Since June is National Acne Awareness Month, let’s talk about something all too common in today’s new normal, “Maskne.” Recently, we have seen so many patients presenting to the office with concerns of breakouts appearing at the exact spot where the mask sits on their face. This acne or “maskne” is mainly caused by friction of the mask on your skin. When friction occurs, you can get micro-tears in the skin that allows bacteria, dirt, and oil to penetrate and inflame the skin resulting in small whiteheads or blackheads on the surface of the skin. These break outs are most common on the bridge of the nose, cheeks, and jawline, where the mask sits.
“Some of the more heavy duty masks are abrasive on the skin causing irritation from the rough texture. Softer masks can hold bacteria and can cause dryness. Reusable masks can have residue from laundry detergent that can also cause breakouts. Rebreathing the oral bacteria on the skin can cause colonization of acne and atypical bacteria on the skin. Also, sweat and sebum will be increased due to long hours wearing masks.” explains Dr. Marmur.
So how can you combat this?
First, buy masks that are made of soft fabric like silk which cause less friction. There are some amazing masks on etsy that are made from mulberry silk and are washable with adjustable ties and nose wires. Also, you should make sure to have multiple masks so that you can wash them after every use. This will prevent any build up of bacteria and dirt on the mask from multiple everyday use.
Second, wash your face before and after mask use. “If your skin is naturally acne prone and oily, I recommend using an exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week with some salicylic acid in it like Cerave renewing SA cleanser. If your skin is more on the dry or combination side, I recommend using a gentle cleanser such as Cerave hydrating facial cleanser or Micellar cleansing water.” says Jennifer Schloth, PA.
Third, treat the break outs with an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory serum. I recommend using Balance Serum by MMSkincare. You can apply this to your full face morning and night immediately after cleansing your skin while it is moist. “Key tip: freshly washed, moist skin plays with ingredients better than dry skin” says Dr. Marmur. MMBalance has key ingredients such as canadian willow herb, probiotics, and niacinamide. These ingredients help to stabilize your skin’s natural microbiome and provide a protective barrier. You can also combine this with the Balance Mask and apply to your face two or three times weekly. The combination of both will greatly reduce inflammation and combat Acne bacteria. And check out our blue LED MMSphere–2020 #1 Best Beauty Device!
Fourth, you can come in to see us for a cortisone injection. This is a super easy in office procedure that rapidly brings down the inflammation in the skin and gets rid of the acne pimple within 24-48 hours!