While wearing a mask is absolutely essential to protect yourself from spreading or contracting Covid-19, the downfall of wearing one is that the skin does not always take too kindly to it
A lot of people are complaining bitterly that they are getting the worst breakouts when they wear PPE-masks. But how are masks contributing to increased breakouts?
There are various factors at play, claims Lamelle’s skincare expert Karen Bester.
The most common are:
- Mechanical irritation of the mask rubbing on the skin causes increased, but not complete, exfoliation.
- Barrier impairment due to this mechanical irritation is a major driver of pimples under masks. We also see this happening on the hairline when you wear a cap or hat regularly.
- Moisture and heat from your breath is also trapped inside your mask on your skin. This can have a little bit of a “macerating” effect (like when you lie in the bath too long).
- Inflammation associated with the mechanical irritation.
- If you have a tendency to get acne, the inflammatory response is exacerbated by your genetic make-up.
- The current stress levels that we are experiencing also add to the problem.
How do we treat this?
The first and most important point is to keep safe and do not stop wearing your mask.
Keep your skin barrier supported by using a soothing cream. Apply a little bit more to the area of skin under your PPE mask to ensure the area is hydrated. You can combine this with the routine you are currently using. A repaired and healthy skin barrier will help prevent further breakouts.
Cleanse your skin twice daily – this must be a critical part of your beauty routine any day. Cleansing ensures dirt, make-up, bacteria and impurities are removed from the skin.
Apply a spot treatment to the areas where you already have a spot. This will treat the inflammation and help to heal the skin as quickly as possible.
Fast healing prevents post-inflammatory pigmentation (dark marks) and also scarring. Start applying it as soon as you see a red spot forming. You should apply this twice daily at a minimum. It could be applied more regularly so carry one in your handbag or pocket so it is always close.
DO NOT PICK! As difficult as it may be, picking at a spot is a total no-go. It most likely will lead to scarring, and can even lead to infection.
If your mask-induced breakout gets worse or spreads to an area that is not covered by your mask please seek professional help.