How to Prevent Face Mask Acne

A young woman wears a blue face mask and white hat
The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks the American public to wear facial coverings, particularly in crowded situations in which social distancing is difficult or impossible, to prevent spreading COVID-19. But what if your cloth face mask leads to the dreaded “maskne” – acne caused by the friction, sweat, heat and irritation that sometimes accompanies mask wearing? Nobody wants a fresh crop of pimples on their jaw, chin and cheeks. Here are a few tips for preventing breakouts:

  • Find a mask that fits right. While medical professionals have to wear tight-fitting masks, the CDC has recommended non-medical grade, cloth face masks for the rest of us. While your mask shouldn’t be loose and floppy, it should not squeeze your face either. Masks that squeeze can lead to clogged pores and irritated skin, which may lead to acne and redness.
  • Wash your mask. Washing is an important way to cleanse your mask of bacteria, debris and viral material. Not only can these things make you sick, they can also irritate your skin and lead to blemishes. You should wash your mask after each use.
  • Clean your skin. Facial cleansing removes oil buildup, grime and impurities that cause breakouts. Clean your skin daily, and always remove makeup before going to bed. Limit exfoliation to no more than once weekly.
  • Consult Dr. Greene about ongoing acne problems. Acne may be a recurring problem for you that is now aggravated by wearing a mask. Dr. Greene provides a range of treatments, including HydraFacial, laser therapy and intense pulsed light treatment.

Dr. Greene will help you develop an at-home care routine to complement the results of professional acne treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Are you experiencing acne or another skin problem in Seattle or the surrounding areas? Dr. Steven Greene is a board-certified dermatologist and he will help you find solutions. For many people, facial masks can feel irritating to the skin, but it is an important step we all need to take right now. Thank you for doing your part! To learn more or to arrange a consultation, please call our staff at 206-402-4797.