Introducing Maskne

The latest challenge facing our bodies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Breaking out under your mask? Well, you’re not alone and it has a name…and it’s called ”maskne”. 

Maskne is caused by excessive heat and pressure from wearing a mask everyday, sometimes for hours at a time. This results in irritation and inflammation as well as overgrowth of the p. acnes – the bacteria that causes acne.

If this sounds familiar, don’t fear. There are remedies that can help clear these annoying break-outs. If giving your face a break from the mask is not an option, consider these alternatives:

  • Use a face wash containing glycolic and/or salicylic acid can aid with exfoliation and therefore prevent breakouts by removing certain oils and debris from the skin which cause clogging of pores. A gentle facial scrub, used 2-3 times weekly, can also be helpful. I like SkinBetter Science’s Oxygenating Wash and the Defenage 2 Minute Reveal Masque. 
  • Consider a Hydrafacial MD treatment or other in-office facial/microdermabrasion session with your aesthetician. These treatments provide deeper exfoliation and are often combined with light chemical exfoliation by infusing ingredients such as glycolic acid into the skin leaving skin looking healthy and clear. 
  • Look to lasers and light treatments. Laser facials such as the Laser Genesis treatment and Clear + Brilliant laser work by killing acne bacteria with laser energy sources and can provide longer lasting results than your typical facial. They also calm inflammation in the skin, reducing redness. LED Lights  – specifically red and blue light wavelengths, such as those found on the Omnilux LED device, provide a quick and painless option which can be combined with other modalities for an added boost against acne breakouts.  

Lastly, if you tend to have more sensitive skin , allergies to certain fabrics, detergents, and metals (such as those found on some masks to help them fit to your nose), your mask may be causing a rash called ‘contact dermatitis’. If your face is red, bumpy, and itchy, you might want to try using a different mask. If your symptoms persist, consider trying an antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Benedryl along with a light layer of OTC hydrocortisone cream to the irritated areas. Please note, however, that steroid creams such as hydrocortisone should be used sparingly and for no longer than 3-4 days. If you aren’t seeing improvement after that time, it’s best to consult with your doctor. 

For more information or to book a consultation with Dr. Weiss, call our office at 602-266-8144 or visit us on the web at 

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