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Back to School Skin Care: How to Prevent Acne from Face Masks

Wearing a face mask is recommended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. One common problem is an acne breakout, which may be especially troublesome now that children will be headed back to school soon.

There are ways to prevent acne from face masks, as well as treat it when it occurs.

Why Face Masks Cause Acne
Generally there are several factors regarding why face masks cause acne. It’s usually not about how dirty the mask is, how long you use it, or how often you use it, but rather about the humidity. Bacteria that cause acne thrive in the humid environment a face mask can create and lead to breakouts around the nose, cheeks, mouth, and chin.

People may experience small pimples or rosacea-like bumps around this area of their face after wearing face masks. They can also develop acne or cysts from sweat, oil and/or grease on the face.

What can we do to try and prevent this from happening?

Preventing Acne from Face Masks Before, During, and After Use
Associated Dermatologists and the American Academy of Dermatology offer the following tips that can help you prevent acne from face masks:

Follow a Gentle Skin Care Routine

Following a gentle skin care routine may prevent problems due to the face masks. Skin care plays a vital role in healing your skin. Here’s how:

Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol.
Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin.
Resist the temptation to scrub your skin because scrubbing irritates the skin.
Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel. Leave a small amount of water on your face and then incorporate your routine lotion. This should be applied lightly.
Apply moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy.

A gentle skin care routine, including washing your face after sweating, may help prevent acne from face masks.

Base Your Skin Care Regimen on Your Specific Needs

How you treat your skin varies. Here’s what Associated Dermatologists recommends:

Acne from Face Masks: Wash your face after wearing a mask, being sure to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer after washing. If your face mask causes new acne or makes your acne worse, talk with one of our board-certified dermatologists at Associated Dermatologists for the best way to treat your skin type.
Face Mask Maintenance & Other Tips

In addition to preventing acne from face masks, you may limit the spread of germs by washing your cloth face mask after each use, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

If you need to wear the same type of mask each day, try wearing a ball cap or headband with buttons so that you can wrap the ear loops around the buttons.

This tip may be especially helpful for kids’ face masks as children head back to school. Creating a more comfortable experience may help children wear them appropriately.

You should wash your cloth face masks frequently. Oils on your skin and particles that you breathe out collect on the mask. As these build up, they can cause acne on the skin covered by your mask. You can remove germs, oils, and particles by washing a cloth mask in a washing machine or by hand.

Be sure to follow the washing instructions; wash the masks in hot water, unless the instructions say otherwise; and use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.

Continuing to Wear Face Masks to Minimize COVID-19 Cases
Whether you’re in a school building or other public space, it’s important to continue practicing social distancing and wearing a mask in order to minimize coronavirus risks. According to current executive orders in Michigan, individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. Residents are also required to use face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces where you cannot maintain proper social distancing.

If your face mask is causing acne or these tips do not help, make an appointment to see one of our doctors at Associated Dermatologists in Novi, Commerce, West Bloomfield, or Berkley.

The Associated Dermatologists private skin care line is back due to popular demand.

Our products are especially effective in combating acne and what is now known as “Mask-ne.” Salicyclic acid USP and glycolic acid are used in combination with hydrating ingredients in easy-to-use pads to promote exfoliation, control oil, and reduce breakouts and clogged pores. These pads, along with several other products, are available for purchase in all of our locations.

Get your doctor recommended skin regimen today!