in-depth consultation today.

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