Dermatologist says masks could cause acne, but warns it's better than COVID | KOB 4

Dermatologist says masks could cause acne, but warns it's better than COVID

Joy Wang
Updated: July 03, 2020 06:22 PM
Created: July 03, 2020 04:47 PM

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Some people are complaining that masks have caused acne breakouts and rashes.

Dermatologist Dr. John Durkin explained why that occurs.


"When your skin is warm and hot and sweating, there's increased oil production in the skin which can, you know, lead to acne," he said. "The other thing is just the physical irritation of the hair follicles or the hair opening on the skin from the mask rubbing or being too tight can also lead to, you know, inflammation and those red acne bumps that we're seeing. And then, you know, things that make it worse or anything that's going to clog the pores in the skin like certain makeups or sunscreens or, you know, anything that's applied on top of the skin, so it's really a combination of those three things."

Dr. Durkin does not believe getting acne is a reason to stop wearing a mask. 

"We are finding out more and more how important it is to wear these masks to prevent the spread of COVID. So, if you do get acne, you know, we use the same kinds of acne treatments for mask acne as regular acne. There's plenty of over-the-counter washes you can use," he said. "You want to look for ones that have benzoyl peroxide in them or salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide salicylic acid can be a little irritating to the skin so if people are getting irritation they probably want to avoid those products."

Dr. Durkin said disposable masks should be thrown out after being worn. He added that cloth masks should be washed after each use.

Other tips to keep your skin clear include keeping hands and the face washed.

"If you don't take care of the skin on the hands, it can actually lead to you getting more infections on your skin. So I always tell people to make sure they moisturize," he said.

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