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Maskne: How dermatologists recommend preventing, treating it

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Masks are quickly becoming an essential part of our wardrobe.

With everyone from the Packers to government offices to schools and businesses requiring them, more we’ll all be covering our faces more each day.

While the American Academy of Dermatology says masks play a big part in curbing Coronavirus, they may also be causing something else.

It’s cleverly called ‘maskne.’

”It more or less looks like acne,” says Nick Grimm, physician assistant at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic. “Any time you have oil glands that get obstructed from dirt, debris, just something coming into contact with the skin, those get occluded and acne lesions can develop as a result.”

While acne or rashes are a small side effect compared to the virus itself, dermatologists do expect to start seeing more people with skin issues.

Grimm is used to treating athletes with skin problems caused by helmets or chin straps, but he says anyone of any age could now have to deal with it.

”It’s just a unique phenomenon because we’re dealing with a global pandemic,” says Grimm. “You’re breathing. It’s hot. You’re sweating into your mask. It’s really not so much what the material is necessarily. It’s just the fact that it’s coming into contact with your skin and occluding the skin for a long period of time.”

So how do you avoid it?

The AAD says wash your cloth masks frequently, avoid new skin products or even makeup, and take 15 minute mask breaks a few times a day when you safely can.

Grimm says most cases can be treated on your own, but if something won’t go away or gets worse, possibly by an allergic reaction from at home treatments, it’s time for medical care.

Click here for nine ways to prevent face-mask skin problems from the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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