Tips for Preventing and Treating ‘Maskne’

Tips for Preventing and Treating ‘Maskne’ and Other Skin Conditions Caused by Masks

Wearing a mask in public is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But as medical professionals have long known first-hand, masks can cause a range of skin problems that have been dubbed ‘maskne.’ These conditions can include acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis, folliculitis and itchiness. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent mask-related skin conditions.


Typically, maskne skin conditions are the result of clogged pores caused by the oil, bacteria and dead skin cells that always exist on our skin but can build up when wearing a mask. Masks also trap humidity, which can increase the risk of acne. Any friction caused by a poorly fitting mask can also contribute to skin irritation.

Clean and Moisturize to Protect Your Skin

It’s more important than ever to wash your face using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid trying harsh products for the first time, and if you’re already using a retinoid, apply it at bedtime. When you wear a mask, even skincare products you’ve used in the past might cause irritation. If so, try cutting back or taking a break from them. Since mask-wearing can cause dry skin, be sure to moisturize immediately after washing your face. Moisturizer acts as a protective layer that can help reduce dryness. To help prevent breakouts, choose a moisturizer designed for your skin type (oily, normal, or dry). If you have oily skin or are prone to acne, choose a gel moisturizer. Our aestheticians can help determine which skincare products are best for your skin type. For added protection, apply moisturizer before and after wearing a mask. And don’t forget to take care of your lips! Prevent chapped lips by applying a lip treatment cream after you wash your face, before wearing a mask and before bed.

Choose and Care for Your Mask

Choosing the right mask will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the likelihood of developing skin problems. Look for a mask with at least two layers of fabric, with a soft, breathable fabric (such as cotton) on the inside layer. Synthetic materials against your skin are more likely to cause breakouts or irritation. Choose a mask that fits snugly but comfortably across your nose, on the sides, and under your chin. A mask that feels too tight, or so loose that it slides around your face, can irritate skin. Wash your mask after each use to remove the oils and skin cells that collect inside. Wash in hot water (unless the care instructions say otherwise), using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.

Treat Yourself to Skin Care

The professionals at Muskegon Surgical Associates’ Pure Medical Spa provide a variety of treatments for acne and related skin conditions, including chemical peels, laser treatments and facials. We also carry a complete line of skin care products and can recommend proper usage based on skin type.

Schedule your appointment today.