If it isn’t hard enough having to get used to wearing a face mask, many of us are starting to develop some skin irritations from it rubbing against our skin on a constant basis.
Many states are now requiring the use of face masks when you go out in the public. This makes it even more difficult to keep your face fresh, clean, and irritation-free.
And if you’re stuck wearing your face mask for hours on end, there’s a pretty good chance that your skin is not a fan.
Many people have taken to social media showing their rashes, indentions, and even bruises, from wearing their masks for a lengthy amount of time.
“This important step in slowing the spread of COVID-19 can create abrasions, bruising, or discomfort, especially when worn for long periods or during strenuous activity,” said board-certified dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD.
So here are some good hygiene tips to keep your face as little irritated as possible and hopefully prevent any further breakouts or discomfort.
First, wash your face every time after wearing a face mask.
“There are three things that cause breakouts: excess skin, oil, and acne bacteria,”
“All of these things are going to be thriving in that mask environment. The mask is blocking the pores, the heat and wet environment are where the bacteria will grow best, and constant irritation from the mask will cause more oil production.”said Claire O’Bryan, ANC-P of The Skin Clique.
Cleaning your face each time after removing your face mask will give your face a better chance to clear away any extra gunk or build up that occurred while wearing your face mask.
Next, always be sure you are patting your face dry anytime it has moisture. DO NOT RUB. Rubbing your skin can cause the yucky stuff to creep into your pores. Also, just the act of rubbing is a skin irritant. Patting is just as effective to remove moisture.
Also, try wearing less makeup if you do. Or at least, don’t wear it in the areas of the mask. Many women are continuing to do their eye makeup, and that’s completely fine. But foundation, concealer, and anything that can clog up your pores of your skin can cause further irritation.
It is incredibly important to keep your face as clear as possible. Any extra products could cause more irritations.
Changing and washing your mask frequently is another way to avoid irritation.
Re-using a mask can also make you more perceptible to contracting the virus, so be sure to follow the proper regulations when wearing a mask.
And finally, you can always apply an ointment to help soothe any breakouts that are currently happening on your face.
When you constantly are cleaning and covering your face, you risk drying it out, which in itself can lead to irritations. Moisturizing your face can help prevent that.
“Hyaluronic-acid containing facial moisturizers can help,” said Dr. Lancer. “Sometimes a triple antibacterial ointment like Neosporin can be applied, when necessary, to the affected area.”
Healthcare workers have the short end of the stick right now. Most have to wear their masks non-stop for hours on end. They are currently taking the biggest hit when it comes to facial irritations and my heart goes out to them.
“This is actually something called irritant or allergic contact dermatitis,” said O’Bryan. “Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to think that we, as healthcare workers, will be able to put our masks down for the time being. What we can do is cleanse skin regularly, thoroughly drying the skin after, moisturize several times per day.”
Keep your masks on when necessary and use the tips and tools posted above to keep your skin from getting too angry at you. Hopefully this will all pass soon.