Maskne: What Is It, And How Do I Treat It?
by Shannon Driscoll, PA-C.

Wearing a mask has proven to be effective in reducing the spread of Covid-19. However, wearing a mask for several hours a day can be difficult and can lead to several skin concerns, one of which is facial acne AKA “Maskne.” Adjusting masks with our fingers or breathing/talking into masks leads to excess buildup of dirt, oil, and bacteria. The friction of a mask can aggravate our skin. These factors all contribute to acne. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce and treat your maskne:

  1. Keep your skin clean. Wash your face directly before and after wearing a mask. Some of my favorite cleansers are Revision Brightening Wash or, for those with more sensitive skin, skin1765 Nourishing Cleanser. It is also important to avoid wearing makeup in the mask area as this will soil your mask and clog your pores. Makeup will also make your mask less effective against Covid-19.
  2. Lightly exfoliate after mask removal. Try skin1765 Clarify 2/2 pads, containing both glycolic and salicylic acid for a gentle exfoliation to further rid your pores of buildup. 
  3. Material matters. If you are not required to wear an N95 mask, you can try to wear a silk or cotton mask. These are more breathable, which can help reduce skin bacteria and buildup. You should also wash your mask daily.`
  4. Pick up a spot treatment. Whether you are getting an over the counter benzoyl peroxide or a prescription regimen, you will need something to treat the acne if it appears. Try our skin1765 Triple Threat or, if you like to “pick at “ your acne, try our ZitSticka patches that you can apply and leave on over your acne blemishes (you can even wear them under your mask!).
  5. If you need additional help treating your maskne, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, either in person or virtually via telemedicine.