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How to avoid face irritation and acne while wearing masks

It is extremely important to make sure your mask fits correctly, and is clean whenever you wear it.
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 1:10 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in parts of the world, mask mandates are becoming more and more common. But, wearing a mask frequently, especially in the heat of the summer, is causing an increase in skin irritation and face acne.

Rachel Talbot, a nurse practitioner at Harrisonburg’s Access Dermatology, says that it is extremely important to make sure your mask fits correctly and is clean whenever you wear it.

"Making sure the mask fits the face, but it's not too tight to cause rubbing and friction, and then looking at what material your mask is made out of is important," Talbot said.

With cotton masks, hand washing them with a gentle detergent or throwing them in the washing machine with other laundry will work just fine.

With surgical masks, changing them out for a new one depends on how much and what you are doing in them. If you are wearing a lot of makeup under the mask, which will quickly dirty the mask, it is important you change the mask frequently. If you are outside a lot and sweating, you should also look to change your mask often. If your mask looks clean and is not too badly degraded, it is okay to continue to wear it.

When wearing a mask, it is important to try and eliminate anything that can cause irritation under it, and makeup is a big factor to poor clogging. Talbot suggests ditching the makeup these days, but if you need to wear it, look to try mineral makeup or oil-free.

When not wearing your mask, it is important to cleanse the skin, with a gentle over the counter face wash, followed by a moisturizer. When choosing a moisturizer, two key ingredients to look for are ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

If after using over the counter cleansing and acne products your breakouts or rashes continue, you should see your dermatologist.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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