Wearing a mask? Watch out for ‘maskne’

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Face masks can well be the new make-up in the new normal. You may forget to wear your mascara and liner, but you can’t afford to step out of your home without a mask in a COVID-19 plagued world. While it acts as a barrier against any airborne bacteria outside, it might spring a few unwelcome surprises on the skin underneath it. Wearing a mask for long durations can lead to breakouts and flare-ups like ‘maskne’, which is acne that arises due to face masks.

‘Constant adjustment of masks due to discomfort and heat leads to rashes’

Wearing A Mask? Watch Out For ‘maskne’

Since we can’t do without a mask, there’s no escaping ‘maskne’. Affirms dermatologist Dr Shrilata Trasi, “We’ve been getting a lot of acne patients now. Many people had been cured of their skin issues, which resurfaced after wearing face masks. Irrespective of whether the mask is of cotton or N95, there are complaints of whitehead appearances and acne breakouts. What’s happening is that some people immerse/wash their masks with strong sanitising germ killers and wear it again. This is like having acid touching on the face. When it keeps touching the face for a long time, it causes eczema.”

The flare-up is also being attributed to friction, which leads to inflammation, irritation and rashes. She explains, “This usually springs up around the bridge of the nose and the cheek area. No one wants to wear tight masks as a choice and the heat adds to the woes, so people end up adjusting the mask all the time. This is especially seen in cases involving medical professionals.”


‘Rotate three masks in a week to keep maskne at bay’
Maskne is not something that cannot be handled. Dr Trasi suggests few steps to follow when wearing a face mask. “Wash your face and apply a suitable moisturiser to lessen the friction. When you are in a closed, safe environment, you can remove the mask for a few seconds. When you are home again, cleanse the skin well and don’t apply anything immediately to let the skin breathe,” she says, adding, “Once you use a mask, don’t re-use it the next day. Keep three masks that you can use in rotation through the week.”

NATURAL REMEDIES TO DEAL WITH MASKNE

Skin expert Nirmala Shetty says, “Preferably masks made with cotton material should be used. Wash them daily with soap and a few drops of tea tree oil.” She also shares a few tips to treat skin issues at home…


Acne buster

pic - Wearing A Mask? Watch Out For ‘maskne’

Few coriander and mint leaves

Cucumber: ½

Organic coconut oil: 2 tsp

Blend together and store in a glass container. Use twice daily

For irritation around the nose and mouth

pic - Wearing A Mask? Watch Out For ‘maskne’

Carrot juice: 2tsp

Cucumber juice: 2tsp

Coconut oil: 2tsp

Mix and apply three to four times

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